Whose assets are your assets?
A Strathroy-Caradoc radio station had this piece about Adelaide-Metcalfe pols musing about being 'repayed' for the value of what they invested in Metcalfe Central, pegged for closure.
The township of Adelaide-Metcalfe feels they should be reimbursed these things once the school is officially sold. Milligan said the township sent a letter to the board over one month ago with no reply or return of an answer yet. Just last week Milligan said the provinces Minister of Education Kathleen Wynne said she was in support of both relocating the towns cenotaph and reimbursing tax payers for their contribution to the building, adding a gymnasium to the school.I struggle with these sorts of conversations. Public body 'x' spends money from the taxpayer to build asset 'a.' Public body 'y' chips in some of its own taxpayer dollars to help cover a portion of the cost of asset 'a.' Who 'owns' the asset? I see this in municipal politics as well, much too often (over a beverage I'll spin a tale about water and sewer pipes that sounds exactly like this one).
The easiest answer I've been able to come up with?
The public owns the asset until it's sold to a private-sector owner.
More on relationships
This one posted by the Welland Tribune Wednesday, regarding the District School Board of Niagara's dir of ed speaking about co-operative relationships with the local municipality.
Historically speaking, Hoshizaki said the need for such partnerships wasn’t as prominent because more funding for education was readily available.This almost runs counter to the one above-- although the DSBN hasn't controversially closed a school in Welland (yet?) that I'm aware of. A refreshing take, however, given Niagara-on-the-Lake's pending dance with the board at the Ontario Municipal Board over a new elementary school in that municipality.
By partnering up and assisting one another, “there’s less cost but the community is gaining more,” he said.
He said partnerships between the board and the community are going to be “a big theme in the region.”
DSBN will also be working closely with community members come October when it begins conducting an accommodation review of five east Welland schools — Mathews Public School, Crowland Central School, Empire Public School, Plymouth Public School and Prince Elizabeth Public School.
It added to this London Free Press piece posted and published Wednesday on Thames Valley District School Board dir of ed Bill Tucker's appearance before Middlesex County council, also speaking about communication and partnerships. This is a council that birthed the Community Schools Alliance due to its discontent with TVDSB trustee decisions, so understandably the reception was frosty. To his credit, this is not the first time Tucker has stepped into a municipal line of fire and attended a council meeting in a municipality where the pols were against the board's intentions.
the dialogue won't necessarily keep small or half-empty schools open, education director Bill Tucker said during a Middlesex County meeting.
... County politicians have been pushing for a process that would force boards to include them as partners in talks about rural-school closings.Interesting comments and discussion reflected in the rest of the article, given the radio piece at the top of this post.
Tucker offered up a compromise: "I believe there's an opportunity where we can sit down and work together toward both those goals" of program equity and fewer surplus classroom spaces.
But when asked if those partnerships might stave off school closings, he told councillors more than once he wouldn't make any promises and that ultimately the decision is an educational one. Tucker offered that senior administrators would meet with community members and politicians before accommodation review committees convene.
"I think as a group we need to move forward. I think the days are gone when we have competing interests," Tucker said, noting they share the same taxpayer base.
Closing the loop here, Nathan Taylor and Teviah Moro at the Orillia Packet & Times co-wrote a cross-beat article on the city buying three surplus school properties.
“It’s good news for the city because the city is short of parcels of land,” said Orillia trustee Debra Edwards. “And it’s win-win to have the city purchase these sites at fair-market value.”
Mayor Ron Stevens expressed similar thoughts after hearing about the city’s successful offer last night.
“That’s great. We now own them and we have care and control of what happens to them.”
Stevens noted Mount Slaven (earlier in the piece you'll see it sold for $600K) is slated to continue taking students from Harriet Todd Public School for a while, but said that’s not a problem from the city’s perspective.