I was dismayed by the comments made by Linda Van Alphen in an article announcing her candidacy for a trustee position in Summerland. She indicated that she would vote against a motion brought forward by trustee Perry to prohibit the rehiring of senior district management staff after they have resigned their positions in order to retire.
She indicated that she was opposed to this because the district has a practice of hiring retirees. In particular she noted the hiring of retired RCMP members as bus drivers.
There is a significant difference between a retired RCMP officer applying through regular competition to become a bus driver in the district and a senior district manager being employed as a consultant.
If a retired RCMP officer is hired it is based on his qualifications in competition with any others interested in applying for the position.
The same applies to teachers and generally it is my understanding that the district at present does not regularly hire retired teachers unless there are exceptional circumstances for doing so.
The recent examples of ex-senior management personnel being rehired after their retirement have not been open to a competitive application process and give the appearance of being patronage appointments.
It should also be noted in these times of restraint in public school funding that our district with a highly qualified superintendent of schools, a highly qualified assistant superintendent of schools, two highly qualified directors of instruction, a highly qualified secretary treasurer would require additional consultation services from officials who have severed their working relationship with the district.
It seems ludicrous to me to hire a retired superintendent to provide consultation services to the incumbent superintendent if in fact due consideration was taken to ensure the replacement was competent in the roles demanded of him or her.
As I am a candidate in the upcoming trustee elections in Summerland, I can assure you that I would support very strongly Mr. Perry’s motion if I were a trustee on the present board.