School Crossing Guards Cut

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School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Admin on Sat Aug 09, 2008 12:50 pm

The Rumford Police Department was forced to cut two crossing guards due to budget cuts this year. There will no longer be a crossing guard on Lincoln Ave across from Rumford Elementary School or on Franklin Street at St Athanasius and St. John School. I admit Iím worried.

Both of these locations are busy traffic areas in town. To make matters worse, they are both located on hills that make it difficult to see the children crossing the street and cause drivers to speed down those hills a little too fast, a potentially deadly combination.

Each crossing guard earns approximately $2,500 per year for a grand total of $5,000 that is spent on these positions.

Letís call our selectmen and ask them to find the money to protect our children.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Guest on Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:40 pm

Sounds like a good opportunity for parental volunteerism.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:04 pm

Please don't present inaccurate information. Chief Carter stated that they CHOSE to cut those positions. They were not forced, and could have made cuts in other line items. If you have a problem with the decision, contact Chief Carter, not the selectmen.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:47 am

Chief Carter suggested cutting those positions after the selectmen requested he cut the budget, not because he didn't think they were valuable.

Because of the cuts to the police department budget, he had to make some tough choices. I think this one was ill advised and I am worried for the safety of the children that cross in those areas, particularly because of the drivers flying down over those hills. If they arenít going extremely slow, they can't see the children until itís too late. The crossing at St. Johns is particularly bad because of the four corners and there is traffic coming from all directions. School busses are coming in and out and parents are trying to drop off their kids. That place is an accident waiting to happen.

Chief Carter has no ability to put these positions back in. He has had to be extremely creative to provide basic police coverage with the severe cuts his budget has faced. The selectmen would have to find money for these positions. Please call them if you share my concerns.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by C on Sun Aug 10, 2008 12:22 pm

St. Johns area is particularly bad in the winter when the snow hasn't been cleaned up in that area. With snow banks, uncleared sidewalks and people parking further out into the road it is a mess at school opening and closing. If there also is something going on at the church at the same time it is even worse. It would be nice if the town would put the school near the top of their priority list when it comes to clearing the snowbanks and sidewalks. Keeping our seniors and children safe is just as, if not more, important than cleaning up the sidewalks and roads in the business districts.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Sun Aug 10, 2008 6:41 pm

There are other places they could have cut. This is just a political ploy to get the residents restless......looks like it worked.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Admin on Sun Aug 10, 2008 8:39 pm

Kevin, you often have some good ideas and feed back on this site but you're way off here. I'm really shaking my head on that comment.

Is there anything I said that wasn't factual. I'm not interested with playing games with the safety of children. Go check out these crossing places and see for yourself if there is cause for concern.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Sun Aug 10, 2008 9:08 pm

At the selectman meeting Carter stated that they did a study and determined that there wasn't sufficient foot traffic to warrant crossing guards. He stated that many of the children who crossed the street (especially at the Maine Avenue location) were being picked up by parents who could pick them up on the same side of the street as the school. They therefore determined that the expense was not needed. If you review a the previous meeting, you will see me stand up and support the return of the crossing guards. I am not stating my opinion, I am relating what has been said. If you have a problem with the message don't attack the messenger.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Guest on Mon Aug 11, 2008 5:36 am

Kevin, "....a political ploy to get the residents restless"? Maybe you've jumped the cliff on this. Do you have anything of substance to back up your statement, or is this one of your opinions? It's statement like yours that can rile the residents, as well as stir the pot of discontent in the local departments.
No more crossing guards? If we need them, put out a call for volunteers. If parents can pick up and drop off their children, maybe they could add in a few minutes to ensure the safety of the kids by serving as crossing guards.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:20 am

Bug, it would appear that you are neither well versed in the political budgeting process, nor a parent.

