No pre-exposure for Chilliwack school district’s meeting agendas

A motion to make meeting agendas for Chilliwack school board public before meetings again fails.

Chilliwack school district will continue to be tight lipped with its meeting agendas, despite one trustee’s opposition.

Trustee Heather Maahs put forth a last-minute motion on Tuesday to make meeting agendas public at the same time as trustees receive them.

Typically trustees receive the package on the Friday before a meeting.

“It’s a public meeting and should give the public ample opportunity to read what will be discussed,” Maahs said after the meeting. “Besides, that’s the way we’ve always done it until about four or five weeks ago.”

Last month, with no advance warning, the district stopped posting agendas online the Friday before meetings.

After initial public backlash, a condensed version of the agenda, with hardly any content, was emailed out to select groups in advance of the meeting.

Maahs said she’s heard from several members in the community upset with the decision.

But superintendent Michael Audet said the information in agenda packages should go to trustees first before the public starts talking about the information inside them.

“Trustees have made it very clear to us that they would like as much information prior to the meeting as possible to give them time to read through the information and think about the information provided before the board meeting,” Audet told The Progress in April.

However, that was not the message displayed at Tuesday’s meeting.

Along with Maahs, trustees Silvia Dyck and Martha Wiens voted in favour of making the agendas public again.

But because trustees Louise Piper, Doug McKay and Walt Krahn voted against the motion, and trustee Barry Neufeld abstained from voting, the motion did not pass.