2009-03-05 / Letters to the Editor

Not a time to pink slip employees

The good news is that the community of Jamestown is in a very good financial position with an overload of funds for a rainy day. The bad news is that it is pouring in the rest of the country and on some individuals in our community

This is not the time to add to our economic woes by cutting jobs for our employees.

It was appalling to me to learn of the numerous layoff notices given to the Jamestown teachers and the cruel manner in which this was done, especially when we pat ourselves on the back all the time about being a loving and caring community.

I ask the town councilors and school committee to have the moral courage this financial year to level fund the schools without regard to state funding and do the same for the town budgets.

Use the surplus to not raise taxes. We do not need any more unemployed Rhode Islanders at this time if we can prevent this.

Our president has told us that education is one of the most important aspects of our overall economy and haven't we in Jamestown always prided ourselves on our good schools? Why would we at all consider not keeping them that way as long as we can?

The students in Jamestown had incredibly good NECAP scores this time around even though that has not been well publicized yet. Art, music and sports are anchors for some students and are as important as basic subjects for graduating well-rounded children.

A high school diploma will be the minimum needed for our citizens in this global economy and many will need post grad courses or further training.

We must ensure our children's and our country's future and we can start here because we have the means to do so.

Give the town a chance to be at the forefront of this recovery process. We can and must look at it again a year from now but for now "stay the course." As a child during the Great Depression, I continue to encourage my friends who have the means to spend it on their country in these dire days.

Give away to needy people the things you no longer use. Let's help each other out of this mess and not add to it.

I hope that, as a concerned citizen, you make some calls to both town councilors and school committee members and express your views. Diane C. Caswell West Passage Drive

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