Transcript: School Board Trustee Troubles | Jan 24, 2019

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and spotted blue tie.

A caption on screen reads "School board trustee troubles. @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says EVERY MUNICIPAL
ELECTION CYCLE, VOTERS MARK
THEIR BALLOTS FOR SCHOOL BOARD
TRUSTEE.
AT LEAST, SOME OF THEM DO.
ACTUALLY, NOT VERY MANY DO AT
ALL, DESPITE THE FACT THAT
TRUSTEES ARE THE
LONGEST-STANDING ELECTED
OFFICIALS IN THE PROVINCE.
BUT JUST AS SO MUCH ELSE HAS
CHANGED IN THE EDUCATION SYSTEM,
SOME NOW WONDER WHETHER IT'S AN
OFFICE WE STILL NEED.
HERE TO CONSIDER THAT: MADDIE DI
MUCCIO, SHE IS PRESIDENT AT THE
SOCIETY FOR QUALITY EDUCATION...

Maddie is in her mid-forties, with long wavy chestnut hair. She's wearing a brown blouse and a matching necklace.

Steve continues AND HOWARD GOODMAN IS HERE, HE
IS FORMERLY VICE PRESIDENT OF
THE ONTARIO PUBLIC SCHOOL
BOARDS' ASSOCIATION, A PAST
TORONTO DISTRICT SCHOOL BOARD
TRUSTEE, AND FOUNDER OF
EDVOCATE.CA, A WEBSITE DEVOTED
TO PROMOTING STRONG PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

Howard is in his late fifties, with short gray hair and a trimmed beard. He's wearing a black suit and a pink shirt.

Steve continues AND IT'S, HOWARD, GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE, FIRST TIME IN A LONG TIME.
MADDIE, WE SAW YOU MORE RECENTLY.
THANKS FOR COMING IN.
JUST BEFORE WE GET TO SORT OF
THE OVERARCHING PHILOSOPHICAL
DISCUSSION HERE, THERE IS SOME
SO-CALLED NEWS OF THE DAY THAT
I'D LIKE YOU TO WEIGH IN ON.
YORK REGION JUST NORTH OF US
OBVIOUSLY HAD MUNICIPAL
ELECTIONS BACK IN OCTOBER AND
LITERALLY A COUPLE OF MONTHS
AFTER THOSE ELECTIONS ONE SCHOOL
BOARD TRUSTEE, REPRESENTS
VAUGHAN, SHE SAID SHE'S
RESIGNING FOR PERSONAL REASONS.
SO LITERALLY TWO MONTHS AFTER
ELECTION DAY WE NOW FIND
OURSELVES THRUST INTO A
DECISION.
THE BOARD HAS DECIDED TO SPEND
177000 dollars TO HOLD A BY-ELECTION
TO REPLACE HER AS OPPOSED TO
JUST APPOINT SOMEBODY.
I'D LIKE TO GET YOUR VIEWS ON
THE ADVISABILITY OF DOING THAT.
MADDIE?

The caption changes to "Maddie Di Muccio. Society for Quality Education."
Then, it changes again to "Eyes on York Region."

Maddie says YOU KNOW, THIS IS A TOUGH ONE
FOR ME, STEVE, BECAUSE THE
FISCAL TAXPAYER IN ME IS SAYING
THAT'S OUTRAGEOUS, THAT'S A LOT
OF MONEY FOR A SCHOOL BOARD
TRUSTEE TO HAVE AN ELECTION THAT
MANY PEOPLE DON'T EVEN VOTE IN.
IN A GENERAL ELECTION LET ALONE
A BY-ELECTION.
HOWEVER, IT WAS WINSTON
CHURCHILL WHO SAID THAT
DEMOCRACY IS THE WORST FORM OF
GOVERNMENT, EXCEPT FOR
EVERYTHING ELSE, AND SO THIS IS
VERY MUCH SYMBOLIC.
THE BOARD, WE'RE 60 DAYS INTO
THE TERM ALREADY, AND SO THAT'S
NOT A LOT.
IF IT WAS IN THE LATTER HALF OF
THE TERM, THEN I WOULD SAY, YES,
APPOINT SOMEBODY.
BUT YOU KNOW, JUST FOR THE SAKE
OF DEMOCRACY AND FOR THAT REASON
I THINK THAT THAT'S WHY THEY'RE
FEELING PRESSURED TO HAVE THAT
BY-ELECTION.

