There will definitely be changes on the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows school board this year, as two veteran trustees, Sarah Nelson and Kathy Marshall, will not be running again.
Of course all seven seats will be contested, but it has proven historically difficult to unseat an incumbent. Knowing that, trustee Ken Clarkson, a former board chairman, has joined a team of trustees, with three newcomers, to create a slate – a rarity in local politics.
Two seats at the board table are in Pitt Meadows, and there are four women contesting them. Eleanor Palis, the current vice-chair of the board, is the one incumbent. Marcela Boggio, Korleen Carreras and Allie Taylor will also vie for a spot on the board.
In the last election, Nelson and Palis were both acclaimed.
There will be 12 candidates running for the five seats representing Maple Ridge.
The four incumbents are Susan Carr, Clarkson, board chair Mike Murray and David Rempel.
The newcomers include Lisa Beare, Gary Cleave – who is also running for Mayor of Maple Ridge, Cherie Delainey, Nina Fowell, David Isaac, Nancy Nagy, James Rowley and Elizabeth Taylor.
Clarkson issued a press release on Friday with Carreras, Beare and Delainey announcing that they will be running as a team – preferring not to call it a slate.
One of the major issues that trustees face is the budget, as inflationary cost increases coupled with falling enrollment have led to funding shortfalls. The board has been forced to cut some $5 million from its budget in each of the past two years.