The Oct. 18 deadline for publishing letters in the Oct. 20 edition of The Republican Journal has passed, and as previously announced, candidate-related letters will not be published in the Oct. 27 edition of the paper.

Letters to the editor in support of any candidates in the Nov. 2 elections will be posted here on waldo.villagesoup.com until Oct. 31.

To submit a letter to the editor for inclusion here, please send an e-mail to editor@villagesoup.com or fax to 338-5498. Letters to the editor are limited to 500 words and must include a name, hometown and phone number for verification.

 

Friday, Oct. 29

 


 

Thibodeau’s proposals ignore people and the facts

I was concerned when I read Rep. Mike Thibodeau’s proposals in the column that appeared in the Oct. 20 weekly edition of The Republican Journal [“Thibodeau: I’m running to put citizens back in charge,” p. A9]. As Senate majority leader, I will tell you firsthand that the kind of legislation that he proposed ignores the facts and the voters of Waldo County.

Rep. Thibodeau’s proposal to create a “tax check” was rejected twice in the last three years in referenda by an overwhelming majority of Maine people. You may remember it better as TABOR [Taxpayer Bill of Rights]. Waldo County citizens rejected TABOR by a margin of more than 3,000 votes.

I was also surprised to see that he would propose legislation to create a “debt check” for bonding since it is already law that all taxpayer-supported debt is required to be approved by the voters. Contrary to the representative’s claims, Maine’s borrowing is responsible and below the national average. According to the Office of the State Treasurer, Maine’s tax-supported debt per capita is $760. The national median is $936.

Rep. Thibideau suggests that all Maine voters should approve bonds at all levels of government. Why should the entire state weigh in on whether Belfast should take on debt? That would cripple municipalities, water districts and towns across the state.

Rep. Thibodeau also suggests that the Legislature voted to cut funding for the government oversight agency OPEGA in the dark of the night. Not true. The agency’s funding was reduced in the budget, along with cuts across state government. This budget was passed by a super-majority of Republicans and Democrats in the morning on March 30.

While these proposals sound good in an election year, they are not consistent with the values of Maine people and they are not based on the truth.

Senator Phil Bartlett

Senate Majority Leader, D-Cumberland

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Searsport resident thinks Gillway’s great

When I first heard James Gillway was running for state representative I was disappointed to think Searsport would lose its very capable town manager. When I learned he would be keeping his job as town manager as well as working for us in Augusta, I could not have been more pleased.

I, for one, am tired of career politicians. Representing the people, whether in Augusta or Washington, was never intended to be a full-time job. I’d much rather be represented by someone with real world experience who comes back home to a job and the same problems we all face every day as we work to make a living.

James Gillway has that experience, and I have no doubt he will work as tirelessly in Augusta as he works for us in Searsport now.

Cindy Gallant

Searsport

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Belfast taxpayer says, ‘Lee’s for me!’

Roger Lee, currently running for re-election in Ward 2, is not only for me, but for every resident in the city of Belfast. He has served us well over the last four years, and has been extremely effective in helping to actually lower our [mill rate] to 18.1, down from 19.3, during his time in office. His opponent, Rita Horsey, seems to think that the only way to effectively run a city is to keep on lowering its taxes and claims that, in so doing, she is supporting the under-privileged and disenfranchised. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Taxes, simply stated, are a fact of life and benefit the entire community; if we didn’t pay taxes we wouldn’t have our schools, our roads, our public walkways, our lights, our police force, and, no, we wouldn’t have public events like the Celtic Festival, which has become not only a nationally advertised attraction, but continues to grow each year, and continues to bring in more and more money to our community businesses in the process. Our neighbors in Mexico are an excellent example of an insufficient tax system where poverty, crime, illiteracy, unemployment and a demoralized society are the norm.

According to Horsey, our economic development director should have been required to show a portfolio of businesses willing to move to Belfast prior to being hired, and because he presumably is “making a lot of money,” by now he should have detailed plans from future businesses just begging to move to Belfast. Since when does a business decide to come into an area based on a “dream list”?

