Friday, October 28, 2011

An Email from Rob Paynter, SD#61 Candidate

Hi Bernard,

If ever you were in question of your effect on people, I can certainly confirm that the candidates at least are commenting on your assessment of the SD 61 Board election.

As a political newcomer, it is heartening to know that I have managed to attract your interest. I sincerely hope that you will continue to find my ideas worthy of support as the campaign continues.
I do take your point regarding web presence (something else that I’m learning more about as a consequence of the election). I will do my best to get my perspectives out in greater detail so that you and others can gain a better picture of where I’m coming from and what I hope to accomplish.

On a personal note, I will be voting for David Bratzer. I too have a personal relationship with David, one based upon the friendship with and respect I have for his dad, who is one of my oldest friends from my time in the military. Since reconnecting with David over the course of numerous Board meetings I have had the opportunity to witness him, on repeated occasions, holding Board members to account. His efforts to shed light on the Stantec Strategic Facilities Plan matter is one such example. I have not found reason to question his integrity and while I respect and support your position regarding GVTA sponsorship I have every confidence that any decision he makes will have the benefit of students foremost in mind.

I would also invite you to further investigate the qualifications of two others, Deborah Nohr and Edith Loring-Kuhanga. I have only recently met both of these ladies but have found a commonality in interests with both of them. Deborah has a background in special education and has impressed me with her ability to clarify points regarding allocation of resources to students with learning disabilities, most recently last night at what proved to be a rather dysfunctional VCPAC general meeting. Deborah is certainly open about her active involvement with the GVTA on her website and I will leave it you to evaluate the significance of that relationship. At a table of 9 trustees I feel that I could work with her to achieve improved conditions and outcomes for students. While I am still learning about Edith, one thing that I think she could add to the mix is her experience on the Saanich School Board. Quite a number of the concerns that I have with the lack of transparency with the current Board of SD 61 could be substantially addressed through the adoption of some of the procedures that Saanich has in place; I suggest a comparison of meeting minutes between SD 61 and 63 as a useful point of departure. I am also interested in the value of a diversity of viewpoints and would hope that her insight into First Nations educational issues would add to the breadth of discussion around the Board table. I am not unaware of concerns that the BCTF is actively seeking to gain control of school boards across the province. However, when I compare the relative merits of working with these individuals relative to the performance I have witnessed at the current Board table, my preference is with Deborah and Edith.

I appreciate that my comments may result in you re-evaluating your support for my own suitability as a candidate. While I would certainly regret such an outcome I feel that there are two reasons that I would be willing to take the risk. First, a table of 9 requires at least 5 individuals who are willing to take on the task of moving the board in the appropriate direction. Like you, I know little of the incumbents beyond their conduct at board meetings, and that has been enough to sour me on all but one or two. Second, and more importantly, I feel that to withhold my views regarding these other candidates would amount to a lie of omission and I would not be satisfied with my own conduct if I was less that forthright with you on this or any other matter.

Yours sincerely,

Rob Paynter
2011 Trustee Election
SD 61 (Greater Victoria)

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