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The Times 

Hope that port commissioners see value of childcare proposal

 

February 24, 2022



Dear Editor

Regarding the February 9th meeting of the Commissioners of the Port of Columbia, as reported by Justin Jaech in the Waitsburg Times, “Port Commissioners Delay Decision on Childcare Proposal.” The purpose of the Port is to “work to create an environment that is attractive to business and industry. The Port of Columbia serves as the lead Economic Development agency for Columbia County, and uses infrastructure development, real estate management, transportation, small business assistance, and community outreach to create such an environment.” When presented with an opportunity to do that work, some of the port commissioners seem to be ambivalent.

I hope that the port commissioners see the value in the proposed project, so that we can finally, after almost two years of sacrifice and hard choices, get some childcare in this community. Our economic well-being is tied to its ability to provide adequate childcare for working families. Some of the sacrifices working parents are making in order to care for their kids, (leaving their jobs, leaving town, reducing hours) means fewer dollars spent at local businesses and fewer people to work at those businesses. The financial strain and emotional toll these sacrifices take on families can only have a depressive effect on the local economy.

I understand that childcare may not be an issue that some of our commissioners have had to deal with directly, and maybe they don’t understand the urgency of the situation. As a parent who has had to make some tough choices, I can say from experience, that it is dire. A decision needs to be made now for the future of the community. There was much talk in the last election about wants versus needs. Adequate, quality, reliable childcare is an immediate need. We’ve been waiting for almost 2 years for a new daycare to open. It’s apparent that it isn’t going to happen without help. The Port is in the unique position to help local families while improving the local economy. I hope they don’t let politics get in the way of making a real impact in the lives and businesses of Columbia County residences.

Thank you,

Amy Rosenberg

Dayton, Wash.

 

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