The one factor that remains out of the control of any governmental agency is their budget. They cannot control what the voters allot to them to operate. When budgets get tight, it is common practice for an agency to cut something that is near and dear to the hearts of the citizens so that they "realize" the impact of their decision. This happens most years with the school budget. The first thing that is cut is the sports. In the fire department, scares of insufficient fire protection may be used. With the police department, statements of decreased police coverage seemed ineffective, so they played the "child safety card". You don't have to be a financial and political genius to see what they are doing. If there had been a prominent service that they provided to the elderly, that may have been another place to cut, considering the majority of Rumford voters are over 50. By making these cuts, they keep their other budgets from being affected as much and scare the people into voting against further cuts that might further affect their loved ones. The crossing guard issue was not brought out before the election because it was designed to come to light in the fall. The reminder of this action will be present with parents from September until....June, just in time for the next election. The hope is that the parents, remembering the affect of voting for the lower budget this past year, will vote for the higher budget next year.

As for parents volunteering... it is unconceivable that many would do so. Parenting is a tough job involving many responsibilities. With most parents needing to have both (if present) working, a child is lucky if a parent can get away to pick them up at school. Some leave work to pick up their children, while others are full-time homekeepers. Either way, they have way too much to do in their busy day. There are some retired people who have offered to assist, but I believe the liability issue may preclude this from happening. When I was picking up a child at St. John's in the past, I had thought of volunteering on days when there was no crossing guard, but then looked at the responsibilities I had for the day and realized that it wasn't an option. Also, many parents cherish the time they spend with their children and wouldn't want to give up even a half hour of that.

I am all for maintaining public safety, but I also don't expect to see money wasted or spent needlessly. These ploys to maintain high cost departments just cover up the waste that likely exists in other areas. I have encouraged the town to be more conservative with spending, but in a responsible manner. It is the department head, not the selectmen nor the finance committee that determines where the cuts will ultimately be made. There have been times when each has made suggestions, but neither has the authority to give direction except through the town manager. If you have problems with the cuts, talk to the department head, they likely have $5,000 somewhere they could reallocate.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Aug 11, 2008 8:24 am

Admin wrote:Kevin, you often have some good ideas and feed back on this site but you're way off here. I'm really shaking my head on that comment.

Is there anything I said that wasn't factual. I'm not interested with playing games with the safety of children. Go check out these crossing places and see for yourself if there is cause for concern.

Your comment indicates that they were forced to eliminate the crossing guard positions. This is not the case. As I related above, it was their choice based upon their assessment of need.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by T on Mon Aug 11, 2008 10:16 am

KevinNSaisi wrote:At the selectman meeting Carter stated that they did a study and determined that there wasn't sufficient foot traffic to warrant crossing guards. He stated that many of the children who crossed the street (especially at the Maine Avenue location) were being picked up by parents who could pick them up on the same side of the street as the school. They therefore determined that the expense was not needed.
Then it was not a political ploy.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by C on Tue Aug 12, 2008 4:55 pm

It will take some getting used to but St. Athanasius- St. John school and church are now renamed Holy Savior...
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by steve on Tue Aug 12, 2008 7:39 pm

C wrote:It will take some getting used to but St. Athanasius- St. John school and church are now renamed Holy Savior...

Sorry for taking this a little more off topic, but next you'll be telling me that the GRCC isn't really the "stute", and the park between Penobscot and York isn't "Stephens". Smile In my mind's eye they haven't changed at all.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Admin on Wed Aug 13, 2008 7:48 am

TRRís criticism of Mr Adley is just more of their typical bunk. Itís full of misinformation and unfairly targets a selectman because he isnít ďin bedĒ with them. In the words of Chuck who posted this on the forum a while back
ďBe controlled by the proprietors of the website (TRR) of suffer personal attacks. Conversely, should town leaders join with the Reporter; they shall receive eternal forgiveness and understanding, regardless of their behavior. There seems to be no middle ground.Ē
The positions that were cut amounted to $5,000, not $10,000 as stated in TRR. Second, Mr. Adley is likely responding to concerns of the citizens after this forum drew attention to this dangerous situation for our children. Isnít that what we want from our selectmen, to respond to our concerns?

