East Providence Budget Commission needs to rethink some mentor cuts

To the editor,
I am submitting this letter to the attention of the Budget Commission. I am a concerned resident of East Providence who acknowledges the fact that changes need to be made to our city finances to keep our city from going over the “financial cliff.”
In saying that I also must stand up for what I think is right and what you should know about our city before you take drastic measures. East Providence is made up of mostly middle class and lower-middle class residents. It may also be said that many of our residents fall well below the middle-class category.
Regardless of our residents’ financial means, there has been one thing that has kept our spirits up and made us proud to be a “Townie” and that is our children. Through their endeavors in academics, sports, band and other activities provided by those hired to enrich our children with those skills we are able to be part of “Townie Pride.” It gives our residents something to cheer for and be proud of when many other parts of our lives are a struggle.
Middle School sports has already been taken away and now you plan on cutting the pay by 60 percent to our academic advisers, coaches, band instructors and more. My question to you is whose hands are you going to leave them in when the qualified and caring mentors to our children choose to move on to positions that pay them appropriately for the services they provide? As a parent, am I to leave my child with a volunteer whom I have no idea of their qualifications? Should I stand up and say “hurray” because someone was willing to take the offer and oversee my child and try and teach them something they are not fully qualified to teach. Should I be concerned about their safety?
This potential cut is not about the financial welfare of our city. It is about a cut into the heart of our community. The choice you make may diminish the opportunities our children have for continued education.
I ask you to do the right thing and keep the hopes and dreams of our children intact and continue to support those that make that dream possible for them.
Jim Maynard
East Providence

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