Every business of which I am aware wants to see actual improvements in a area before entering into a more detailed plan of action. Our taxes have gone to improve the quality of life for all of us. With Roger Lee as our councilor, our city has become an inviting destination, not only for tourists, but for business ventures as well, a place where the wealthy and all the rest of us can feel a sense of pride, a place where, with vision and planning, we will all have the opportunity to earn a respectable living and/or retire.

Roger Lee has fought tirelessly over the past four years to help ensure that Belfast walks proudly into the future. He is a highly intelligent, caring, involved citizen who has embraced Belfast as his home. He strives to maintain the rich diversity of our city and to provide jobs for all its residents, no matter what level of skill they possess. He listens intently to any and all the concerns of his constituents, and is not afraid to change his mind when presented with a well-reasoned argument.

Roger has fought diligently to lower our taxes, and has succeeded. He knows that taxes are never desired, but he also knows that they are necessary if we are to remain a vital community in the 21st century. If you don’t want taxes, “Let’s try Mexico!”

Lila Nation

Belfast

 

Tuesday, Oct. 26


Have they no sense of decency?

You can always tell when political parties get desperate. They turn to disingenuous and deceitful tactics.

This past week the Maine Democratic Party sent out a mass mailing accusing Mike Thibodeau of voting against education and clean water.

The truth is that Mike opposed a supplemental budget which heaped $25,000,000 in property taxes on Maine taxpayers. Mike also opposed a bill to force towns to replace smooth culverts which they’d installed with ribbed culverts because somebody thought the ribbed ones might be better for the environment.

And because Mike tried to save us from the senseless waste of tax-and-spend practices, they say that he doesn’t like kids or clean water? The Democratic Party ought not to resort to cheap tactics and untruths. It doesn’t become them.

Apparently they’ve forgotten the importance of level playing fields.

Warren Southworth

Searsport

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Searsport woman supports Gillway

I am writing to support James Gillway in his campaign for representative for the Maine House, District 41. He is a committed leader and has been involved in the community for most of his adult life. He has balanced budgets as town manager, police chief and as a deputy sheriff.

In this time of over-the-top and out-of-control state spending I want someone in Augusta who knows how to balance a checkbook and stop spending money that we do not have! The state of Maine is in financial dire straights and, as I see it, we can no longer afford to have the Democrats in control. We need someone with proven fiscal responsibility like James Gillway to help us get our financial house in order.

In addition to his fiscal expertise, I have personal experience with him as police chief. I was going through a difficult personal time and had concerns for my safety. I went to Chief Gillway with my problem; he made me feel at ease and reassured me that his department would respond any time I needed. I left his office feeling assured that I would be safe; and that he would stand by his word.

In Augusta he will listen to our concerns and respond in kind to us as constituents. Please join me in voting for James Gillway, Representative to House District 41 Nov. 2.

Linda Hoeschle

Searsport

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Nickerson was wrong, Piotti is right

In his recent guest column [“Have you had enough yet?”, Oct. 20 edition of TRJ], Mark Nickerson proclaimed that he was mad as heck and he had had enough. In particular he targeted Rep. John Piotti as the focus of his rage.

We have had enough of Mark Nickerson and his rants. It is sad that the once-great Republican Party is the prisoner of an ideology that wants to reduce the country to what it was under the Articles of Confederation. Mark and his minutemen, who want to reduce government across the board, both at the state and the federal level, are in my view willing dupes of the big-business-dominated Republicans.

In their simple embrace of a fantasy liberty they think existed at the time of the founders, angry voters ignore the real dangers and needs in our society. As Lewis Brandeis eloquently showed in his book, “Other People’s Money and How the Bankers Use It,” our common danger is not the encroachment of government in our daily lives — rather, it is the power of oligarchs and plutocrats, which most threatens our economy and our American democracy.

Given the stark choice between big business and big government, I’ll take the latter any day since at least they work for us and are, when functioning correctly, the natural counterweight to the Lords of Wall Street. Therefore, I’m voting straight Democratic, because I believe in power to the people.

