Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 11-19-2020

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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Page 15 of 109

16 LETTERS NOVEMBER 19-25, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION 16 Board members ask for vote to merge fire districts A poll worker's story in the town of Cumberland Dear Albion and Saylesville voters, Consolidation is defined as the action or process of combining a number of things into a single more effective or coherent whole; an action or process of making something stronger or more solid. This is the intent of the Saylesville Fire District Board of Wardens and Albion Fire District Board of Commissioners in proposing the merger of Albion and Saylesville Fire Districts. Based on the current state of the fire service in 2020, the Boards are taking a forward leaning stance to consolidate two smaller, independent fire districts into a more robust yet efficient fire service operating unit. Each district is looking to seize the opportunity to propel the organiza- tion to new heights of operational efficiency in providing emergency services to the District taxpayers. It is our belief that the new combined Lincoln Fire District will drive the level of emergency services to more effective outcomes while achieving levels of efficiency for the overall benefit of the citizens of Saylesville and Albion. Adjusting to change is never easy, but history shows that the local fire service was born out of the thriving mill villages that served as the nucle- us of the villages. Much has changed since the turn of the 20th century and now we must take a 21st-century approach to how we conduct busi- ness as a fire district and fire depart- ment. Much of how we operate is based on improvements realized over time; it is now our time to learn from others' victories and areas needing improvement. How will this consolidation be considered an improvement? The benefits are many and the drawbacks few. Financially, each district weighs a relative balance of assets and debt. The physical and human resources are quite similar and the vision is firmly aligned toward bringing these two districts closer to a lean model of operations common in the 21st century. The business model of these districts sees an economy of scale promoting a fiduciary effort to pro- tect your tax dollars. Additionally the staffing mod- els and collaboration of efforts in administration, response, training, fire prevention and education move us forward with improvements both immediate and valued over the long term. This visionary approach repre- sents forward thinking championed by the fire chiefs and Board members who are your neighbors and friends elected by you, the district voters. As stakeholders, we the chiefs and Board members of the Saylesville and Albion Fire Districts have devel- oped this plan, and endorse its con- tent to continue our journey of eco- nomical and safe emergency services that started in the village mills and must now meet the needs of an ever- changing climate of the new normal that is our community of 2020 and beyond. With your vote of approval on Dec. 5, we can continue our mission to serve and protect the District resi- dents and taxpayers with the needed structural adjustments to respond to the demands of another new era of necessary change. Please allow us to lead the way with the creation of the Lincoln Fire District. We respectfully ask for your vote of approval on Dec. 5. SAYLESVILLE BOARD OF FIRE WARDENS: ERNEST LACOMBE, chairman JOHN BARR ROBERT FERIOLI DAVID SALE CRAIG WILSON ALBION BOARD OF FIRE COMMISSIONERS DANIEL ADAMSKI, chairman JEAN GAGNON, vice chairman MICHAEL ALLEN JOHN O'REILLY ANTHONY ZABATTA Recognizing the importance and power of everyone's vote in our democracy, like many others, I wanted to do what I could to make sure everyone who was eligible was able to vote and that their vote got counted. I volunteered to be a poll worker in the town of Cumberland. After receiving some excellent virtual training from the R.I. Board of Elections, the big day arrived. The poll workers at my location were an interesting group of seven diverse women and me, a senior white male. Only two had prior poll worker experience and I was not one of those two. Then, everything just clicked. Using the instructions provided by the R.I. Board of Elections and Cumberland Board of Canvassers, we worked together as a team to get everything set up, testing the equipment and making made sure everyone had supplies. When the polls opened, the line of voters stretched around the building. Throughout the next 13 hours, hundreds of people, Republicans, Democrats and independents, voted at our voting place. What I observed during those hours of vot- ing was impressive and heartwarm- ing. Every voter wore masks and socially distanced. Every voter was polite, even when there was some problem requiring a bit more work to cast their vote. The poll workers knew their job and worked well as a team. The Cumberland Board of Canvassers was always there for us. Although the poll workers worked long hours without any real break, they were always smiling, wel- coming and made sure everyone qualified got to vote. We met several people excited and anxious to be voting for their first time. When a new voter signed in, one of the poll workers would shout out, "First time voter!" and many would break out in applause. We watched very senior citizens come to vote, some barely able physically, but deter- mined to cast their vote. When voters put their ballot in the voting machine, almost all stepped back wide eyed and anxiously awaiting the machine's approval. When the machine accepted their vote, a big smile emerged. We thanked them for voting, and they thanked us for our service as poll workers. When the polls closed, the poll workers spent the next hour work- ing as a team going through the process of making sure the votes cast were secure and that the tabula- tion was properly submitted to the Board of Elections. At the end of the day, we all realized that we, poll workers and voters alike, were all just Cumberland citizens politely working together to make sure that all voices were heard on this all- important Election Day, no matter what the results would be! It was a great day! I would like to give a shout out for a job done well done to my great teammates; Clerk Charlotte Senno and Supervisors Aurora S. Nunes, Anissa R. Ciesynski, Julie A. Healy, Caitlin M. Ricciarelli, Jessica N. Johnson and Kristin N. Nicastro! W. DENNIS AIKEN Cumberland Picozzi thanks residents for their votes Just wanted to say a big and heart- felt thank you to all Lincoln residents who voted for me. I will take my past four years of experience representing Lonsdale and continue to be a voice as an At-large School Committee member. I will continue to effectively collabo- rate but also challenge my fellow School Committee members when necessary. Being fiscally equitable while being mindful of taxpayers will not be over- looked when I am making common sense decisions. The promises I made when I ran in 2016 will not be retired but only enhanced while we move into 2021 and beyond. The school district has some promising projects coming up and we will be looking for community support and input as well. It's an exciting time for the school dis- trict and town of Lincoln. JOHN PICOZZI Lincoln School Committee At-large Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to:, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Trusted Service & Repair Since 1953 Paul • Alternators/Starters/Interstate Batteries • Brakes • Oil Change • Exhaust • Struts & Shocks • Tires • A.C. 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