The Hamilton Wentworth District School Board says it is willing to re-open discussions about a joint venture with the city of Hamilton on a school-plus-community-centre project in the stadium precinct. This only a few months after the same idea was firmly rejected by council by a 13-3 margin. Not only that, but one of the three who initially favoured the joint venture with the HWDSB, Ward 4 councillor Sam Merulla, said the any thought of a revived partnership between the board and the city is a waste of time “It’s over. It’s done. Finito. Game over,” he said. The HWDSB overture is an example of how tone deaf the board is when it comes to its potential credibility as a partner on anything. Board chair Jessica Brennan even suggested the first move in a rapprochement should come from the city. Why?— the city has moved on and is developing plans for a community centre on the old Dominion Glass site. Instead of casting about for potential partners to share the risks of the board’s various school schemes, the board should get to work on addressing its credibility issues. Reviving plans that have been rejected two weeks after suggesting they had a viable “plan b” adds to the sense that this board doesn’t really know how to deal with its accommodation issues. As a result, right now they are on their own.

John Best has had a lengthy media management career, in television and radio and now print. As Vice President, News at CHCH in Hamilton, John oversaw a significant expansion of the news operation. He founded Independent Satellite News, Canada’s only television news service providing national content to Canadian independent TV stations. John is a frequent political commentator on radio and television, a documentary producer and author of a book and numerous articles on historical and political subjects. John is a past recipient of the New York Festival’s award for writing in the International TV category.

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