Sad to see public treatment of Bolles
I have lived and have had a business in Jamestown for 23 years. Although Becky and I may not be considered genuine Jamestowners, our children have grown up in Jamestown and attended school here, and all four of us have been involved in various community activities.
Although I read the Jamestown Press every week, I have never written a letter to the editor, and although I am interested in town politics, I never have become very involved. However, the time has come when I must speak out. I
feel I would be letting down one of my Jamestown community members if I didn't add my letter to the ones that already have been written on his behalf.
What has happened in Jamestown? Where have I been that I only recently noticed that some people here have become so heartless that they think that it is all right to speak out publicly and write about others in such a harmful way without regard to one's feelings, in this case a town employee? Do people, especially elected officials, need to let our entire community
know when we are irritated by someone, and then when the accusations turn out not to be true, have we forgotten about manners so we don't make a public apology for the humiliation we have caused? Would we let our children get away with such behavior?
Of course, I am referring to the treatment of Matt Bolles, our present director of parks and recreation. How two Town Council members even could think that making negative comments in public is acceptable is disturbing. We are not a large city where many people are unfamiliar with our employees. Matt has been a valued worker and resident of Jamestown for many years. Even if there are individuals who are upset with him, how could any decent person, much less Town Council members, criticize him publicly?
Why is it that the majority of people who have come in contact with Matt on the job are so shocked by the treatment he has received? It is because they love him. Matt has worked hard and has done an excellent job for a long time, and those
who have lived here many years know this.
One criticism of Matt is his involvement with the Jamestown Community Theatre. Matt has always found ways to contribute to the community through his job, and we should be thanking him for the theatre. My children and their mother, Becky Peppas, and many others in Jamestown are so grateful to Matt. Many of us have children who have not been athletically involved outside of school, but because of the theatre we have had a place that they can go to where they are able to be on another kind of team. Also in today's world, when families aren't together as much as they used to be, the JCT has given the island an extraordinary and unusual opportunity, and activity that families can do together. Sports are wonderful, but so is a place where the entire family can be involved.
Many people are very sad that Matt will not be watching over our children. How did this situation go so far? Even if Matt wants to retire, I would think that the stress of the last several months must have influenced his decision. Why have two people been allowed to do such harm to a decent person who has been a consistently responsible caretaker for so many Jamestown children? To this day, I have not seen or heard Matt make any shameful remarks in public about the people who did this to him. Matt Bolles is a gentleman.
Please, Matt, remember that more than the majority of the Jamestown community citizens respect you and appreciate what you have done in your role as director of Jamestown's Department of Parks and Recreation. I just wish that we had known what was going on earlier, because perhaps many of us would have spoken out sooner. Matt, please understand that we know your shoes can never be filled.