2014-01-16 / Letters to the Editor

GIS coordinator too important to dismiss

It is with great consternation that I learned of the elimination of Justin Jobin’s position with the town (“Head of GIS told job may be in jeopardy,” Jan. 9). I don’t know all that his position of GIS coordinator entails, but I do know that it involves knowledge and expertise crucial to our well-being.

As you have learned, Jamestown has some challenging issues with septic systems. With most of the island’s waste disposal tied into a septic system, having someone on staff with particular knowledge about the various systems available and the nuances of Jamestown’s soils is essential. Justin is the go-to guy for this information. He has made himself the expert. If you have to install, repair or replace a septic system in Jamestown and don’t know where to begin – start with Justin. This information is so important to public health, its oversight and management should not be sloughed off to just anyone.

Maybe we don’t need a fulltime GIS coordinator. Whenever I’ve gone to Justin for help, I’ve had to wait. There seems to always be someone else there needing an explanation, clarification or information. He is always so pleasant, helpful and patient. He takes the time to educate. Maybe he’s done his job too well. What to do with someone who’s done too good a job?

Why not make him the new deputy public works director and roll the essential parts of his current position into it? It does not make any sense to bring in someone who doesn’t have either the expertise or knowledge to do the job well. It would be an expensive learning curve.

Joan McCauley
Washington Street

The above letter was addressed to Town Administrator Kevin Paicos on Jan. 11 and copied to the Press.

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