Hampton shows support for Head Start

The Town of Hampton formally threw its support behind Washington County Head Start.

The town board unanimously endorsed a request by the beleaguered organization to include the community on a letter urging Congress to reconsider spending cuts that have left the program in dire straits.

The Washington County Head Start program has seen a $201,371 reduction—more than 5 percent of its total budget—in federal funding because of the sequester.

The reductions have forced administrators to suspend two six-week summer Head Start programs, in Cambridge and Hudson Falls, eliminate staff, subject employees to mandatory work-week reductions, eliminate vehicle purchases, and shorten school-year programs by two weeks.

Claire Murphy, head of the Washington County Head Start program, the organization that oversees the local program, said last month the cancellation of the summer program directly affects 72 children who were previously enrolled in the program and will not receive those services.

Murphy said the cuts were necessary to preserve other year-long programs Head Start offers.

Further cuts may have to be made next year if lawmakers can’t broker a deal on the federal budget.

The local Head Start program serves a total of 420 economically-disadvantaged children in Washington County. The program provides comprehensive education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services.

“It’s a real eye opener how much they do,” Supervisor Dave O’Brien said.

Studies have shown that those services correlate with greater educational success later in life, decrease the likelihood of a person committing crime and even increase life expectancy. 

Contract Negotiations

O’Brien said the town’s attorney, Matt Fuller, has sent a letter to Hampton Volunteer Fire Company attorney Bradley Pinsky, but has yet to receive a response.

Last month, Pinsky sent the town a letter that included two separate contract proposals, each of which amounts to $132,000 over a three year period.

The town and its fire department are at odds over the department’s funding and have been unable to reach a compromise.

The two sides have not sat down to discuss the contract in more than two months and the only correspondence has been the letters sent by each side’s attorneys.

The current contract, which provides the department with $25,500, can remain in effect for up to five years unless one side terminates the agreement in writing by Aug. 20. If that happens, the two sides would have until Dec. 31 to hammer out a new deal.

Assessor reappointed

The town board ratified a new six-year agreement with assessor Mary Ellen Hill-Pierce.
Pierce’s term, like that of every assessor in Washington County, was set to expire on Sept. 30.

The new contract is effective beginning Oct. 1 and Pierce will receive a salary of $11,000 a year, the same rate she has been paid for the past six years.

“Her reputation is good and she’s done a very good for Hampton,” O’Brien said.

The next meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 17.

Comments

comments

Read more in this week's Sentinel in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Read more in this week's Times in newsstands now or click here to read right now with our e-edition.

Tags: , ,

North Country Freepress – 06/15/18

freepress 6-15-18.pdf-web.pdf

Lakes Region Freepress – 06/15/18

lakes_6_15_18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 06/14/18

518 Wheels 6-15-18.pdf-web.pdf

North Country Freepress – 06/08/18

freepress 6-8-18.pdf-web.pdf

518 Wheels – 06/07/18

518 Wheels 6-8-18.pdf-web.pdf

Woman, 74, surrenders for January hit-and-run

hit run

By Krystle S. Morey More than five months after a man was hit by a vehicle and left seriously injured […]

Community argues against abolishing police to cut costs

Whitehall PD meeting

By Matthew Saari Whitehall village residents have spoken – they want their police department. More than 50 people turned out […]

Inaugural Sasquatch half-marathon Saturday

squatch2

By Matthew Saari Runners near and far will converge on Whitehall for the first-ever Sasquatch half-marathon and 5K race this […]

Whitehall wins first trap season

Whitehall trap

By Matthew Saari Four thousand three hundred fifty targets, 87 participants, 12 schools and one champion. The fledgling Whitehall trap […]

Hartford reenactors appear in TV episode

Mary and Mike 1

By Keith Harrington A pair of Hartford High School graduates parlayed their passion for Revolutionary War reenactment and acting into […]