Timmins council has voted against allowing a local woman to expand her Montessori School, from five students to eight. They voted last night after weeks of hearing from those who live in the neighbourhood, Jennifer Burtch who runs the school, and hearing reports from city staff.
Mayor Steve Black was one of four who voted in favour of the expansion, saying there are already multiple day nurseries in residential areas. For example, there is one beside Kobzar Park, one at Poplar Avenue which fills up an entire school, and Bambi’s Castle on Pine, which Black says is smack dab in the middle of a residential neighbourhood.
Councillor Mike Doody, who voted against the expansion, says his vote falls that way because people in the neighbourhood have the right to expect their street to stay residential. He says nobody around the council table has anything against the Montessori School, but the area is residential. He says people in the area have lived with the daycare that is there now, and are nervous about what may happen with an additional three students.
Councillor Andrew Marks says he protecting the neighbourhood, and that is why he voted against it. He says there is nothing wrong with the business concept, and he is not against business development. Marks says working in a school board (as the Community Relations Officer for the Northeast Catholic District School Board) he is for anything that is going to enhance the lives of children. But he says this is not the right fit for the area.
The vote came down in a meeting last night, and was close but in the end was defeated 5-4. The school is still allowed to have five students.