HWDSB Chair Doesn't Understand Own Irony

By John Neary
Published May 31, 2012

Tim Simmons, the chair of the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, is worried about the prospect of the provincial government forcing an amalgamation of the HWDSB with other boards.

Why is he worried? First, because of the possibility of "job losses on the administrative side of things." Secondly, because his "experience with amalgamation in the City of Hamilton was that it was many years before we saw any cost savings." He notes that he would "be interested in knowing what the ministry thinks the size of a school board should be."

It's fortunate that there are no parallels to be drawn with decisions recently made by his own board.

John Neary lives in Beasley Neighbourhood and practices general internal medicine at St. Joseph's Healthcare Hamilton. He would like Hamilton to develop an urban environment that creates less gainful employment for his profession.


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By Rimshot (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 07:35:22

It will be painfully hilarious if the Crestwood plans get kiboshed and the HWDSB ends up merged with the HDSB and based on Guelph Line.

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By SMRT (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 09:29:07

Don't forget this gem:

“We feel that the Crestwood site being the actual centre, by a couple of lots, of the city of Hamilton would still bring positive development to the city and to our stakeholders and students,” Simmons said. “It’s near major arteries and it’s on public transit lines.”

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By highwater (registered) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 23:22:08 in reply to Comment 77644

I'm confused. At the vote to close Prince Philip, Simmons said that busing is good for kids because it "makes them grow up a little faster". So if the new Ed Centre is on public transit lines, and busing is good for you, what are the 480 parking spots for?

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By ryanlev (anonymous) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 12:13:10 in reply to Comment 77644

It is in a residential neighbour hood!!!!!

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 17:02:51 in reply to Comment 77660

My father-in-law has lived in this neighbourhood for 3 years...I had no idea where Crestwood was until this School Board fiasco started. I looked it up and realized it's right around the corner from him. So, I went over to Upper Wentworth (where the school board said all the convenient transit lines stop out front) and couldn't see any school....finally GPS'd it while driving and after meandering around and around various quiet side streets, I found it. Upon further exploration, I realized that you CAN in fact see the building from Upper Wentworth...behind the Marks Work Warehouse plaza. I'm not aware of any access to the site from Upper Wentworth, all 400+ cars will be zipping in from Mohawk or Upper Wellington through quiet, winding residential streets to get there. It's a ludicrous location for ANYTHING other than a park, school or new homes.

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By lawrence (registered) - website | Posted May 31, 2012 at 14:54:48

The board office and the school closures themselves, all give Mayor Bob and Dalton more to talk about than a mere $4m regarding social dumping. School funds must top up the fact that $4m in itself isn't enough to warrant a discussion with the Premier.

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By jbj (registered) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 16:14:24

The irony is so delicious on so many levels. For example, the board wants to shutter seven high schools and three elementary schools in order to receive a possible $68 million to build three new schools. Then the Board decides that it would rather its employees and any of its clients (OOPs I mean students) relocate to the Crestwood site instead of being in the core which is accessible by public transit. For good measure, McMaster will then demolish the Board of Education building in an Orwellian exercise of erasing the past.

I genuinely feel that those of us who live in the lower city are getting shat on by the City, the Board of Education, traffic engineers, et al. It begs a chicken and egg scenario: if you desire a healthy, vibrant, and prosperous downtown, you need to have amentities that make such a thing possible. That means walkable neighbourhoods, two-way streets, schools in neighbourhoods, decent public transit, stores and shops that don't require a car to get to and decent and affordable housing. The protest should start with an effort to eradicate the grinding poverty of the City to give people opportunities and thus make the core attractive and a great place to live.

Last night, Sir John A. Macdonald held its annual Arts Fest. Excellent works of fine art, sculpture, ceramics were on display all created by students. Such a diverse community of kids enriches the downtown and creates the kind of place that fosters creativity and thinking outside the box.

We need more people to think outside the box to make things happen.

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By jason (registered) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 17:07:27 in reply to Comment 77684

We need more people in our publicly-funded institutions, publicly-funded sports teams and public-funded political arenas to think outside the box to make things happen.

Fixed that for you. It's frustrating to see this exact thing being done by private citizens and business owners all over the city on tight budgets and big vision...yet those with free access to gobs of government money either don't have city-building on their priority list at all...or it's dead last. With friends like this who needs enemies??
If I'm a competing EcDev department in another city I'm doing everything possible to keep folks like these trustees, TiCats management, city staff and politicians in power for decades to come.

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By ScreamingViking (registered) | Posted May 31, 2012 at 20:38:19

I could see the board merging with that of Niagara, more than Halton, just based on future population projections. But the irony still holds true.

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By Cityjoe (anonymous) | Posted June 07, 2012 at 16:24:56

Irony is lost on Hamilton, but steeleny isn't.

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