School board and council take step toward open dialogue

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit and School District 67 Chair Linda Van Alphen participated in a joint meeting of the two groups on Monday, Jan.26.

PENTICTON - School District 67 has needs and Penticton council has the muscle to get things done so the two got together for a lunchtime discussion Monday to start a conversation.

During a short Committee of the Whole meeting that followed, school board chair Linda Van Alphen said the two groups had a good conversation.

Penticton Mayor Andrew Jakubeit said the meeting “opened up dialogue” to such things as joint use agreements for things like sport fields in the city. He also mentioned the possibility of using school gymnasiums for future polling stations, something he noted other municipalities did in cooperation with their local school boards.

The main topic of the meeting concerned the impact of electrical rates on the school district budget. The two groups also discussed reclaimed water hook-ups for Parkway, Skaha Lake Middle School and Princess Margaret School.

“We need to take a look at the data again, to make sure we are comparing apples to apples,” Van Alphen said, adding she hoped the city would be “looking at different things next year” and “hoping some of our comments can be a part of that.”

More than anything else, this was a good first step in the relationship between us and the city. That was our main expectation going into the meeting,” she added.

The possibility of sharing services through joint buying or through joint maintenance was put forward by Councillors Helena Konanz and Andre Martin. Councillor Martin wondered if there was an opportunity for the school board to save money by purchasing LCD light upgrades for school properties when the city implements their program for street lights.

The two groups - consisting of many different representatives - last met two years ago.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Steve Arstad at sarstad@infonews.ca or call 250-488-3065. To contact the editor, email mjones@infonews.ca or call 250-718-2724.


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