Kelsey Flynn and Jaime Olander: Supports Northampton mayor’s budget and leadership

Northampton City Hall

Northampton City Hall STAFF PHOTO/DAN LITTLE

Published: 05-31-2024 2:27 PM

We are writing to express our support for Mayor Gina-Louise Sciarra’s budget and overall leadership for Northampton. As Northampton public school parents in ward 3 of a fourth and sixth grader, we have experienced up close the positive and moving results of a Northampton public school education since our oldest started kindergarten seven years ago. We also have witnessed the mayor’s commitment to public education over the past several years in her service as a city councilor. No one has been in the weeds more than Mayor Sciarra when it comes to budget lines. We trust her analysis. That’s why we voted for her in the first place because of her years of experience and ability to parse out the details and explain them clearly.

We believe in our schools, in our teachers and in our school leadership and community and, at the same time, believe that Northampton shouldn’t, nor can, fund any part of it beyond what allows for a balanced budget for all of its services and departments. Our kids need clean water, and safe sidewalks and roads, too. There are too many communities in this country who can, unfortunately, provide cautionary tales about what happens when those funds run dry.

We also believe in our elected officials at the state level. We look to their leadership to right the incomprehensibly incongruous funding mechanisms that divert funds away from our western Massachusetts public schools year after year. Until public education is a priority at the state and federal levels, we’ll continue to fight one another locally over the small change we find in the city’s couch cushions. Let’s focus on the true revenue logjam to free up funds at those higher levels so the monies can start to flow downstream to our cities and towns.

Kelsey Flynn and Jaime Olander

Northampton

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