Restor­ing trust Aspin’s top pri­or­ity

Jay aspin ac­claimed chair­man of the Near North district school board


Newly ac­claimed chair­man Jay aspin didn’t hold back any punches Tues­day in his open­ing re­marks at the in­au­gu­ral meet­ing of the new Near North district school board.

“make no mis­take about it, as many of us ar­tic­u­lated dur­ing the elec­tion, this will be a year of sig­nif­i­cant ref­or­ma­tion to re­gain the trust and rep­u­ta­tion the Near North district school board de­serves,” he said.

“We have many chal­lenges ahead, such as the om­buds­man’s re­port, ele­men­tary and sec­ondary ac­com­mo­da­tion in North bay and Parry sound, a con­tem­po­rary gover­nance model, a multi-year plan, sec­ondary pro­gram­ming and cul­ture trans­for­ma­tion to en­sure ac­count­abil­ity, trans­parency and open com­mu­ni­ca­tions.”

With so many chal­lenges ahead, aspin said it’s his view that trustees need to “roll up their sleeves and hit the ground run­ning.

“To that end, I am propos­ing a spe­cial meet­ing of the board this month to quickly sort out our pri­or­i­ties.”

The meet­ing is sched­uled for dec. 10.

“We have so much on our plate and we’re go­ing to need to sort it out. We’ll do it in a col­lec­tive man­ner and de­cide which items need im­me­di­ate pri­or­ity com­pared to the longer term items,” he said.

aspin said the ob­jec­tive for the first year is to re-es­tab­lish­ing the board’s rep­u­ta­tion.

“It’s go­ing to be very dif­fi­cult and take a lot of hard work. When you break trust, it takes a long time to get it back. It doesn’t hap­pen overnight,” he said.

aspin was ac­claimed as board chair­man. Trustee John cochrane was elected as vice-chair.

aspin served as a trustee on two sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions, as well as be­ing a mem­ber of North bay coun­cil.

re­cently he was Nipiss­ing­timiskam­ing mp, pres­i­dent of the Fed­er­a­tion of North­ern on­tario mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties (Fonom) and pres­i­dent of the North­ern on­tario school Trustees as­so­ci­a­tion (Nosta).

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