by Dave Preston
Moyra Baxter has been Peachland’s trustee on the board of education for 15 years and though she says the job is demanding, she wants to keep going.
Up until this year, Peachland has had its own trustee. New boundaries mean Peachland will be combined with regional district areas on the Westside and Westbank First Nation.
“It is a lot of work,” said Baxter. “If you have the time to put the effort in, it’s very time consuming.”
A trustee from West Kelowna or Peachland has to give more of a commitment to the job because the board office is in Kelowna and that means more travel time, according to Baxter.
The long time trustee said she has been emphasizing the work load of the job during her campaign because she’s not sure if her two rivals are aware of just how much work is involved.
“I haven’t seem them at a board meeting or a committee meeting,” said Baxter. “They haven’t asked me any questions.”
Westside trustee Jeff Watson is not seeking re-election and Baxter said he made it clear the reason is because of the time commitment needed.
On top of board meetings and committee meetings, Baxter said trustees deal with questions and concerns from parents who may not know where to go to get help.
School Disrict #23 is a huge business, according to Baxter. It has nearly 3,000 employees and a budget of $180 million.
“We spend a lot of time at budget meetings,” Baxter said.
The new Westside boundaries should work out fine, according to Baxter, who added the realignment has made the number of people who vote for a trustee more equitable.
“It’s not going to make any difference to the amount of work,” she said.
The two Westside trustees divide up all the schools on the Westside, with one becoming the primary contact and the other the alternate contact, according to Baxter.
“I hope people look at my record,” said Baxter. “In 15 years, I’ve never missed one board meeting.”