Steve says GOT IT.
HOWARD, YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Howard Goodman. Edvocate.ca"

Howard says I AGREE WITH MADDIE
COMPLETELY ON THIS ONE.
WE'VE BEEN... I'VE BEEN THROUGH
THAT PROCESS A COUPLE TIMES
WHERE... WHEN I WAS A TRUSTEE AT
TDSB WE HAD SOME VACANCIES AND
WE HAD A SERIOUS SET OF
CONVERSATIONS ON THIS ISSUE.
BECAUSE I THINK WE WERE TALKING
ABOUT 150,000 INSTEAD OF 177,
BUT IT'S A LOT OF MONEY.
AND IT CAME DOWN TO TIMING.
TOWARDS LAST YEAR, DIDN'T REALLY
MATTER, WE APPOINTED.
BUT BEFORE THAT, IT IS
IMPORTANT, IT IS CRITICALLY
IMPORTANT FOR TRUSTEES TO HAVE
CONNECTION TO THEIR COMMUNITY.
THE PHILOSOPHICAL THING ABOUT
DEMOCRACY IS TRUE, BUT THERE'S
ALSO A VERY PRACTICAL
IMPLICATION WHEN A TRUSTEE IS
ELECTED, BECAUSE THEN PARENTS
AND OTHERS GET TO REALLY CALL
THEM, AND THEY HAVE TRUST IN
THEM, AND THEY ACTUALLY BELIEVE
THAT THEY OWN THE TRUSTEE.

Steve says CHARLENE GRANT CAME SECOND.
WHY NOT JUST APPOINT HER TO FILL
THE VACANCY?

Howard says WELL, I HAVE THE NUMBERS.

Steve says OKAY.

Howard says SO ANNA GOT 4400 VOTES.
CHARLENE GOT 2100.
I CAN'T REMEMBER HER FIRST NAME.
GOLDBERG, NAOMI, I THINK, GOT
1200.
THERE WERE MANY PEOPLE ALMOST
CERTAINLY WHO WOULD HAVE RUN IF
HANNAH WASN'T RUNNING.
AND IT'S NOT CLEAR WHETHER THE
OVERWHELMING NUMBER, EVEN IF
NOBODY ELSE WAS RUNNING, WHETHER
THE OVERWHELMING NUMBERS THAT
ANNA HAD WOULD HAVE BEEN
DISTRIBUTED IN THE SAME
PROPORTION.

Steve says GOT IT.

Maddie says I SORT OF DO AGREE, BUT ON
THE OTHER HAND, STEVE,
CHARLENE... I THINK THE PERSON
WHO IS RUNNING, CHARLENE, IF SHE
WERE TO RUN... I WOULD NORMALLY
AGREE WITH YOU AND SAY, YOU KNOW
WHAT, JUST APPOINT HER, SHE CAME
IN SECOND, BUT SHE'S RUNNING ON
A PLATFORM OF ANTI-RACISM AND
INCLUSIVITY.
AND IF SHE DID NOT RUN ON THAT,
IF SHE WAS JUST... UNDERMINE
THAT MESSAGE, WHICH I THINK IS
SO IMPORTANT TO YORK REGION
RIGHT NOW WHEN IT COMES TO THE
SCHOOL TRUSTEES.
SO ON THAT ALONE I THINK THAT,
YOU KNOW, APPOINTING HER, YES,
THAT MAKES A LOT OF PRACTICAL
SENSE, BUT ON THE OTHER HAND,
FOR HER TO RUN ON THAT PLATFORM
AND WIN ON THAT PLATFORM WOULD
ACTUALLY GIVE THAT MESSAGE
STRONGER.

Steve says LET US DEPART HERE
FROM THIS SCREAMING AGREEMENT
BETWEEN THE TWO OF YOU AND GET
INTO SOMETHING A LITTLE MORE
CONTENTIOUS.

Maddie says FOR NOW.

Howard says I'M NOT SURE WE'RE GOING TO
GET INTO CONFLICT.

Maddie says YOU NEVER KNOW.

Steve says LET'S SEE.
WE'RE NOT LOOKING FOR IT, BUT IF
IT HAPPENS, THAT'S LIFE.
WITH SO MANY PEOPLE
PARTICIPATING AND NOT FOLLOWING
THE ISSUES AROUND THIS, IT
RAISES THE QUESTION OF WHETHER
OR NOT WE NEED TRUSTEES ANYMORE.
I'D LIKE BOTH OF YOU TO WEIGH IN
ON THE ISSUE OF TRUSTEES YES OR
NO, ABOLISH THEM, KEEP THEM,
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
MADDIE, START US OFF.

The caption changes to "A position we need?"

Maddie says YOU KNOW, THIS IS A GREAT
QUESTION AND SOMETHING THAT I
WANT TO REVERBERATE ON EVERY
LEVEL OF GOVERNMENT, STEVE.
AS YOU KNOW, I USED TO BE A
MUNICIPAL COUNCILLOR.
IN NEWMARKET WE HAVE NINE
COUNCILLORS FOR A VERY SMALL,
SMALL POPULATION.
SO IF ANYTHING, WE NEED LESS
POLITICIANS, AND THAT INCLUDES
LESS TRUSTEES.
IT SEEMS RIGHT NOW THAT THERE
ARE SO MANY PROBLEMS GOING ON
WITH THESE PEOPLE RUNNING, AND
YOU KNOW, THEY'RE NOT
EXPERIENCED.
THEY DON'T HAVE A LOT OF
POLITICAL SAVVY.

