Corkscrew Calamity at School Board Meeting, $5,000 “slush” fund established for Chair

by Jack Locke

In life there are warning signs.

First, the security guard at the English Montreal School Board almost refused me admission into the building. Only through persistence did I get my foot in the door.

Then the board’s behind-closed-doors session ran late.

The delectable tray of goodies being rolled into the elevator was rolled past my nose without any being offered to us slovenly attired guests. They were for school board commissioners to dine on—albeit quickly—as the in-camera session ran 45 minutes late.

Then there was the corkscrew.

Once again, evidence that our faithful public servants were glugging down grape on the public purse strings.

$5,000 “slush fund” established for Chair Angela Mancini

The meeting’s pièce de résistance came at 11:20 PM on a resolution to provide the chair with a $5,000, undefined, contingency fund. It goes beyond the Chair’s existing expense account. See the video HERE at the 3:09:45 mark.

Board Commissioner Julien Feldman was ordered to leave council chambers after he called it a slush fund and refused to leave the chambers when approached by the heretofore mentioned security guard. The resolution passed after the Chair officially shunned Feldman, though he remained in his seat.

Back to the corkscrew. Minutes after the employee carted up the treats, she reappeared, and exited the same elevator with a corkscrew in hand. A corkscrew!

Could it have been for bottled water? Nope. Could it have been for picking lint off the munchies? Not likely.

As confirmed at last month’s meeting, various board members drink wine between the in-camera session and the open to the public portion of the meeting. (CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO)

And a few drops of Chateau School Board 2014 may have been the precipitating factor when the board erupted in bickering over whether the board’s audit committee should add a fourth member. Numerous parents committee members had noted that at the previous meeting it had been agreed that one member of the parents group would sit on the audit committee. It was voted upon and passed.

When Commissioner James Kromida suggested parent commissioners ought not be on the audit committee, as this committee was reserved for “elected” members, that’s when all Hell broke loose. The meeting collapsed into impassioned speeches about who offended who, who are the real commissioners, and whether a parent commissioner who performs audit work for the federal government might sit on the audit committee.

It just goes to show what happens when people have to drink their wine in a hurry.

I call it the corkscrew calamity.

CLICK HERE If you wish to vote in The Lockeblog Poll:  Should school board trustees drink wine during their meeting?



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