Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Puzzled by TCDSB results

Given what the current term has produced, I was wholeheartedly surprised at the trustee results for the Toronto Catholic District School Board. Catholic voters in T.O. returned a surprisingly high number of incumbents to this board, neutered partway into this term when it refused to pass a balanced budget. That refusal spawned a series of conflict-of-interest court cases, which removed two trustees from office and embroiled at least one more trustee. One of the trustees, booted from office this summer by the court but allowed to keep her candidacy, was reelected to the board.
The T.O. media take? I thought the Toronto Sun's Moira MacDonald had the best take.
Toronto Catholic school board voters chose name recognition and old loyalties over a clean slate, returning six out of eight incumbents running for re-election at the scandal-plagued school board.
“It looks like the Catholic voters of Toronto are in a forgiving mood,” said Robert Dixon, a member of Catholics United for a Responsible Ballot.
The group had worked during the election campaign to get Catholics out to vote and deliver a clean slate at the board.
“As far as CURB is concerned, we’ll certainly be watching them and holding them to account.”
Six incumbents were returned: Angela Kennedy (Ward 11) who was dispatched from her seat by a judge in August in a conflict-of-interest case; Sal Piccininni (Ward 3) who had the highest expense spending of any trustee in a provincially ordered audit, Ann Andrachuk (Ward 2), John Del Grande (Ward 7), Barbara Poplawski (Ward 10) recently exonerated in a conflict-of-interest case, and Maria Rizzo (Ward 5). Apart from Rizzo — who faced a tough fight from Paul Oulahen — all won handily.
Two incumbents went down: Joseph Martino (Ward 1) and Catherine LeBlanc-Miller (Ward 9), the former board chairman who, while admitting she had not been blameless in the board’s problems, had also asked the provincial government and the police to get to the bottom of trustee expense misdeeds. 
The Globe and Mail and the Star also had their takes, but they were smaller in print and largely overshadowed by the municipal coverage. I liked the play, though well back into the paper, the Sun gave MacDonald-- but that's my bias that school board results should get almost-equivalent