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WCDSB vacant trustee seat remains empty, WRDSB going ahead with two appointments

While Waterloo region's catholic school board still doesn't know how it will fill its empty trustee seat, the region's public school board is going ahead with an appointment process for its two empty seats.

It was a night of indecision at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCSDB) trustee meeting, as trustees went back and forth trying to find the best approach to fill a vacant seat.

The board is looking to fill the seat of former trustee Wendy Ashby, who resigned last week following several calls for her to vacate the publicly elected position after a series of controversial now-deleted tweets were shared online.

On Monday night, trustees decided not to have a by-election to fill the seat, but still haven't figured out how to appoint someone.

“I do think choosing a candidate that Kitchener-Wilmot voters had voted for, as the next in line, is the most democratic for me,” chair Tracy Weiler said.

Some trustees expressed confusion over how to proceed with filling the seat for the remaining three years of the term, and whether runners-up from the actual election last fall could be automatically considered.

After voting down the idea of a by-election, trustees discussed a number of appointment options, but never made a decision.

"We shouldn't be trying to say, what were the Kitchener electorate trying to get out of their candidate? Or the Cambridge electorate, or anyone else?," trustee Linda Cuff asked the room. "This is, simply put, who do we feel will be the best for this job, and who do we feel will actually provide the commitment for it.”

Trustees have opted to delay the process and get a legal opinion on what the next steps should be.

WRDSB going ahead with appointment process for two vacant seats

Meanwhile, at the Waterloo Region District School Board trustee meeting, a long debate led to them going ahead with their appointment process to fill their two vacant seats.

Back on May 16, trustees voted in favour of filling their vacant seats by appointment following the passing of Fred Meissner and the resignation of Marie Snyder.

An ad hoc committee formed to create the appointment process, which trustees debated at their Monday night meeting.

"There's not one place in this process where we are actually including the people of Wellesley and Woolwich or Waterloo and Wilmot," said trustee Cindy Watson.

The reccomended process has people applying online for the positions, trustees hearing from a short list of candidates, and then deciding on two.

"We could potentially appoint someone who got zero votes because they were not on the ballot," said trustee Mike Ramsay.

Some trustees argued at the meeting tha tthey would like to see runners-up from the election last fall appointed instead.

"The candidates who did not win, did not win for many reasons, the people spoke," said trustee Carla Johnson. "To simply give them the job would simply undo and undermine the voices of the many people who turned out and voted in the fall."

The appointment proccess reccomended by the committee suggests a posting for the position will go live Wednesday, with trustees set to vote on the candidates June 28.

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