Daphne Bramham: Dysfunctional B.C. local governments driving both financial and democratic deficits
Prince George’s school district has been in turmoil for close to a decade due in part to what an incendiary 2021 report by independent assessors concluded was “a lack of consistent and effective governance at all levels.”
A revolving door of administrators is among the consequences of having no clearly articulated difference between the roles played by elected leaders and paid managers.
Seven superintendents have cycled through in seven years, costing the district hundreds of thousands of dollars in severance and settlements. Since 2016-17, annual salary costs for professional staff — superintendents, their deputies, assistants and other managers — have risen from less than $4 million to nearly $8 million in 2021-22.
To get an idea of what even one settlement costs, the most recently reported severance was $296,510 paid in 2020 to assistant superintendent Nevio Rossi. And it’s far from the last.
The seventh superintendent left earlier this month. Her predecessor is suing the district for breach of contract, for intentional interference with contractual relations by two named trustees, and for and special, aggravate and punitive damages. Both earned close to $210,000 in 2021-22.
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