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School board trustee steps down, byelection to be held to fill seat

The Flin Flon School Division (FFSD) board of trustees is now one member short - and will seek to fill that one remaining spot through an upcoming local byelection.
Flin Flon School Division board trustees and administrators sit at the board's first meeting Nov. 8. The board includes Jackie Hucaluk, Coralie Jays, Tyler Kittle, secretary-treasurer Heather Fleming, board chair Leslie Fernandes, superintendent Tammy Ballantyne, now-former school board trustee Jed Reeves, Angela Simpson and Tim Davis.

The Flin Flon School Division (FFSD) board of trustees is now one member short - and will seek to fill that one remaining spot through an upcoming local byelection.

Trustee Jed Reeves, who was appointed to the board last year, has stepped down from the board, effective as of their first meeting for the upcoming school year, held August 29. Reeves, along with trustee Tyler Kittle, were both selected to fill two empty spots on the board last year after not enough candidates ran in the election for the division’s board. All candidates who put their names forward in the initial request for trustees - Tim Davis, Leslie Fernandes, Jackie Hucaluk, Coralie Jays and Angie Simpson - were acclaimed to the board, while the board and senior FFSD staff sought to select two more people.

“I would like to note that we’ve accepted the resignation of trustee Reeves - we wish him luck,” said trustee Fernandes, the board’s latest chair.

“That however means that the board has a vacant seat, so we are now in the process of organizing a byelection, so please consider running for school trustee and feel free to ask any of us questions about it.”

While Reeves was appointed, not elected, provincial statutes say a replacement for him has to be elected by a public vote.

“It’s new to us too, but it can’t be an appointment,” said Fernandes.

“We have to run a full byelection, so we’re trying to figure that out right now - some time within the next month or two?”

When asked about when a possible election for Reeves’ spot would be held, trustees said the upcoming Manitoba provincial election might restrict when they may or may not be able to hold the local vote.

“It’s my understanding, and I’ve talked with the MLA [Tom Lindsey], was that you can’t have the byelection at the same time as the provincial election because that could create confusion - they’re not amalgamated,” said trustee Simpson.

“It would have to be a separate vote.”

“It’s a learning process - we’ve never had to do this before,” said secretary-treasurer Heather Fleming.

“I’d love to have the same turnout for a school board election as the provincial election,” said Fernandes.

Prospective candidates would have to pick up nomination papers and get the names of 25 possible supporters, then file officially as a candidate. Packages with information will be able to be picked up at the FFSD office, but are not yet available. A date for the byelection will be set and announced in the near future.

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