2008-05-22 / Letters to the Editor

Kelly spewing more hot air

Town Council member William Kelly's "Viewpoint" regarding the school budget is once again stirring up anxiety with our community. Two years ago, Mr. Kelly voiced the same opinion. I went to that meeting at the library, and missed a night putting my daughter to bed. Mr. Kelly arrived an hour late, had nothing to say when asked, and the vote went through. I have to say that I found this very insulting.

This year, I am sorry to say, Mr. Kelly's stance on the school budget seems like more hot air. Moreover, his reasoning on the issues is without logic. By all means, commission a survey! I think the facts will oppose his ideas. Question: how much will the survey cost?

I believe most parents, teachers and children would agree that the co-principals work well for our schools. Kathy Almanzor and Carrie Melucci are wonderful, wise, compassionate people. Our community is incredibly fortunate to have them. I do not understand Mr. Kelly's suggestion that one principal could split the day (with "a golf cart") between the Melrose and Lawn schools. Would he like to ask the teachers and students to confine their problems to a particular time frame? I haven't really seen that being possible with children, but maybe that's just me.

I believe most parents, teachers, students, and studies on the issue of class size would agree that small class size is beneficial to everyone. "These tight economic times" should not punish the children if we, as a community, can at all avoid it.

The repercussions of the state of our nation's economy will slap our children hard enough in the years ahead when they struggle to afford college and find jobs, let alone live in Jamestown if they choose to.

I believe that everyone who is part of the school feels the ultimate value of having a model program for special needs children. Our children are bigger people for this experience, whatever their needs are. Using the world "magnet" in a negative sense to describe the Jamestown school's successful program as attracting families with special needs children doesn't rate. These parents are taxpayers, and, as everyone knows who actually spends a little time in the school, they are generous volunteers and fundraisers. And certainly Jamestown has other draws to newcomers, such as tranquility, beauty, and safety.

Most of all, I believe we should be proud that we invest so much in our children's education. Instead of looking at how other communities minimize and economize education, other communities should look at us and be inspired.

Our children have a heavy world to inherit. Their childhoods blossom out of post 9/11, a war costing trillions of dollars, China and India emerging as leaders in world economy, advances in technologies that none of us could ever have imagined as kids in the 60's, 70's and even 80's. With all the affluence of Jamestown, its summer population, property taxes, and the fact that Jamestown's real estate market actually grew 4 percent this year, can we not afford to honor our children with a wonderful education? Our future depends on an educated, creative and moral population. We have no idea what that future holds, but for now we can think globally by acting locally. Elizabeth Congdon-Pinto Jamestown

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