Steve says LET ME BE SURE I
UNDERSTAND YOU HERE.
YOU WANT FEWER TRUSTEES OR YOU
WANT NO TRUSTEES?

Maddie says WE CAN... WELL, WE'LL GET
INTO THAT CONVERSATION.
I WOULD BE AS WILLING TO GO AS
FAR AS SAYING, NO, WE DON'T NEED
TRUSTEES, BUT WE ALSO DON'T NEED
AS MANY COUNCILLORS AND MPPs
BECAUSE THEY ALL AGREE WITH
THEIR LEADER.
YOU KNOW, WE DON'T NEED AS MANY MPs.
AT THE END OF THE DAY, THESE ARE
ALL SYMBOLIC POSITIONS, AND IT'S
COSTING TAXPAYERS A LOT OF
MONEY, AND SOMETIMES THEY MAKE
THE NEWS FOR THE WRONG REASONS,
AS WE'RE SEEING IN YORK REGION.

Steve says HOWARD, YOUR VIEW ON
WHETHER WE NEED TRUSTEES?

Howard says SO WE HAVE A DISAGREEMENT.

Steve says OKAY.
I HAD A HUNCH, HOWARD.

The caption changes to "Howard Goodman. Former TDSB Trustee."

Howard says THERE ARE... LET'S LOOK AT
SOME OF THE ALTERNATIVES TO
START WITH.
THERE'S I THINK ONLY THREE
POSSIBLE WAYS OF PROVIDING
SCHOOL BOARD GOVERNANCE, AND
GOVERNANCE IS CRITICAL.
EVERY ORGANIZATION HAS A BOARD
OF SOME SORT AND OVERSIGHT, AND
SO WE CAN EITHER HAVE THEM
ELECTED, WHICH IS WHAT WE'RE
DEALING WITH.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: Twitter: @theagenda; Facebook, agendaconnect@tvo.org, Instagram."

Steve says WHICH IS WHAT WE'VE
DONE FOR 110 YEARS.

Howard says WE COULD HAVE IT RUN BY THE
BUREAUCRACY, WHICH IS A PROBLEM,
BECAUSE THEY WILL NEVER... THEY
WILL NEVER, EVER SAY NO TO THE
PROVINCIAL POWERS, AND THE
PROVINCE MAKES MISTAKES ALL THE
TIME.
AND TRUSTEES, ELECTED TRUSTEES,
PUSH BACK.
OR WE COULD APPOINT THEM.
AN APPOINTMENT SOUNDS LIKE A
REALLY GOOD IDEA.
IT SOUNDS FANTASTIC.
YOU CAN GET EXPERTS WHO ARE
BALANCED...

Steve says APPOINTED BY WHOM?

Howard says BY WHOEVER.
DON'T EVEN GO... THAT'S NOT THE
ISSUE.
JUST THE APPOINTMENT.
BUT THEN YOU GET A BALANCED
BOARD OF EXPERTISE.
YOU'VE GOT LAWYERS AND
ACCOUNTANTS AND MARKETING PEOPLE
AND PUBLIC HEALTH PEOPLE AND
STUFF.
BUT WHAT HAPPENS IS THEY'RE NOT
CONNECTED TO THE COMMUNITY.
AND THEY DON'T REALLY CARE AS
MUCH, AND SO IF YOU LOOK AT
BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF MAJOR
CORPORATIONS, YOU LOOK AT
VOLKSWAGEN, YOU LOOK AT LEHMAN
BROTHERS, NORTEL, BRE-X, SEARS,
YOU LOOK AT APPLE WHEN THEY
THREW OUT STEVE JOBS AND PUT IN
JOHN SKULLY, THESE ARE BOARDS
WITH FANTASTIC EXPERTISE AND
PROFILE, AND THEY BLEW IT
BECAUSE THEY WEREN'T ABLE TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT THE OPERATIONS
WERE LIKE.
AND THE PURPOSE OF HAVING
ELECTED TRUSTEES, THE BIGGEST
THING, IS THAT WHEN SOMETHING'S
GOING WRONG IN A SCHOOL AND IT'S
REPRESENTATIVE OF MANY THINGS IN
OTHER SCHOOLS, THE PARENTS OR
THE COMMUNITY KNOWS WHO TO CALL.

Steve says LET ME FOLLOW UP WITH
MADDIE ON THAT.
YOU HAVE THREE KIDS, RIGHT?

