No vote to fill vacancy

Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division board chair Barry Hollick (middle left) and Director of Education Robert Bratvold (middle right) listen to a speaker during an annual general meeting in January 2016. Sask. Rivers will be operating with one less board member after the Ministry of Education gave them permission to go with only nine trustees for the next three years. -- Herald file photo.

The Saskatchewan Rivers Public School Division has announced there will be no by-election to fill the board’s vacant urban trustee position.

On Friday, the school division announced that the Minister of Education had given them permission to operate as a nine-person board for the next three years. The board will continue with five rural and four urban trustees.

Board chair Barry Hollick said school board funding is tight right now and holding a by-election would be a financial burden they simply can’t manage.

“Our budgets were really reduced quite significantly and the byelection will cost us, I think, around $45,000,” Hollick explained. “We just don’t have those dollars in the budget this year.”

The fifth urban seat was originally held by long-time trustee George McHenry, who passed away in June. Hollick said there will be challenges in operating a smaller board, but he’s confident the current crop of trustees can meet them.

“It’s going to be an extra workload for trustees, but it’s something that is certainly going to be manageable,” he said. “We’re certainly going to miss George, who was an outstanding trustee with years of experience, but we’ve got a dedicated group and we will certainly do our best to pick up the slack.”

For the rest of this story, please see the Aug. 19 online or print edition of the Daily Herald.