Supervisor takes over Peel school board finances

A provincially appointed supervisor has told Peel Catholic school board trustees he's taking full control of the board's financial affairs because of the trustees' continued defiance.

A provincially appointed supervisor has told Peel Catholic school board trustees he's taking full control of the board's financial affairs because of the trustees' continued defiance.

The Ontario government sent Norbert Hartmann in as part of a so-called "co-management team" to work withtrustees to balancethe Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board's $660-million annual operating budget.

When Hartmann presented his plan last week to cut the board's remaining $7.5-million deficit and produce a budget surplus by 2008-2009, the 11 trustees unanimously rejected it.

On Monday,Hartmann announced that his conciliation efforts were over and he was seizing control of theboard's books.

Board chair Bruno Ianicca said he was disappointed in Hartmann's move, but doesn't regret the trustees' decision to reject the supervisor'sproposal.

"Sometimes you have stand up to what you believe in and we believe that the cuts that Mr. Hartmann had wanted us to participate in were going to hurt kids," Ianicca said. "And at the end of the day, that was what swayed the minds of trustees."

Hartmann's proposal included no spending cuts for this year, but that they be phased in over the next two years.

Proposed measures include reducing the numbers of buses, secretarial staff, special education teachers and some optional programs.

One of the largest Catholic school boards in the province, Dufferin-Peel has 89,000 students attending 141 schools in areas including Brampton, Caledon and Mississauga.