We should be thanking Mr. Adley for attempting to fix a safety issue in our town and responding to the concerns of our citizens, not criticizing him. It appears the other selectmen in our town ďtook a passĒ on their responsibility to ensure the safety of our most vulnerable citizens and now simply donít care.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by T on Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:03 am

Since it is not allowed at The Rumford Reporter, I challenge The Rumford Reporter "staff" to come here and debate the issue. I doubt he/she will as he/she is more concerned with browbeating Mr. Adley than with the safety of the children of the Rumford community.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by C on Wed Aug 13, 2008 1:59 pm

Sorry for taking this a little more off topic, but next you'll be
telling me that the GRCC isn't really the "stute", and the park between
Penobscot and York isn't "Stephens". In my mind's eye they haven't changed at all.

I know- how many of us are still calling Hannaford's supermarket Shop n' Save?
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by Guest on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:29 pm

I noticed in this week's Rumford Times that the police are asking for volunteers to staff the crossing guard positions. Training will be provided.

Kevin was quick to state numerous reasons why parents would be unlikely to volunteer. Perhaps he is wrong.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by steve on Wed Aug 13, 2008 4:31 pm

C wrote:
Sorry for taking this a little more off topic, but next you'll be
telling me that the GRCC isn't really the "stute", and the park between
Penobscot and York isn't "Stephens". In my mind's eye they haven't changed at all.

I know- how many of us are still calling Hannaford's supermarket Shop n' Save?

C: Sorry, to me that's still Simard's farm, where you could walk the property line on the east side and jump the fence into Hosmer Field without paying admission. :twisted:


Last edited by steve on Thu Aug 14, 2008 1:55 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:53 pm

T wrote:
KevinNSaisi wrote:At the selectman meeting Carter stated that they did a study and determined that there wasn't sufficient foot traffic to warrant crossing guards. He stated that many of the children who crossed the street (especially at the Maine Avenue location) were being picked up by parents who could pick them up on the same side of the street as the school. They therefore determined that the expense was not needed.
Then it was not a political ploy.

What did you expect him to say?? He wasn't likely to come out and admit it.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Aug 13, 2008 8:56 pm

bug wrote:I noticed in this week's Rumford Times that the police are asking for volunteers to staff the crossing guard positions. Training will be provided.

Kevin was quick to state numerous reasons why parents would be unlikely to volunteer. Perhaps he is wrong.

Perhaps I am, I never claimed to be right all of the time. I state my opinion backed by the facts as they are known. If I were always right, I would be very wealthy (I bet Seabiscut in the fifth to win).
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by T on Wed Aug 13, 2008 10:10 pm

KevinNSaisi wrote:
T wrote:
KevinNSaisi wrote:At the selectman meeting Carter stated that they did a study and determined that there wasn't sufficient foot traffic to warrant crossing guards. He stated that many of the children who crossed the street (especially at the Maine Avenue location) were being picked up by parents who could pick them up on the same side of the street as the school. They therefore determined that the expense was not needed.
Then it was not a political ploy.

What did you expect him to say?? He wasn't likely to come out and admit it.

Either it's a ploy or it's not. Either the study showed the crossing guards were needed or not. To me, it can't be both.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Aug 14, 2008 5:51 am

Studies showed that there were WMDs in Iraq, justifying our military involvement, but there weren't, it was just a ploy.
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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by T on Thu Aug 14, 2008 10:46 am

KevinNSaisi wrote:Studies showed that there were WMDs in Iraq, justifying our military involvement, but there weren't, it was just a ploy.
So, you're saying Chief Carter is a liar.

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Re: School Crossing Guards Cut

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Aug 14, 2008 2:47 pm

T wrote:
KevinNSaisi wrote:Studies showed that there were WMDs in Iraq, justifying our military involvement, but there weren't, it was just a ploy.
So, you're saying Chief Carter is a liar.

No, I am saying that it is easy to justify something if you work hard enough. GWB falsely justified our presence in Iraq with lies, but it can also be done with a "re-interpretation" of the facts as well.

On a side note, why do you try to twist everything I say? I believe your actions to be of a personal nature. However, as you don't have the backbone to identify yourself, I will assume that your first initial is R, as he his the only person I know of who has such contempt for me. Others may have differences of opinion, but they also have the maturity to keep political opinions from affecting the way they interact with the person. In my experience, he does not.
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