To the editor:
Recent opinion pieces by the Portsmouth Town Council president and School Committee chairman emphasized the need for close cooperation. Recognizing that the opportunities to excel will always exceed the resources with which to do so, these two town officials are presented with just such an opportunity.
Portsmouth recently sustained several personnel losses in critical areas: the town finance/personnel director retired and the sudden disability of the deputy have virtually destroyed the function of this department. Previous town councils have proposed consolidating the school and town finance and personnel functions. It appears that a ready-made opportunity presents itself. Further, it aligns itself with a proposed initiative to explore efficiencies.
This observation does not minimize or neglect to recognize the learning required to consolidate these two departments. The predisposition of the State of Rhode Island to compartmentalize functions, in seeming defiance of logic and certainly efficiency, does complicate the mater. However, it is not un-surmountable if begun in earnest, now. This is an urgent need! It certainly is no more challenging than the perennial call to regionalize the schools, or other town functions, especially with the two principle town officials seemingly on the same page.
Paul E. Ross