The Surrey Board of Education said farewell to Trustee Ijaz Chatha at Thursday evening’s public board meeting.
Chairperson Laurae McNally commended Chatha, who was elected in 2008, for his contributions.
“He never hesitated to take on a cause” or speak up for his constituents, said McNally.
While all five of the Surrey First Education incumbent trustees were re-elected on Nov. 19, Chatha, running with Surrey Civic Coalition (SCC), lost his seat. Replacing him is Charlene Dobie, a newcomer who also ran under the SCC banner. The inaugural meeting for the new board is Dec. 8.
New meeting start time?
Surrey Trustee Pam Glass would like regular board meetings to start a bit earlier.
While meetings usually begin at 7:30 p.m., she’s suggesting they be changed to 7 p.m. In-camera (not open to the public) meetings are held prior to the public meetings. Glass suggested that with the new District Education Centre complete, there is no need to allow for travel time between separate locations.
Because the start time is stated in board policy, the suggestion was referred to the policy review committee and will then be brought back to the board for a vote.
Public answers to public questions
At his last meeting as a Surrey school trustee, Ijaz Chatha requested that questions asked by the public at the end of board meetings also be answered publicly.
The current protocol is that community members ask their questions and submit them in writing, and the board provides answers, also in writing, subsequent to the meetings.
Chatha argued the responses should be read publicly because, like the questions, they “may be helpful, constructive, or express concerns reflective of the larger community.”
The matter was referred to the policy review committee and will be brought back to the board for discussion at a later date.