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DPAC considers calling for district to replace secretary treasurer

A resolution calling for the replacement of New Westminster secretary treasurer Brian Sommerfeldt is being circulated by the district parent advisory council (DPAC) to its members for discussion.

DPAC interim chair Wendy Harris confirmed the motion was brought forward by the McBride elementary PAC at its monthly meeting Monday “in a spirit of accountability” in light of the school board facing a projected $2.2 million deficit for the 2012-13 school year on top of an accumulated $2.8 million deficit for 2011-12.

Harris pointed out with the board of education having to deal with the prospect of a deficit on the current budget, as well as last year’s budget and future budgets, the district has had five deficits in 10 years.

She noted the board, at Tuesday’s meeting, was considering drastically reducing May Day funds and field trips to help reduce the deficit.

“Where is it going to end?” said Harris. “This is just the tip of the iceberg.”

Board chair Michael Ewen refused to comment on the DPAC motion.

“My only response is the district parent advisory council needs to look and find out what their role is,” said an irritated Ewen.

Sommerfeldt was hired in 2009 to replace Doug Wong, who was demoted to assistant secretary treasurer in January of that year following an $890,000 deficit in for 2008-09. The district did not renew Wong’s contract when it ended in October 2009.

Before joining New Westminster he had been working in Langley, which had an $8 million deficit in 2008-09.

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