Maddie says I DO, I DO.

Steve says PRESUMABLY SOMEWHERE
ALONG THE WAY IF YOU HAD A
PROBLEM WITH ONE OF YOUR KID'S
EDUCATION, YOU HAD A TRUSTEE YOU
COULD CALL.

Maddie says RIGHT, AND THEY DIDN'T REALLY
DO VERY MUCH.
IN FACT, I RAN INTO A TRUSTEE,
OUR OWN TRUSTEE WHO SAID I
ACTUALLY AVOID THE PUBLIC
BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS COME UP TO
ME AND THEY WANT TO TALK ABOUT
THEIR SCHOOL AND THEIR... YOU
KNOW, THE ISSUES THEY HAVE, AND
I WAS SORT OF LOOKING AT HER
LIKE SHE HAD TWO HEADS AND
THINKING, WELL, THAT IS YOUR
JOB.
SO HERE'S THE THING, STEVE.
IT'S FUNNY HOW YOU MENTIONED
COMMUNITY BEING THE FIRST FACE
IN THAT COMMUNITY.
THE REALITY IS IN YORK REGION
SCHOOL TRUSTEES COVER A WIDE
COMMUNITY.
THEY DON'T JUST COVER ONE
MUNICIPALITY.
THEY COVER SEVERAL
MUNICIPALITIES.
THEY ARE NOT THE FRONT LINE, AS
A MATTER OF FACT.
THE FRONT-LINE PEOPLE ARE THE
PARENTS AND THE PRINCIPALS, AND
I'VE ALWAYS BEEN A BIG PROPONENT
OF HAVING PARENTS...
UNELECTED... SORRY, ELECTED
SCHOOL COUNCILS THAT ARE UNPAID.
THEY ARE VOLUNTEER AND HAVING
THE PRINCIPAL HAVING THE
AUTHORITY TO DO MORE.
AND YESTERDAY WE HEARD IN THE
NEWS IN ONTARIO THAT THE ONTARIO
GOVERNMENT IS NOW PREPARED TO
GIVE THOSE POWERS AND MORE
AUTHORITY TO THOSE SCHOOL
PRINCIPALS, WHICH ACTUALLY I
THINK IS A GREAT IDEA.

Steve says BUT HERE'S THE QUESTION...

Maddie says HERE'S THE THING ABOUT THE
SCHOOL BOARD, STEVE.
WE'VE GOT SCHOOL BOARDS THAT ARE
BLOATED AND HUGE ADMINISTRATION.
THEY ARE PRETTY MUCH RUNNING
THE... WELL, THE PROVINCE IS
PRETTY MUCH GIVING THEM, YOU
KNOW, THIS IS WHAT YOU HAVE TO
DO.
AND THEY'RE DOING IT.
AND THE SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEES
ARE PRETTY MUCH, YOU KNOW, JUST
READING THE AGENDA AND SAYING,
YEAH, OKAY.

Steve says BUT IF YOU HAVE A
PROBLEM WITH THE PRINCIPAL, IF
YOU HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THE
DIRECTOR OF EDUCATION, WHO DO
YOU GO TO, IF NOT A TRUSTEE?

Maddie says YOU GO TO THE PARENT COUNCIL.
SO MY VISION IS TO HAVE A PARENT
COUNCIL... IN THE PAST, STEVE,
WE HAD ONE SCHOOL BOARD PER
SCHOOL, AND THAT SCHOOL BOARD
WOULD BE, YOU KNOW, CANNIBAL TO THE PEOPLE.
THEY WOULD BE ACCOUNTABLE TO THE PEOPLE.
BUT NOW IT'S DIFFERENT.
THEY WANT TO SHRINK THE SCHOOL
BOARDS, AND THEY'VE DONE THAT,
BUT IN FACT THEY'VE ACTUALLY
BLOATED THEM BECAUSE THEY'VE
ADDED SO MUCH BUREAUCRACY.

Steve says HOWARD, WHAT ABOUT THE
NOTION OF A SCHOOL COUNCIL AS
OPPOSED TO A TRUSTEE.
VOLUNTEERS AS OPPOSED TO
ELECTED, UNPAID AS OPPOSED TO
MODESTLY PAID.

The caption changes to "Howard Goodman, @EdVocate_CA."

Howard says I WAS A VERY ACTIVE PARENT ON
THE LOCAL THING, AND I HAVE TO
SAY THAT THERE IS NOTHING THAT A
SCHOOL COUNCIL CAN DO TO PREVENT
A MISGUIDED DECISION BY THE
MINISTRY.

Steve says BECAUSE WHAT...

