Reaction to Agrium layoffs shows it's all about the economy

Posted: Monday, May 05, 2003

"Layoffs will hurt, but the sky is not falling," officials say.

Quoting Sen. Tom Wagoner: "Any layoff of that magnitude bothers me and should bother anyone worried about the economy of the Kenai Peninsula area." He hopes the job cuts won't have a negative impact on the progress of House Bill 57.

Kenai Peninsula Borough Mayor Dale Bagley reacts: "I think things are still positive. ... Yeah, the layoffs will hurt the local economy some, but we've weathered other layoffs at one time or another."

KPB employee Bill Popp: "It will have reverberations in the economy."

Kenai Peninsula Economic Development District employee Andrew Schmahl responded: "The sky is not falling! ... There are a lot of bright spots in the economy."

Glenda Feeken, real estate agent, states: "We are not seeing any panic. There is no dropping of prices, no fire sales."

Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Superintendent Donna Peterson said school officials will be contacting families affected by the layoffs in order to gauge how many students could potentially be leaving the area.

Wow! I cannot even imagine how the echoes of those caring and compassionate responses to the Agrium layoffs must have warmed the hearts of those who are being laid off. Their spouses and children will face many uncertainties and stresses in the days ahead as the income providers of their families struggle with what experts say is as traumatic as a death in the family loss of a job. But the warm concern and compassion for the people affected was just: overwhelming overwhelming.

Oh, stupid me. It really is all about "the economy, stupid," isn't it?

Kathy Martin


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