Kindly let me join my voice in unison with Mr. Mike Wilbur (March 5 letter) and Mr. Tony Pisano (March 7 letter) in regard the Mountain One’s layoffs.
First, one whole side of Main Street is gone ... then, the Hoosac Savings Bank becomes Hoosac Bank ... then joins with Williamstown Savings Bank, then, and then, and then, ad nauseum, becomes MountainOne. Now, MountainOne has a shiny, brand new, corporate office building in Pittsfield. Too big to fail? How about too big to support.
The American worker is the biggest investment in the United States. The vibrancy of our downtowns and sustainability of a livable and warm community is the great story of North Adams. Even now, there is a strong, strong small business community investing themselves, their creativity and their financial resources to fight for reviving the downtown as a center for our families and our friends -- one of the avenues that might stem the decline in our population.
Uncovering family history, I found on both sides (the Ferguson and Isbell and the Gallup and Flood families) that they all did business with Hoosac Savings Bank, going back to the late 1800s or earlier.
Bank Street is gone where Isbell Electric Co. (my grandfather C. Perry Isbell’s business) thrived. He believed you did business where you lived.
"On the sunny side of the street," my father, George M. Flood (in the early 1940s, president of the City Council), was assistant treasurer
The new president and CEO of MountainOne, Mr. Thomas Leavitt, and the board of directors are not paying attention to what is happening in this country and their role in the greed and decimation of the American worker and our cities and towns.
Several years ago, as I realized what was happening, I pulled my accounts from Hoosac Bank. It filled me with nostalgia breaking that family tradition of way over 100 years, but it was no longer my parents’, grandparents’, great-grandparents’ and great-great-grandparents’ bank.
The unconscionable layoffs of the employees in North Adams, the stress this places on these members of our community, and the fear of worrying about their livelihoods is worse than appalling. As the saying goes, "if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem."
As the great anthropologist and activist Margaret Mead said: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." I also believe all change comes from the grassroots up, and I hope those who care put their money where their integrity is.
MountainOne is "on the dark side of the street" and needs to rethink its corporate strategies and responsibilities to the people they are supposed to be serving. This ongoing assault on American workers and members of our community has to stop ... and the buck stops here! I hope you will protest any way you feel comfortable. Let’s have some sunshine in North Adams now.
Rachel Isbell (Flood) Branch