Howard says THEY HAVE NO AUTHORITY.
THEY HAVE NO PLATFORM.
THEY CAN DEAL WITH AN ISSUE IN
THE SCHOOL, PERHAPS, TEACHER NOT
BEHAVING PROPERLY, SOME
STRUCTURAL THINGS IN THE
BUILDING, BUT THEY CANNOT... IF
A POLICY COMES DOWN FROM THE
PROVINCE, ORGANIZING A THOUSAND
SCHOOLS TO PROTEST THAT ISSUE
WHEN THE SCHOOLS ARE NOT
CONNECTED AND THEY'RE NOT ACROSS
THE PROVINCE IS A PROBLEM.
YORK IS AN UNUSUAL CASE, AND I
KNOW THAT'S WHERE YOUR
EXPERIENCE IS, BUT EVERY SCHOOL
BOARD HAS A DIFFERENT CULTURE.
AND THE YORK CULTURE HAS VERY
UNUSUAL HISTORY THAT WAS
FOSTERED BY TWO VERY EXCELLENT,
STRONG, LONG-TERM BILLS, BILL HO
GART AND BILL CARRUTHERS.
THE POINT IS IN TERMS OF A
SCHOOL BOARD NOT DOING ITS JOB,
I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT WOULD BE
YOUR EXPERIENCE.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE EXPERIENCE
OF... IN BOARDS ACROSS THE VBS.

Steve says LET ME GET PERSONAL
WITH YOU, HARRY.
YOU WERE A TRUSTEE.

Howard says YES.

Steve says WHY DID YOU WANT TO BE
A TRUSTEE?

Howard says MY MOTIVATION WAS I HAD TIME
ON MY HANDS AND WANTED TO HELP.
I HAD LITTLE KIDS.
I WATCHED THE SYSTEM FOLLOWING
POLICIES SET BY THE PROVINCE AT
THE TIME THAT WERE NOT GOOD FOR
SCHOOLS AND NOT GOOD FOR MY KIDS.
AND I KNEW AS A SCHOOL COUNCIL
CHAIR THAT I COULD DO VERY
LITTLE BECAUSE MY KNOWLEDGE WAS
LIMITED, MY ACCESS TO
INFORMATION WAS LIMITED, MY
ACCESS TO INFLUENCE WAS LIMITED.

Steve says SO IF THE POSITION
WERE ELIMINATED, WHAT WOULD BE
LOST IN YOUR VIEW?

Howard says OH, A WHOLE BUNCH.
THE... THE NUMBER OF PUSHBACKS
THAT HAVE HAPPENED... WELL, LET
ME GIVE YOU A COUPLE SPECIFIC
EXAMPLES.
I'LL TRY NOT TO...

Maddie says HE CAN'T THINK OF ANY.

Howard says NO, NO, I'M TRYING... I'M
TRYING NOT TO GET IN TROUBLE.
MY MOTHER SAID DON'T GET INTO
TROUBLE TODAY.
THERE WAS A CONTRACT THAT HAD
BEEN SIGNED BY TDSB THAT HAD
GONE SOUTH AND WAS BEING
RENEGOTIATED, AND THE BOARD
MANAGEMENT DID NOT DO A GOOD JOB
OF THAT.
AND THE BOARD PUSHED BACK HARD
AND GENERATED A MILLION DOLLARS
BECAUSE NEGOTIATIONS WENT
BETTER.
ANOTHER ONE IS THE APPOINTED
SUPERVISOR BACK IN 2003 DECIDED
TO LAUNCH A CHANGE OF PENSION
RIGHTS, WHICH WOULD HAVE LED TO
A 60 MILLION dollar LAWSUIT.
THE PROVINCE AGREED.
LIKE, IT WAS... IT WAS A
POLITICAL DECISION, POLITICALLY
MOTIVATED.
THE TRUSTEES, WHEN WE LEARNED
ABOUT IT AND FORCED INFORMATION
OUT OF THE DIRECTOR, REALIZED
THAT IT WAS A BAD DECISION.

Steve says OKAY, HERE'S THE...

Howard says AND THAT COULD NOT HAPPEN.

Steve says THE GIST OF THESE
EXAMPLES IS THERE'S A CORPORATE
GOVERNANCE SLASH OVERSIGHT ROLE
THAT ULTIMATELY SAVED MONEY.

