School board trustee race heats up in Windsor
Published Friday, September 14, 2018 5:22PM EDT
Last Updated Monday, October 1, 2018 2:15PM EDT
The push for a trustee seat at the Greater Essex County District School Board is proving to be more of a fight than maybe first thought.
Wards 5, 6, 7 and 8 candidate Laurie Komon is calling out sitting trustee Gale Simko-Hatfield, arguing her attendance and voting record is so poor -- she should step back from the race altogether.
“You need to have a strong voice at the table and give me the opportunity to be that strong voice,” says Komon.
Komon argues Simko-Hatfield has used conflict of interest too often to avoid votes over her time on the board and attacks Simko-Hatfield's attendance record.
“On these points, of being absent, of not being able to vote and calling into meetings three to five times a year, and this is not just this last term, we can go back two terms and longer that this has been going on… and so I challenge Ms. Hatfield to please withdraw from this election.”
But the meeting minutes of the 2017-18 school year shows Simko-Hatfield attended every meeting, three of them phone.
Simko-Hatfield tells CTV News she was taken aback by the personal attack.
“I was very surprised,” admits Simko-Hatfield. “I've never seen that kind of tactic before in a school board election.”
Komon suggests the incumbent abuses the ability to tele-conference into board meetings.
However, Simko-Hatfield says several trustees use the feature.
She points out at least three other trustees used it last year, and she adds it helps people balance out their responsibilities, both to family and to work.
“I think teleconferencing allows trustees to fully participate as if you're in the room,” says Simko-Hatfield. “There are no barriers to participation, and it allows you to remain current on what's happening.”
Simko-Hatfield tells CTV News she will not resign, and intends to seek another term after first being elected in 1991.
Municipal Election day is October 22.