"We made it very clear that we don't want to do this as a stalling tactic," (Brussells resident Charlie Hoy) said.Is this another gamble?
Seaforth Coun. Joe Steffler said the issue of school closures is going to have a big economic effect on all the municipalities of Huron County.
"These small schools are in our small towns and families don't want to be where the school aren't. Let's support one another here and if it takes an appeal, that's what it takes. We can file and then see if the odds are stacked against you," he said.
Hoy pointed out that the Huron-Perth Catholic school board has schools with very small enrolments but chooses to keep them open.
"We both get money from the same dad so something's not right," he said.
Since an appeal must be launched within 30 days of the closure decision, council decided to hear current information about the grounds for the appeal in closed session with the expectation that Hoy and Prior would return to the next council meeting with more information two days before the deadline.
McKillop Coun. Bill Siemon pointed out that council could at that point decide not to support the appeal if councillors didn't believe the arguments to launch the appeal were strong enough.
I would quibble with a few things in this article-- for example, reading this, I can't tell whether the community has already petitioned for an administrative review of the Avon Maitland District School Board decision. It doesn't appear so, in which case the court may simply rule that the community should proceed to do so before it appears before the court again.
I also quibble with Hoy's statement-- the Huron-Perth Catholic board and the AMDSB is not an apples-to-apples comparison. Without knowing the particulars, I would bet Timmy's on the fact the HPCDSB is smaller, period, and has fewer schools, period. Therefor it likely qualifies for supported-schools allocations the AMDSB doesn't. Plus, as some of my coverage area is now learning first-hand, even the HPCDSB can't stall the inevitable forever if it's running really small schools (ie: <90FTE, JK-8).
My municipal reporting bones also ache with the mention council would consider its next steps in-camera. Council certainly has the right to consult its solicitor and receive advice from solicitors behind closed doors (as any other client has the right to not breach solicitor-client privilege), however if Hoy and Prior are able to be in attendance, then the doors should be open to the whole community.
If this proceeds to judicial review, it would make two underway within the province.