Maddie says AND WE HAVE CORPORATE
GOVERNANCES ON MUNICIPAL LEVEL
AS WELL, BUT LET'S TALK ABOUT
THE POLICE SERVICES BOARD.
THEY HAVE A BOARD.
THEY DON'T HAVE A TRUSTEE OR
SOMEBODY OVERSIGHT WITH THEM.
YOU KNOW, WE DON'T NEED TO HAVE
BOARDS.
MY POINT IS THIS: WE DON'T NEED
TO HAVE THE TRUSTEES BECAUSE,
LIKE I SAID EARLIER, THE PARENT
COUNCIL CAN DO EXACTLY WHAT THE
TRUSTEES HAVE DONE.
THE TRUSTEES ARE NOT APPOINTED.
THEY ARE ELECTED DEMOCRATICALLY.
THEY ARE NOT NECESSARILY
EXPERIENCED.
THEY DON'T NECESSARILY HAVE THE
CREDENTIALS, SO YOU CAN'T GO
BACK AND SAY, WELL, PARENT
COUNCILS WOULDN'T HAVE THE...
YOU KNOW, THEY SHOULDN'T BE
DOING THAT BECAUSE THEY DON'T
HAVE CREDENTIALS.

Howard says I DIDN'T SAY CREDENTIALS.

Maddie says AS A MATTER OF FACT THEY HAVE
MORE EXPERIENCE, I WOULD ARGUE,
THAT A PARENT... AND I WAS A
PARENT WHO WAS VERY, VERY MUCH
INVOLVED IN MY CHILDREN'S
EDUCATION.
I WAS LITERALLY IN THE SCHOOL
EVERY SINGLE DAY IN KINDERGARTEN
FOR ABOUT TWO YEARS.
SO I REALLY SAW A LOT OF THE
ISSUES THAT WERE GOING ON IN THE
SCHOOLS.
WHO BETTER THAN TO HAVE THOSE
PARENTS TO REALLY GIVE THE
MANDATE, RIGHT, TO REALLY HAVE
THE AUTHORITY TO SAY THIS IS
WHAT WE WANT, THIS IS HOW WE'RE
GOING TO SPEND THE MONEY, THIS
IS, YOU KNOW, WHO WE BELIEVE
SHOULD BE RUNNING THE BOARD AND
SHOULD BE IN THAT POSITION.
WHO BETTER THAN THE PARENTS?

Steve says LET ME ASK THE
FOLLOW-UP, BASED ON YOUR
EXPERIENCE, WHY DO YOU THINK
PEOPLE RUN FOR THE JOB?

Maddie says THAT'S A GOOD QUESTION.
FIRST OF ALL, YOU CAN PROBABLY
CONFIRM IT DOESN'T PAY VERY
WELL, RIGHT?

Howard says NO.

Maddie says YORK REGION I THINK THEY GET
A STIPEND OF ABOUT 20,000 dollars A YEAR.
I THINK A LOT OF PEOPLE, STEVE,
WHO RUN FOR THIS POSITION IS
BECAUSE THEY EITHER HAVE
CHILDREN IN SCHOOL OR THEY FEEL
VERY STRONGLY ABOUT POLICIES.
MANY OF THEM ARE GOING INTO IT
BECAUSE THEY SEE SOMETHING THEY
DON'T LIKE IN THE SYSTEM, JUST
LIKE MOST POLITICIANS WILL GET
INTO THIS AND SAY I DON'T LIKE
THIS, AND THEY WANT TO GO AND
CHANGE IT WITHOUT REALIZING THE
INTRICACY THAT'S INVOLVED.
SO WHEN YOU HAVE THIS BIG
MASSIVE MACHINE THAT'S THE
PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT THAT
REALLY HANDS THE MANDATE OVER TO
THE BOARD THAT SAYS HERE IS YOUR
MONEY BUT HERE'S THE POLICY, THE
CURRICULUM AND YOUR BUDGETS.
THIS IS WHAT CAN BE ALLOCATED.
SO YOU'VE GOT... YOU KNOW, THEY
WANT TO GO AND CHANGE THAT
WITHOUT REALIZING THAT CHANGING
THAT IS VERY, VERY DIFFICULT
BECAUSE OF THIS BIG MACHINE OF
GOVERNMENT.

Steve says IF THERE WERE TERM
LIMITS, WOULD THAT, DO YOU
THINK, IMPROVE THE CONFIDENCE
PEOPLE HAD IN TRUSTEES MORE?

The caption changes to "Just the first step."

Howard says I DON'T THINK IT WOULD CHANGE
MUCH BECAUSE THERE'S MASSIVE
TURNOVER, UNLIKE IN OTHER LEVELS
OF ELECTED OFFICIALS, MASSIVE
TURNOVER AT SCHOOL BOARDS.
SO THE PROBLEM WITH HAVING
PEOPLE THERE FOR 30 YEARS
UNCONTESTED DOESN'T TYPICALLY HAPPEN.

