Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Did the election impact the schools' alliance?

OK. You can't take the newsroom out of the journalist even when you take the journalist out of the newsroom. First election campaign since becoming a journalist that I haven't covered, and sitting on the sidelines tonight was very different.
At this point in the night, I'm left wondering what will happen to those municipal politicos who so eagerly signed up for the Community Schools Alliance two summers ago.
Just out of curiosity, I went looking for results for the Alliance's executive committee.
  • Southwest Middlesex Mayor Doug Reycraft was acclaimed.
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Gary Burroughs ran for Niagara Region council and won.
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake Coun. Jim Collard kept his seat.
  • Malahide Mayor John R. Wilson lost.
  • No idea if Hastings Highlands Mayor Ron Emond ran, was elected or not (nothing election related online at township website)
  • Cobalt Coun. Doug Shearer did not run again.
  • Greenstone Mayor Michael Power did not run again.
  • Springwater Mayor Tony Guergis lost.
  • Guelph/Eramosa Mayor Chris White kept his seat.
  • Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson lost.
Only four (perhaps five) of the current Alliance executive members, if they can be called current, were reelected Monday night for the pending municipal term. While I seriously doubt school closures played any part in municipal council elections, does it throw a knife into the back of what's been a pretty tepid Alliance lately?
Reycraft was happier than heck in September as Middlesex signed an agreement with the Thames Valley DSB stating the board would basically do what it did the last time (sort of) and also follow provincial guidelines. See a post about that here. But the website, while updated since my last visit several months ago to include a map (outdated) of municipalities and the September agreement stuff, still has precious little info.
I highly suspect that given the agreement Reycraft now has and those who won't be around come the end of November that the Alliance will slowly wither. That is, as I've already predicted, until the next school-closure review decision by trustees goes against what Reycraft and like-minded munipols want and then they'll be back on the warpath.


Anonymous said...

ER - your journalistic spidey sense should also tell you that, shhhh, in the run-up to the next provincial election I predict few school boards entering into new accommodation reviews. Can't have communities angry over closures ahead of an election and risk McGuinty votes, can we?

I'm very sure we haven't heard the last of small town and rural communities on this issue in the coming months.

Education Reporter said...

Anon 26 Oct. 14:37

My spidey sense says a lot about reviews and elections, but that didn't stop a bunch of them from continuing during the trustee election. Even with anti-closure candidates, I can think of a few incumbents that kept their seats.

I don't think the provincial election is going to stop school-closure reviews. Nor is it something I see either the Liberals (we created "fair guidelines" for "local decisions") or the Conservatives getting dirt under their fingernails on school closures. Way too complex to stake a campaign soundbite on, and the Conservatives learned all too quickly what a mistake trying to include a complex educational policy in an election platform was in 2007.

I could be wrong and I would eat crow if so.