Janet Fraser not yet a shoo-in as next Vancouver school board chair

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      The newly elected school board of Vancouver will hold its first meeting on Monday (October 30) to pick a chairperson.

      Janet Fraser with the Green Party of Vancouver had indicated earlier to the Georgia Straight that she is interested in the job.

      Fraser topped the October 14 by-election for the board, and Vancouver voters placed her two Green colleagues Judy Zaichkowsky and Estrellita Gonzalez in second and third places, respectively.

      It seems natural that Fraser, who was vice-chair of the previous board, should serve as the next chair.

      However, it looks like Fraser has yet to win the endorsement of some of the other trustees to clinch the post.

      Allan Wong is one of three elected Vision Vancouver candidates who will join the new school board.

      Like Fraser and one of his elected Vision colleagues, Joy Alexander, Wong was part of the old board that was fired by province in 2016.

      When asked if he and Vision will support Fraser of the Greens, Wong said that he personally “wouldn’t mind” if either Fraser or Alexander of Vision will become the next chair.

      “I think they’re both calming people,” Wong told the Straight in a phone interview, referring to Fraser and Alexander.

      Wong, who was first elected in 1999 and has won every election since then, has the most number of years as trustee in the board.

      According to Wong, he is not interested in the position of chair.

      Wong said that he has told his Vision colleagues Alexander and Ken Clement that he will decline if he is nominated for the post of chair.

      Asked if he will nominate Alexander, Wong replied: “I haven’t fully thought of putting her. Maybe I’ll think I’ll ask her first”

      The Non-Partisan Association has two elected candidates, Fraser Ballantyne and Lisa Dominato.

      Fraser cannot count on the vote of Ballantyne, who said in an interview that he would rather support either of Fraser’s Green colleagues, Zaichkowsky and Gonzalez.

      Ballantyne was also a part of the previous board, and according to him, the incoming board can have a really fresh start if a newcomer is selected for chairperson.

      That’s why Ballantyne is going to nominate his NPA colleague and first-termer Dominato for the top position.

      “She’s a very sharp and able person,” Ballantyne told the Straight in a phone interview, referring to Dominato, a former B.C. Ministry of Education staff member and current chair of Kettle Society, a Vancouver nonprofit.

      Carrie Bercic with OneCity is the ninth trustee in the board, and she earlier told the Straight that she will support for chair the “most progressive voice that will put their name forward”.