Maddie says IF I COULD INTERRUPT, IT DOES
VERY MUCH IN YORK REGION.
WE HAD IN THE PUBLIC SCHOOL
BOARD AND THE CATHOLIC SCHOOL
BOARD WE'VE HAD INCUMBENTS THERE
THAT HAVE BEEN THERE FOR YEARS
AND YEARS AND YEARS.
TODAY THEY ARE SENIORS, OKAY?
THEY WOULD BE CONSIDERED
SENIORS.
NOW JUST IN THIS LAST ELECTION
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARD TRUSTEE
WAS FINALLY SOMEBODY, YOU KNOW,
WON THAT SEAT.
BUT THEY SHOULD HAVE TERM LIMITS
BECAUSE IT SHOULD REFLECT
THIS...

Howard says I DON'T MIND TERM LIMITS.

Maddie says SOCIETY AT THE TIME.
WE SHOULDN'T HAVE SENIORS GOING
INTO THE JOBS BECAUSE THEY DON'T
REALLY UNDERSTAND THE THINGS,
THE ISSUES THAT YOUNG SCHOOL...
YOUNG KIDS AT SCHOOL ARE FACING.

Howard says I AGREE.

Maddie says WE NEED TO HAVE THAT.

Howard says I AGREE.

Maddie says WE NEED TERM LIMITS 100 percent.

Howard says I'M LOOKING AT THE NUMBERS
HERE IN THE LAST ELECTION, IN
THE PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARDS, 21 percent OF
THE INCUMBENTS WHO WERE RUNNING
WERE DEFEATED.
ACROSS THE PROVINCE...

Maddie says AND DO YOU KNOW WHY IT'S
DIFFICULT TO BE DEFEATED?
BECAUSE THEY COVER SUCH A WIDE
SPACE... WHO WOULD PUT IN ALL
THAT MONEY TO RUN?
YOU KNOW, YOU'RE COVERING MAYBE
NINE MUNICIPALITIES, RIGHT?
WHO WOULD PUT INTO THAT MONEY
FOR A 20000 dollar JOB.
YOUR MESSAGE IS NOT GETTING OUT.
THE PERSON GOES TO THE BALLOT,
THEY HAVE NO IDEA WHO THE SCHOOL TRUSTEE IS.
OH, IT'S THE SAME GUY, I'LL JUST VOTE THERE.

Howard says 20 percent IS A HUGE NUMBER.
YOU WILL NOT FIND THAT IN ANY
OTHER OF THE THREE ELECTED LEVELS.
NEVER.
THEY'RE IN THE 5, 10 percent RANGE, IF
YOU LOOK.
AND I DID LAST ELECTION.
I DON'T HAVE THE NUMBERS IN FRONT OF ME.
THE TURNOVER, THE NUMBER OF NEW
TRUSTEES ON BOARDS ACROSS THE
PROVINCE, PUBLIC SCHOOL BOARDS,
WAS 44 percent.

Maddie says WELL, I... I MEAN, I'M
LOOKING FROM THE YORK REGION
PERSPECTIVE.

Howard says AND THAT'S THE PROBLEM.

Maddie says WE'VE HAD THESE GUYS FOREVER.

Howard says OKAY, SO THE PROBLEM IS THAT
IF YOU HAVE THE NARROW
PERSPECTIVE OF A SINGLE SCHOOL
OR A SINGLE BOARD, YOU CANNOT
DEAL WITH, AS YOU CALL IT, THE
MONOLITH THAT'S THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT.

Steve says TELL ME THIS, HARRY.
THE TURNOUT IN MUNICIPAL
ELECTIONS IS USUALLY ABOUT 25,
30 percent ANYWAY, AND MY HUNCH IS THE
PEOPLE WHO ACTUALLY MARK A
BALLOT FOR A TRUSTEE IS PROBABLY
HALF THAT.
JUST BECAUSE THE NAME
RECOGNITION IS NOT TERRIBLY HIGH
AND, YOU KNOW, THEY DON'T HAVE
BIG BUDGETS TO CAMPAIGN AND SO
ON.
HOW... DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEAS AS
TO HOW WE MIGHT BE ABLE TO GET
THE TURNOUT LEVELS HIGHER FOR
TRUSTEES AND HAVE PEOPLE
ENGAGING ON THOSE MORE SO THAT
WHEN PEOPLE VOTED THEY ACTUALLY
KNEW WHO THEY WERE VOTING FOR?

Howard says TWO QUESTIONS THERE.
HOW DO WE GET THE TURNOUT UP,
AND THE FALL OFF BETWEEN COUNCIL
AND TRUSTEES, FROM WHAT I CAN
TELL LOOKING AT DATA OVER THE
YEARS, IS ABOUT 20 percent.
THE PROBLEM IS THE KNOWLEDGE,
BECAUSE FROM SOME ANALYSIS I'VE
DONE, ABOUT 80 percent OF THOSE VOTES
CAST ARE NOT KNOWLEDGEABLE VOTES.
SO THEY ARE SORT OF RANDOM,
INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO VOTED FOR ME.

