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

Courtenay getting a tool library

New facility allows do-it-yourselfers to borrow tools

Valley Father-daughter duo share a special bond over a kidney

Annual kidney walk is set for Sept. 23 at Simms Park

Pacific white-sided dolphins spotted near Little River Ferry Terminal

A pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins spent the evening of Sept. 13… Continue reading

Comox Valley Men’s Group meets Mondays

Where can men go when they are seeking a non-judgmental forum to… Continue reading

WATCH: Terry Fox Run participants honour loved ones, support cancer research

Over 100 people participated in the Comox Valley Run

‘Fire tornado’ erupts as firefighters battle interior B.C. wildfire

Firefighters near Vanderhoof were taken by surprise

‘Game of Thrones,’ ‘Mrs. Maisel’ triumph at Emmys

In a ceremony that started out congratulating TV academy voters for the most historically diverse field of nominees yet, the early awards all went solely to whites.

Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang for potentially tough talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in began his third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday.

Russia blames Israel for plane shot down by Syrian missile

A Russian reconnaissance aircraft was brought down over the Mediterranean Sea as it was returning to its home base inside Syria, killing all 15 people on board.

Vancouver park board passes motion to learn Indigenous place names

The name of Vancouver’s Stanley Park is now up for debate as the city’s park board confronts its colonial past and pursues reconciliation.

Champ golfer from Spain killed in Iowa; suspect charged

Police said Celia Barquin Arozamena was found dead Monday morning at Coldwater Golf Links in Ames, about 30 miles north of Des Moines.

Arzeena Hamir running for election in Comox Valley Regional District Area B

Land, water and community: these are the three pillars that local organic… Continue reading

Trudeau upset after meeting with Saskatchewan chiefs

Trudeau is upset about how time was managed in a recent meeting

Abdelrazik torture lawsuit delay would be unconscionable: lawyer

The federal government is making a last-minute plea to delay the Federal Court hearing

Most Read