April 16, 2003 - Boxford Tri Town Transcript: Joe Downing resigns as Town Engineer to go to Kenya as Volunteer

Peace Corps Online: Peace Corps News: Headlines: Peace Corps Headlines - 2003: April 2003 Peace Corps Headlines: April 16, 2003 - Boxford Tri Town Transcript: Joe Downing resigns as Town Engineer to go to Kenya as Volunteer

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, April 17, 2003 - 12:12 pm: Edit Post

Joe Downing resigns as Town Engineer to go to Kenya as Volunteer

Read and comment on this story from the Boxford Tri Town Transcript on Joe Downing who has resigned as Town Engineer to go to Kenya as Volunteer at:

From Topsfield ... to Kenya: Town Engineer resigns to join Peace Corps*

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From Topsfield ... to Kenya: Town Engineer resigns to join Peace Corps

By Ashley Ryan Gaddis / AGADDIS@CNC.COM
Wednesday, April 16, 2003

After months of rumors circulating through Town Hall, Topsfield Town Engineer Joe Downing has formally asked the Topsfield selectmen to accept his resignation so he can join the Peace Corps.

In a letter submitted Monday, Downing told the selectmen he planed to resign May 14 and leave for an assignment in Kenya on May 27.

"I've enjoyed working with many good and dedicated people over the years," Downing wrote. "Topsfield is a wonderful community of people living in a naturally beautiful environment.

"Our country is truly blessed in so many ways when compared to other parts of the world," Downing continued in his letter. "The Peace Corps asks the following: 'Is peace simply the absence of war or is it the absence of the conditions that bring on war; the conditions of hunger, disease, poverty, illiteracy, and despair?' I hope to find an answer to this question by contributing in some small way to improving the lives of others less fortunate."

Downing began working for Topsfield in April 1987. During his sixteen years at the town, Downing was responsible for overseeing the closure of the town's former dump off Bare Hill Road and its conversion into the largest public park in the community. He also has worked for the Board of Health conducting "perc" tests for septic systems.

The selectmen and Finance Committee, for many months aware of Downing's application and pending acceptance to the Peace Corps, have drafted next year's budget with the Town Engineer's position eliminated, a savings of about $89,000.

As Topsfield no longer needs an engineer to oversee the landfill's closure, the town plans to hire a part-time sanitarian, at a much lower salary cost than an engineer, to conduct septic system tests for the Board of Health. Under the proposed Fiscal 2004 town operating budget, the Board of Health is adding about $18,000 in wages to its budget to cover the costs of the sanitarian.

The selectmen Monday night praised Downing for his hard work and contributions to the town and said he will be missed.

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This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Kenya; Recruitment



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