I would not attempt to suggest what the Watertown mayor and City Council should do with respect to their decisions regarding charging fees for city facilities. All elected officials have the very challenging responsibility to govern in a fiscally responsible manner as they also promote a quality of life environment for their constituents.
I also would not presume to write a letter of reference for Disabled Persons Action Organization or Joe Rich, and in full disclosure I need to state that Joe and Carol Rich are longtime personal friends of my wife and me. My wife and I are also longtime consumers of DPAO shows and concerts. Our quality of life is greatly enhanced when we enjoy dinner at a Watertown restaurant before attending a Steve Martin or Bill Cosby show. Thank you DPAO for taking the financial risk to bring your wide variety of quality entertainment to Northern New York.
I would like to share a recent experience with DPAO. About six months ago very close personal friends of ours brought two developmentally disabled young adults into their home to help a family through a very difficult crisis.
Their Good Samaritan act was very generous and humane. They called me for help in finding respite care for their new charges. I immediately called Joe Rich and told him the story. Within half an hour he and Cindy FitzPatrick had put together a plan to help my friends provide for the two very needy, young adults for whom they had responsibility. Joe was not sure if DPAO would receive payment for the service, but he said services needed to be provided immediately, and he and Cindy would figure out the funding later.
We are so fortunate to have good people in Jefferson County like my friends, who are willing to help those less fortunate.
We are also fortunate to have an agency like DPAO, which provides so many services for so many families. Thank you Joe Rich, Cindy Fitzpatrick and the board members who provide the direction and the dedicated staff members who implement DPAOs quality services.