Two WSD trustees not in the club


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Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/09/2015 (2820 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.

As dysfunctional as the ongoing Mike Babinsky saga makes Winnipeg School Division’s board of trustees, it’s also clear that the other seven trustees have frozen out Cathy Collins.

She was the finance chair not so long ago, and along with Babinsky and board chair Mark Wasyliw, Collins is one of only three veterans among the nine trustees. And she’s a member of the NDP majority, too.

Monday night, the board shut Collins out of any significant committee chair’s role. Wasyliw is chair, Sherri Rollins vice-chair, Chris Broughton has finance, Lisa Naylor the pivotal committee handling policy and program, Allan Beach chairs building and transportation, Dean Koshelanyk gets communications. I haven’t asked, but I suspect Kevin Freedman would have been given much more responsibility had he and his wife not just had their first child.

Collins had publicly lashed out at Wasyliw and Rollins late last winter for their handling of the budget, which drew the attention of Prof. John Wiens when he was ripping the board up, down, sideways, and inside out in his review of its governance problems. Whoops, almost forgot to say ‘scathing’ review.

Then came her arrogant, rude, and condescending humiliation of Broughton at a board meeting this summer. Obviously prepared, Collins pulled out a huge dictionary, and berated Broughton at length for his incorrect use of the word ‘fulsome’.

Monday night, there was to be closed-door discussion of a matter involving trustee code of conduct, but Collins said it was about her, and moved it into open public session.

Collins issued one of those statements that couldn’t possibly be called an apology, when people who’ve made quite the public blunder feel compelled to say something, even if they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong and don’t have a clue why anyone is offended.

Collins said she had not been attacking any individual.

“There seemed to be some confusion — I meant no offence,” she told the board. “As educated people, we need to be conversant with the meanings of the words we use.”

Collins may want to haul out that enormous dictionary again and look up the word ‘contrite’.

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