New Westside school trustee boundaries coming

There will be a new system of voting for Westside school trustees this year and one person has already thrown her hat in the ring.

Long-time trustee Moyra Baxter says she plans to run in a new trustee position which would be responsible for Peachland and the rural areas considered within the Central Okanagan Regional District but outside the District of West Kelowna’s borders—Fintry, Trépanier and the Westbank First Nation land among them.

The Westside would thus have one trustee covering the District of West Kelowna and one covering Peachland, the WFN lands and rural Westside.

“This isn’t unique,” said Baxter, who was instrumental in defining the new electoral boundaries. “There’s a trustee down in Okanagan-Skaha with a similar territory.”

The change means trustees will have a specific person allocated to service their area and a specific person to call to deal with issues.

Baxter was the only returning school trustee to state publicly this week that she is making a run for a seat on the board of education, though trustees Gail Given and Jeff Watson confirmed they would be moving on to other ventures.

Given is throwing her hat in the ring for city council, saying, she’s ready for the new challenge. Her husband, Brian Given, served on city council for a decade before passing away two years ago this month. Given has served one term on the board of education.

“It’s something I’ve felt a calling to do,” she said, noting she was getting dressed to pick up her council package Thursday morning.

For his part, Watson has decided to step away from public office to spend more time on his day job and with his four children. The trustee position was simply more work than he had anticipated, he said. He’s hoping to use the extra time to reconnect with his children.

Board chairman Rolli Cacchioni, meanwhile, has not decided whether he will run. Wayne Horning, Gail Scanlan and Anna Hunt-Binkley could not be reached by press deadline for comment.


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