Don’t deprive our district

[Editor’s note: The following letter was addressed to the RSU 20 board of directors, and a copy was sent to VillageSoup.]

We were disappointed to read of the decision by members of the RSU 20 board of directors to advertise for the position of superintendent, rather than renew the contract of the current superintendent, Bruce Mailloux, at your Dec. 15 Special Board Meeting. We do not understand the rationale for this decision and would like an explanation.

We have had a good working relationship with Mr. Mailloux since he assumed the role of acting Superintendent for MSAD 34. He has regularly kept us informed of pertinent information regarding finances, the budget and other concerns or problems that are relevant to the town. We were impressed by his willingness to tackle the $800,000 shortfall left to him when he accepted the position as MSAD 34 superintendent, and even more impressed by the resolution of that shortfall in such a brief period of time. It was a remarkable achievement that both he and the MSAD 34 board of directors worked hard to accomplish. He inspires great confidence in the administration of the school district at a time when it is very much needed.

It is our opinion that the action that you have taken is shortsighted and is not in the best interest of the district, and we urge you to reconsider. If you have issues with Mr. Mailloux’s performance, we would suggest that you present him with his evaluation, discuss the issues that have arisen, and come up with an action plan to resolve those issues within an appropriate timeline.

If the issues are not with Mr. Mailloux’s performance, then what are they, and why wasn’t he kept apprised of the situation? Do not allow poor personnel management and a lack of effective communication on the part of the board of directors to deprive our district of a valuable asset.

Searsmont Board of Selectmen

Bruce Brierley,

Paul Pearse

and Stacy Benjamin

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Inspired by idea of arts center

Last week I went to a meeting to learn about the possible new community/performing arts center envisioned by many to be located in the Mathews Brothers showroom building.

Mike Hurley, who spearheads the drive, ably moderated the meeting. John Bielenberg presented a possible model for the main floor construction — I was excited to envision the 400-seat theater space proposed. Scootch Pankonin gave an exciting, informative talk on the availability of grant money and funds for community arts groups. Suzette McAvoy gave a impromtu pep talk on how we as a community have the resources to create something wonderful with this project.

A variety of folks expressed lots of hopes and aspirations, and I came away inspired. I sincerely believe that the time has come for us to have a beautiful center for concerts, plays, community events, and best of all, a rainy-day venue for Belfast Summer Nights!

Thanks to Mike, John and Scootch for organizing the presentation; thanks to Jan Anderson, who originally saw the great possibility of this building for our community; and thanks to everyone who came out to express interest, excitement and hopefully commitment.

The next step is creating a functioning board of directors thath will take responsibility for the future center, creating goals, tagging dreams and organizing committees to get the multitude of jobs done. Until then I encourage all to consider this idea, to try on this dream, and get inspired to help make this a reality.

Ando Anderson

Belfast

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Defacing public property

About every three weeks, I travel to the Belfast Free Library, search the stacks and find about eight books to check out. As the daughter of a librarian, the library has always been a second home to me, and has been a place of ideas, peace and joy. I have lived in several places and have been a permanent Maine resident for six years.

Maine has always been known as a state of many readers. It may have started with those long, cold winters. So I expected respect for the written word. Imagine my surprise that in at least one of the books I check out every three weeks, someone has presumed to know the voice of the author. Words and phrases are circled in pen as well as pencil. Some have what the defacer assumes are the correct answers.

The fact that this defaces public property should go without saying. But the truly amazing thing is that many times the destroyer is mistaken. For example, why circle the word “wraith”? Not only is it a word, but it was used properly. It means ghost, banshee, poltergeist, kelpie, etc. Now, if you don’t know what a banshee or poltergeist or kelpie is, I suggest you use a dictionary, rather than assume you know more than the author.

I was taught to respect books. To care for them as treasures. They are pieces of art, as much as a painting or sculpture. I know I am making an assumption, but I believe that the individuals who have defaced these books would not deface the “Mona Lisa” by making her smile, or change “The Pieta” by making the Virgin Mary older and broken-hearted. If you find the thought of these defacements abominations, then think before you put graffiti in another book. And handle the books with loving care, so they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

Sheila Nickerson

Belfast

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Support First Things First

As a proud member of the first graduating class of Mount View High School in Thorndike, and a new member of the Future MSAD3 board, I want to urge support for the First Things First campaign. The role a learning environment plays in the lives of our children and grandchildren is second only to home and church. They spend the biggest part of their young lives at this complex involved in learning and social activities.

Our job is to support them in every way and to provide them with the necessities to become strong adults. While the state funded the new school, Future MSAD3 was created to raise private funds and awareness of the needs not covered by the state and enhancements the district is unable to fund.

While the new complex was under construction, it was discovered that the athletic facilities would not have the necessary infrastructure to make them user-friendly: water, sewer and electricity. With this discovery came the realization that there was no one to pay for these necessities.

Again the Future board stepped up to the plate and took on the task. We promised to fund water for sports fields, electrical conduit for lights and scoreboards, as well as water, power and sewer for a concession building to store equipment and provide public restrooms.

It is a long, dark walk from the fields to one of the new bathrooms inside the school. So please join the 240 donors who have already committed $57,000.00. We need to raise another $67,000 as soon as possible.

Help keep this promise. Mail your gift to Future MSAD3, P O Box 151, Unity, Me. 04988

Anita S. Pease

Liberty

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Despite weather, Hospital Aid says thanks

I would like to thank the many Waldo County Hospital Aid members and all others who so generously gave of themselves in preparation for the annual Silver Tea.

Unfortunately, due to severe weather conditions, we were forced to cancel the event this year. It takes so many volunteers to successfully hold an event like this and I would like to thank the people who volunteered to be “room sitters” and “tea pourers,” and all who baked and offered other refreshments for the event.

I would also like to thank all those who sent in monetary contributions in spite of the cancellation. All donations go towards enhancing the hospital to serve the community better.

Hopefully the weather for the 2010 Silver Tea will cooperate!

Doris E. Kelly

President,

Waldo County Hospital Aid