VIDEO: Trustee Frustrated With Money Left On The Table

AM800-News-GECDSB-Jessica-Sartori-1

A motion to take the search for community partners for retrofitted space in public schools to the next level has been shot down.

The Greater Essex County District School Board was told it could have $856,000 to work with should it come up with a plan to retrofit unused space as community hubs back in October.

Trustee Jessica Sartori says the idea of leaving that kind of money on the table is frustrating.

Sartori says they have a limited window to bring a proposal to the province, and they simply don't have enough information.

She brought a motion to the board of trustees to seek out schools and groups eligible to be part of any funding.

Trustee Tom Kilpatrick pointed to three attempts gather more information and didn't see a reason to continue with the process.

Sartori told AM800 News there needs to be a more proactive approach to develop a plan before time runs out.

"What I was looking for tonight was a little bit more information. I'm  not sure if all schools are eligible, If there are certain programs that would be eligible, so I was looking for information on that and to develop a process," she says.

Sartori says she's disappointed by the boards decision and she has been approached since the possibility of new space was made public in October.

"I think you heard tonight as well that trustees of course can be having these conversations in the community. In fact, since I brought the notice of motion a month ago now, several community partners and organizations had reached out to me," Sartori says.

The board of Trustees has held some information sessions according to Sartori.

But Sartori says she was looking to go out and get what's needed before time becomes a factor. 

"We have held information sessions and we have put it out there that we are interested in having community partners. I was looking for something a little more proactive tonight," she says.

The deadline to tap into the money is the end of the 2017-18 school year and Sartori says she'll continue to reach out to the community to make the project happen.