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Letter: Rainbow board’s lack of transparency ‘disturbing’

By: Letter to the Editor

 | Apr 08, 2014 - 12:48 PM |
Re: Article “Ombudsman’s spectre raised at Rainbow board meeting,” which appeared on NorthernLife.ca March 26.

Two Rainbow District School Board trustees said they didn’t think parents had been given enough time to comment on the board’s new governance manual, approved last month.

In response director of education Norm Blaseg claimed “the information about the new policy manual was sent out to the chairs of school councils.”

But it wasn’t sent out to chairs of school councils. It was not posted on their website. They don’t have Facebook or Twitter pages. It’s not clear when the document was “released,” if at all, prior to its approval by trustees.

Chair Dewar stated “I find it very difficult” to “suggest that the Rainbow District School Board would have something that isn’t completely transparent.”

Yet the comments from both the chair and the director about releasing information were uninformed and inaccurate.

The present approach to communications and public consultation is not disseminating the information as it should. Why do they continue to refuse to share information that is readily available to the public at other boards?

Why not post complete meeting agendas and minutes online, including the appropriate supporting documents? It might enhance community participation and increase the quality and quantity of feedback and, in this case, they could have accurately and honestly asserted that the information was readily available to interested stakeholders.

It is significant when they continue to resist the implementation of simple, inexpensive solutions. It is disturbing when they claim to share information that is nowhere to be found.

We need more transparency and accountability so that people know how their money is being spent.

Anita GibsonGreater Sudbury

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