Stacy Robertson: Just an ordinary average guy running for school board

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      Borrowing from rock legend Joe Walsh, I am just an ordinary, average guy who happens to be running for Vancouver school board trustee for the NPA.

      I am fortunate to have two extraordinary kids and a wonderful wife and reside in the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood in Vancouver. My oldest daughter started full day kindergarten recently and I decided to step off of the sidelines and see if I could actually make a difference.

      The term “common sense” has become a loaded term and I have even heard it described as a neo-conservative rallying cry. I sure hope no one owns the notion of common sense because the whole idea is that it is common not exclusive or absolute and is generally understood to mean that most people would agree with the sentiment.

      Common sense for me means cutting through red tape and finding solutions rather than finding more problems. There may be reasons why seemingly reasonable actions can’t be taken but my goal is to find a way to say we can instead of we can’t.

      Good decisions have consequences but so do bad decisions or no decision at all. This cannot be a barrier to dealing with problems affecting the school board or city government.

      There are issues of oversupply and undersupply in different areas of Vancouver facing the Vancouver school board. I support working with government and private interests to develop more adaptable school spaces in growing communities such as Yaletown, downtown Vancouver, or Oakridge.

      These areas need room to prosper, as growing demand for school space increases, but need to be flexible enough to be used in some other manner until they are required for classroom space. The old model of ranch-style schoolhouses may not be appropriate for a green city like Vancouver in 2011 and beyond.

      For schools where there is undersupply, the space needs to be used in some manner to keep schools economically viable. The comptroller general noted this concern in her report from June 2010.

      As a parent with two extraordinary kids, I can attest to the grave difficulty in finding adequate daycare space for my preschool children. My oldest has just started kindergarten and I’ve noticed there is a lack of before-school and after-school care at many locations.

      There are many daycare providers operating in shopping malls and other commercial outlets, when maximizing kid friendly spaces at undersupplied schools for daycare programs or other community programs makes common sense.

      There will be many who read this and provide the comment pages of this paper with mountains of reasons why these ideas can’t work or why I am naïve to think that a simple solution might work. Sometimes it just takes an ordinary average guy to say yes it can.

      On November 19, 2011 vote for Stacy Robertson for Vancouver school board trustee, just an ordinary average guy with common sense.

      Stacy Robertson is a Non-Partisan Association candidate for the Vancouver school board.