Steve says THEY RECOGNIZED THE
NAME AND PUT A CHECK BESIDE IT.

Howard says AND THAT'S ABOUT IT.
OR THEY LIKE THE LOOK OF THE
NAME, WHICH IS EVEN...

Steve says WELL, YOUR NAME WOULD
BE HELPFUL.
YOU'RE A GOOD MAN.

Howard says ON THE FIRST ONE I WAS AT THE
BOTTOM OF THE BALLOT, WHICH IS NOT GOOD.

Steve says BUT YOU'RE STILL A GOODMAN.

Howard says IT REQUIRES EFFORT FOR THE VOTER.

Maddie says SO THE POINT IS THEY ARE
LARGELY RANDOM VOTES, AND HERE I
AM PROFOUNDLY CONNECTED TO
ELECTIONS BECAUSE THEY ARE...
THEY MAKE THE SORT OF CONNECTION
THAT YOU WANT TO THE PARENTS.
GENERAL ELECTIONS I DON'T THINK
WORK BECAUSE OF THE REASONS, IT
DOESN'T GET ENOUGH ATTENTION,
IT'S EXPENSIVE TO RUN, IT'S OVER
A BROAD AREA.
YOU'RE NOT SETTING LAWS, RIGHT?
I WOULD RATHER HAVE THE YORK
BOARD TAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY TO
EXPERIMENT WITH ANOTHER WAY OF
DOING IT.

Steve says LIKE WHAT?

Howard says ONE IDEA THAT HAS BEEN
FLOATING AROUND THAT I SORT OF
LIKE, BUT NOT SURE IF IT WORKS
WELL, IS HAVING PARENTS VOTE AND
ONLY PARENTS VOTE.

Steve says PARENTS WITH KIDS IN
THE SCHOOL SYSTEM?

Howard says PARENTS WITH KIDS IN THE
SCHOOL SYSTEM, AND IT WOULD BE
CHEAP TO RUN BECAUSE THE VOTING
LIST IS ALREADY HELD BY THE
SCHOOL BOARD.

Steve says SOMEWHAT MORE
MOTIVATED COHORT TO VOTE.

Howard says MOTIVATED AND KNOWLEDGEABLE.
RIGHT?
THEY UNDERSTAND THE ISSUES.

Steve says I GOT A MINUTE LEFT.
MADDIE, WHAT WOULD YOU THINK OF
THAT IDEA?

Maddie says I HAVE SOME PROBLEMS WITH IT
ONLY BECAUSE I THINK YOUR
AVERAGE VOTER TAXPAYER AND
SAYING I HAVE A RIGHT TO DECIDE
WHAT KIDS SHOULD BE TAUGHT.
I'M PAYING TAXES INTO THE
SYSTEM.
IT'S A GOOD IDEA, BUT I DON'T
KNOW IF IT WOULD REALLY WORK
DEMOCRATICALLY SPEAKING.
AND AT THE END OF THE DAY, I'VE
ALWAYS BELIEVED THAT HAVING
JUST... YOU KNOW, JUST THE
PARENT COUNCILS, YOU KNOW, WE
DON'T HAVE TO GO THROUGH THE
TROUBLE OF HAVING SCHOOL
TRUSTEES AND HAVING A VOTE.
IT'S VERY DIFFICULT TO GET
PEOPLE ENGAGED.
THE MEDIA PLAYS A BIG PART OF
THAT.
YOU KNOW, MOST PEOPLE HAVE NO
CLUE WHAT A TRUSTEE IS.
AND THEY ARE IN THE NEWS FOR THE
WRONG REASONS, RIGHT?
SO NOW PEOPLE ARE GOING TO
PROBABLY SAY, OH, I WOULDN'T
WANT TO... I WOULDN'T WANT TO
GET INVOLVED WITH... WHO KNOWS?
IT COULD BE A GOOD THING THAT
THEY'RE IN THE MEDIA FOR THE
WRONG REASONS AND MAYBE PEOPLE
ARE GOING TO GET MORE MOTIVATED
TO SAY I'M GOING TO GET OUT
THERE AND VOTE.

The caption changes to "Producer: Mark Brosens, @MarkBrosens. Producer: Steve Paikin, @spaikin."

Steve says WE DON'T KNOW HOW
DEEPLY THE PROVINCIAL GOVERNMENT
IS MULLING ELIMINATING TRUSTEES
ALL TOGETHER, BUT WE THANK YOU
FOR COMING IN AND HELPING US
UNDERSTAND THE DEBATE AT FOOT.
THAT'S MADDIE DI MUCCIO AND
HOWARD GOODMAN.
THANKS YOU TWO.

Howard says THANK YOU MADDIE.

Maddie says THANK YOU.

Watch: School Board Trustee Troubles