Milton Mahoney is one of five candidates running in Prince George in the School District 57 byelection, happening on Jan. 15.
The Citizen asked each candidate running in the election to answer the following five questions:
Q: What skills, experience and knowledge do you bring to the table from your professional, volunteer and personal background?
A: My skills, knowledge, experience can be wrapped up to over 70 years of life. When one should be enjoying their senior years, here I am wanting to help to correct a dysfunctional school board. Over 60 years in the workforce I have held positions in unions from president to legislative representative, have held management positions and I started as a laborer. In addition, I have had training in investigation, judication, and legislation to name three. I am a red sealed tradesman with an instructor’s certificate, I had a non advertised company that helped other companies and industry to resolve issues whether personal or safety related. I have developed a safety educational program for the students, concerning rail safety, that was implemented from Prince George to Prince Rupert. And developed an emergency evacuation plan for various companies. Also I developed a federal mandated exercise concerning a terrorism attack against the rail industry.
Q: What do you think the most important issue facing School District 57 is, and what would you like to do about it?
A: School District 57 has lost its way. It has turned into a dictatorial body, afraid to push back. They quit listening to all concerned groups such as the parent advisory council. They have forgotten who they work for, who happen to be the same people that elected them. They have also lost transparency. It is not that difficult to resolve, it will take dedication and a willingness to put the students first.
Q: Do you support a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine mandate for school district teachers and staff? Why or why not?
A: Personally, I believe there are so many changing reports concerning COVID-19 it`s hard to know what to do. I got vaccinated but that was my choice. Again there is growing mistrust about what the government is imposing. The school districts cannot make that decision. That decision is at the provincial level and passed down to the districts to avoid dealing with the Charter of Rights issues that may occur.
Q: Do you support the creation of two additional, dedicated trustee positions for the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and McLeod Lake Indian Band? Why or why not?
A: To create two additional seats on the board just for First Nations I am not totally against. But without consultation, including the general public, would cause more division in the community that the education minister has caused. There again that decision would have to be at the provincial level of government.
Q: Why are you the best person for the job of school board trustee?
A: I want the school district to stand up and push back. My sole reason to become a trustee is to raise the bar to a level that all students have to work hard to achieve. Have the special needs teachers and support staff to help every student to achieve their highest ability. All parents want their children to succeed and to be proud of themselves, and their culture. I want to work with all stakeholders and accomplish this goal. Also it’s personal, I had a learning disability. One teacher midway through high school understood my problem. Through his hard work I went from barely passing and in trouble to mostly As by graduation.