By Wes Hicks, special to the News
Trustees at the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board made a difficult decision at a special public meeting Aug. 26 when we appointed former trustee Shirley Glauser to represent Wards 9 and 10.
Some have asked me why we pursued an appointment instead of holding a by-election and I have to admit that this was not an easy decision. However, because there was just 14 months remaining on the term, trustees decided on an appointment.
Sadly, we had to fill this vacancy, until the end of the 2010-14 term, due to the sudden passing of trustee Robert Barlow in May. We had an amazing group of candidates apply to serve as the link between communities and the school board. Trustees are committed to improving student achievement through effective policy-making, visionary planning, evaluating student outcomes and identifying major implications for the school board.
We conducted the appointment in an open and transparent manner, all the while remembering how well Bob Barlow represented his constituency.
Candidates had to meet a substantial list of qualifications. They had to be a Canadian citizen, 18 years of age or older, a resident within the jurisdiction of Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, a public school supporter and verify they were not an school board employee, who are ineligible for appointment.
We received an outstanding collection of completed forms submitted with cover letter, resume and declaration of qualifications. It set us off on a process of public interviews, where candidates had to answer questions in public view, with the media watching, too.
Trustees interviewed 19 candidates and then held a special board meeting, where we voted through secret ballot until the winning candidate had received a simple majority of votes (at least six votes).
This person, as you know, was Shirley Glauser, a dynamic and hard-working former trustee known for her outstanding commitment to our community. She has previously served on many HWDSB committees, which will also make her appointment a smooth transition.
Thankfully, she accepted the position. I’m excited by the prospect of Shirley once again using her expertise and prior board experience to help move the HWDSB forward with our work plan.
A big thank-you goes out to all of the candidates for being part of this detailed and important process.
Wes Hicks is the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board trustee for Ward 8 (west Mountain). Columns from the Mountain’s trustees appear monthly on a rotating basis.
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