An Open Letter to Peterborough City Council, re: PCVS Closure

[EDIT: I have heard back from two members of Council, including Mayor Bennett. Please see below for their responses.]

Dear City Council Members,

Enclosed, via a link to my blog, is an open letter to the KPRDSB Trustees. I have also sent copies of this letter directly to each Trustee. Click here for that letter.

I am writing City Council for two reasons. The first is to enquire about what steps Council has taken to address the impact of the potential PCVS closure. As seasoned politicians, you do not need me to remind you of the effect that closing major institutions can have on a downtown core — or on how the health of a city core affects the social and economic health of an entire city. The City of Peterborough Master Plan work that many of you have participated in speaks volumes about how important revitalization of the downtown core is to the future of Peterborough.

In fact, I am hoping that, in light of the Master Plan, members of Council have entered dialogue with the School Board in order to address the needs of the entire community, rather than the short term economics of the School Board. Most urban planners believe that a healthy and vibrant downtown boosts the economic health and quality of life of an entire city. It fosters the kind of urban growth that attracts new families and businesses — the type of growth that will, in the long term, mean greater economic stability for both the City and the Board. The closing of major institutions, of course, represents a giant step backwards in urban sustainability.

Has any such dialogue been introduced by Council members?

The second reason I am writing is to request that further support of the downtown core be shown by Council. I believe that an active presence by Council members at the KPRDSB meeting this evening would go a long way towards reinforcing the value of a downtown high school in Peterborough — and the negative ramifications of closing the currently existing institution.

I am hoping that Council recognizes their mandate to represent their constituents and to act in a manner that most benefits the community. I am hoping that you take the steps necessary to promote the long term health and sustainability of Peterborough. I am hoping that you fully accept your roles as community leaders and take action before irreparable harm is done to our downtown core.

Please feel free to contact me with questions or comments. My contact information is listed below.

donald fraser
writer/consultant

small print writing and communications consulting

RESPONSES FROM COUNCIL:

From His Worship, Daryl Bennett:

Donald

Thank you for your letter expressing your views.There is, as I`m sure you are aware ,a jurisdictional consideration. There is an Elected group of School Board Trustees who have the authority and responsibility over the School closure decision.

I respect the Boards authority and I trust the decision they make will reflect all of the proper considerations.We continue to monitor the process and will along with the rest of the community await the result.

Daryl

From Councillor Henry Clarke:
Thank you Mr. Fraser for your thoughts and comments, and for being an advocate for the downtown. I have written and emailed every trustee, pointing out very similar issues to what you have outlined, as I agree with you, keeping schools for the downtown helps keep the area vital, alive, and something so many don’t think about – Safe. I proposed a very simple solution based on the fact that I am from the first group of students to attend TAS – I challenged them to remember that TAS is actually designed as TWO schools – once Auburn and TAS, and that by moving into one side of the school or the other, they could keep tas alive and leave PCVS alone. they could then lease the other part of tas to the Separate board, saving them the need to build an addition on Holy Cross, and saving all taxpayers dollars while protecting neighborhoods. To me, it is simple, clean, and very easy to do.

H

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