Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Joel Feldman: City cannot keep functioning in face of cuts

To the editor:

I will be voting yes on the override June 25 and I encourage everyone else in Northampton to do the same. We live in a great city, with hard-working city employees like police officers and teachers who do their jobs under tough financial conditions. This year, like too many other recent years, we are faced with a budget deficit.

But unlike past years, we cannot avoid the loss of valuable city workers and services other than to vote for the override. My three children are in the Northampton public schools and have had wonderful teachers along the way. I have personally experienced the efforts of many city staff to make sure we have a safe place to live.

These services are in jeopardy because the state cut local aid 10 years ago and never restored the cuts, resulting in the loss of $35 million. We have, in turn, suffered the loss of 37 teachers in the last decade from the public schools, including librarians and art and music teachers. Amazing as it seems, right now, the elementary schools have no librarians! The mayor has worked hard to keep our fiscal house in order, but we cannot keep cutting and expect to keep our town functioning.

We have one way to take control, to make a choice about what kind of place we want to live in. That choice is to support the override and prevent the loss of at least 11 teachers and four police officers, among others.

Those of us who have had the luck to live here over the years know what a unique and amazing place it is. Let’s leave it that way for our kids and those coming after us, and vote yes on the override.

Joel Feldman

Northampton

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