An open letter to our school trustees

Dear Editor:

In response to last week’s articles covering the proposed Puntledge closure and the school district’s budget issues, I have framed this as an open letter.

Gloom has prevailed since Supt. Demeo’s “recommendation” to close Puntledge led the public to think the deal is done.  But that decision rests with you, our seven trustees on March 15, and I don’t envy your chair.  Closing a school is a painfully short-sighted stopgap which will create more financial problems than it solves. And Demeo’s rejection of viable options (like moving NIDES into Lake Trail to preserve its amenities) demands an explanation. If a backroom land deal was waiting in the wings and you didn’t act to safeguard our childrens’ futures, that would be unforgivable.

Plus, our top admin positions aren’t “forever jobs” with pay increases for eternity!  While headcounts declined over a decade, admin salaries kept rising to an average of $100K plus $25K in benefits.  Elwood came in as Supt. at $125K, leaving with $155K or greater.  But anyone can be given notice, and padding our district with high-end positions isn’t normal, it’s negligent.

There’s fear that losing Puntledge will destabilize our neighbourhood.  There’s anger at the lack of leadership and at those who think reducing services year after year won’t affect their lives. But the community has raised valuable alternatives. Over four months, Keep Puntledge at Puntledge parents gathered 1,600 signatures, made videos (7,000 views), wrote letters, postcards and a website ( and above all, crunched numbers. We urge you to act for our future growth, and we encourage the public to say as much at our Town Hall at Puntledge on March 8.

Small districts like ours are in a battle for their lives, and need win-win solutions to resist the vendetta against public education. You, the trustees, have the power to get us out of this mess.  You must put your heads together in wiseness and fairness, and make yourselves heroes for educational justice.

Dan Vie



Just Posted

Summer seasonal farmers’ markets now open in the Comox Valley

Downtown Courtenay and Cumberland hosting outdoor markets

North Island College issues brief statement on bomb threat

Threat forced college to close all campuses for one day

Injured humpback whale spotted near Comox

Fresh gash on juvenile possibly caused by boat prop

France doubles up Croatia 4-2 to win World Cup

Played in Moscow Russia, latest Fifa World Cup marks the highest scoring final since 1966

Greenwood Trunk sewer line construction continues

Work on Ryan Road portion of project Monday

Activists protest outside Kinder Morgan terminal in kayaks, canoes

Tsleil-Waututh elder Ta’ah Amy George led the water ceremony from a traditional Coast Salish canoe

Canadian soccer fans brace for World Cup final between France, Croatia

First ever final for the Croatians, while it’s France’s third, going into match as betting favourite

B.C. Lions claw their way back to score 20-17 victory over Winnipeg Blue Bombers

The Bombers, who beat the Lions 41-19 last week in Edmonton, fell to 2-3 with the loss

High winds, lack of rain suggest no breaks in sight for B.C. wildfire season

There were 11 new wildfires across the province over 24 hours, BC Wildfire Service officials say

Former B.C. flight attendant protests sexual harassment outside YVR, asked to leave

Mandalena Lewis said she was handing out pamphlets outside YVR terminal when asked to leave

Belgium finishes 3rd at World Cup, beats England 2-0

France and Croatia will play in the final on Sunday at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow

Masterchef Canada winner opens catering company in B.C.

19-year-old Masterchef Canada winner Beccy Stables has moved to the Okanagan.

Most Read