The Upper Canada District School Board
Future Success or Failure?
Is there any organization today that can operate with lies, dishonesty and unprofessionalism? Long lists of dishonesty in business include Enron, Worldcom, Nortel, many Banks and others. When out of touch executives fail to have values of honesty and professionalism, failure is likely to result unless someone holds these executives accountable.
During the Upper Canada District School Board inaugural meeting on December 1, 2010 in Brockville, ON, the School Trustee meeting was webcasted live and is found at www.ucdsb.on.ca (Starts at 9:45)and click on Monthly Board Meeting Webcast. The School Trustees produced another disgraceful example of unprofessionalism which rival the discredited executives. Demonstrated in the webcast, are examples of dishonesty and unprofessionalism that appears to be systemic. It appears to be so systemic, School Board Trustees, they are unable tell each other the truth, never mind their constituents.
According to Director of Education David Thomas, one School Trustee was absent because of family illness and was needed at home to provide care. Of course, family is important and to ensure the School Trustee could participate in the meeting, a telephone call was made.
Unfortunately, the telephone call interrupted a party and celebration at the School Trustees house. Sounding intoxicated and annoyed for being disturbed during the party and celebration, the School Trustee displayed great skills and delivered a toast to his party guests. All recorded live on the internet and the only thing that drowned out the party was the continuous thumping sounds of individual Trustee jaws striking the table.
The School Board Values which include Responsibility, Honesty, Respect and the opposite was demonstrated by this School Trustee. Trust and professionalism is needed for a position of such importance and responsibility. To demonstrate honesty, respect and transparency, the School Board Trustees need to implement a rapid change of culture. They need to demonstrate this new direction by treating dishonesty like the courts have treated dishonest executives of failed organizations.
The Upper Canada District School Board is one of the largest businesses in Eastern Ontario that is overseen by the School Trustees. The School Board operates an annual budget of $335 million, has approximately 28,000 students and 5,000 employees in over 100 facilities. For many years, the School Board has made decisions that have had significant effects. Many individuals feel the School Board fails to listen to concerns and is at times dishonest and misleading. The recent example of dishonesty, unprofessionalism and sense of entitlement demonstrated by a School Trustee has to end immediately. The issues facing the School Boards today include school closures, staff reductions, service reductions, declining enrolment and budget pressures. These issues require complete trust by the public which has been eroded.
Using the examples of Enron, Worldcom, Nortel and other failed business due to dishonest executives, will the Upper Canada District School Board travel down the same road of failure; or will they immediately forge a culture of honesty and respect and travel down the road for success?
For the sake of our youth and future society, the School Board needs to learn from their mistakes of the past to chart a future of honesty, respect and transparency while delivering an effective education program at the lowest possible cost. Success must be the answer and waiting four years is a failure no one can afford.
Concerned parent/taxpayer of 2 children enrolled with the Upper Canada District School Board.
(Comments and opinions of Editorials, Letters to the Editor, and comments from readers are purely their own and don’t necessarily reflect those of the owners of the Cornwall Free News, their staff, or sponsors.)
I think this letter is ineffective. All you told me concretely is that one guy pulled hookey to do something that was way more fun than his job. Not by any means an act that has not been done before by everyone. Although, not professional (because he got caught) is by no means a sign that he does a bad job when he is present. This certainly does not compare to corrupt executives.
Where’s the smoking gun? What real evidence do you have to support such claims? (I’m not saying that what you say is FALSE, just that this letter is shift and proves nothing other than your bitterness)
And there’s nothing for a taxpayer or parent of a school age child to be bitter about?
Low, self-serving, backslapping politicians are a disgrace, and a finger right in the eye of the public, and children they are supposed to serve.
If the allegations are true… I think a tinge of bitterness can be overlooked.
Sour grapes by a defeated candidate. Trustee Buckland has served the community admirably for many years, so what if he lets his hair down the odd time. There was NOTHING in the video that disgraced the UCDSB, all trustees visible in the webcast conducted themselves in a professional manner, certainly nothing to be ashamed of. It was simply a case of poor timing, the only one that he may have lied to was the Director over the “family illness” excuse.Not the first guy to do it and certainly won’t be the last.
I don’t know…
If the trustee in question IS Mr Buckland, as I’ve concluded based on the comments, I believe Mr Nuttley has reason to be upset. He ran a good campaign based on righteous indignation at the status quo and the willingness to make changes to a flawed system. And the voters responded by turning to a career politician (I have nothing against Mr Buckland, either personally or politically, but listening to any of his speeches leaves you with the impression of a master of political double-speak). Mr Buckland thanks the consituents who have elected him for decades by missing a meeting in order to get sloshed and lying about it.
I’d be upset to if I were Mr Nuttley.
If you watch the video, there was ONE trustee absent , that SAME trustee connecting by phone. The moderator asked for him by name, so I would guess that it WAS the trustee in question, either that or a convincing imposter.I fail to see any issue here, the business at hand was not negated by his actions and the board of trustees conducted a well run meeting in electing their executive officers that evening.
And does a trustee get paid for such an evening as well?
This would be a poor, poor example of ethics for young people, and disregard of duty to electors. What with the short shrift given, to residents, taxpayers, and children by: fibbing, in effect skipping work to toast the Haggis, declare it a bother to listening to fellow members, then a casual e-mailed vote, …was it sent before the speakers even finished?
On sic a politician, I tak a scornfu’ view, wi’ perfect scunner.
Maybe impeaching such a boob, would set the board straight.