And I want to make it especially clear that I am casting my vote for John Piotti for state Senate. Waldo County is fortunate to have such a dedicated public servant willing to represent us. I can personally attest that several years ago when our nonprofit youth program in Belfast was at risk John stepped in and made things happen in Augusta that preserved our program. Although John was not technically our representative, he did not hesitate to assist us and his intervention at the Governor’s Office was decisive. That is the kind of public servant I want representing us. I urge my fellow citizens to support John Piotti for state Senate.

Ray Estabrook

Belfast

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Don’t give in to scare tactics

In late October of 2008 a mailing from the Maine GOP landed in our mailbox here in Lincolnville. That Halloween mailing said that Andy O’Brien, who was running for House of Representatives in District 44, would practice “dirty tricks” and represent “scary values” if he were elected. Andy went on to win that race and to represent this district with fairness and an open door to listen and respond to his constituents. Andy is also working on issues about our economy and food and energy sources.

One of the biggest issues in Maine, and across the nation, is health-care costs.

This 2010 election season scary political tactics are being practiced by the Maine GOP in mailings received in many district 44 mailboxes professing that Andy O’Brien voted to “tax babies.” Andy O’Brien’s voting record on health care shows that he voted to make insurance more affordable, to continue insurance benefits when sick and to ensure that windfall insurance savings went to continue insurance for families and small businesses.

This Halloween 2010 seems to be the Maine GOP season of scary political tactics as usual. Please support the re-election of District 44 House of Representative Andy O’Brien.

Future generations will thank you.

Arlene Jurewicz-Leighton

Lincolnville

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State rep supports Hamilton for Council

I recently read the candidate interviews for Belfast’s Ward 5 council seat. I was struck by the fact that, for the first time, folks on the East Side will not be represented by a Belfast native. I was born in Belfast and although I grew up in town, my grandparents, father and aunt lived on the East Side for several years. In fifth grade, I attended the East Side School. Thus, I can understand the need for East Side residents to have a meaningful voice in city government.

This is why Nancy Hamilton has my support. She has raised concerns that over the last 30 years economic changes have been slower to reach the East Side and Belfast’s outlying areas. She is concerned that less vocal members of our community are not as well represented. Nancy has the people skills from her background in human resources and training to reach out to all citizens. Nancy will advocate for the East Side and help bring the east and west together.

Nancy follows the issues important to Belfast. She has attended several Council meetings and expressed her opinions when she felt strongly on an issue. She understands the big picture and communicates well. Her background and personality will be an asset to City Hall.

Belfast needs effective and compassionate leadership on the City Council. This is why I encourage you to elect Nancy Hamilton Nov. 2.

Jayne Crosby Giles

State Representative

Belfast

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Why I’m voting for Cutler and nixing the casino

I look, listen, read and heed. LePage opens his mouth before he engages brain. Mitchell has helped create the problem we have in Maine. So, I’m voting for Eliot Cutler for the following reasons:

• He has a terrific environmental background, he is green.

• He has a fabulous business background and I believe he has the ability to bring about change in Augusta — consolidate where consolidation is due, and eliminate duplication.

• I think he will protect our way of life, our environment and bring more business to Maine, thereby creating work with out selling out this fabulous state to big business.

• He will correct DOT and thereby fix our deteriorating infrastructure.

• He will overhaul our tourism department, which a few years ago returned $11 for every $1 spent, [a return that] has deteriorated to $8 for every buck spent.

And as to the proposed casino in Oxford County? The bill itself is self-destructive to Maine as it becomes a monopoly. The only proposed casino I would ever vote for is one in Washington County by the Passamaquoddy Indians.

Washington County needs all the help they can get. When I moved to Maine, by desire, the casino was going to be built.

Then our [government] — including Libby Mitchell and our [then-]governor, Angus King — vetoed the building at the very last minute. Let the Passamaquoddys build a casino in Washington County and I will lead a parade.

Nancy-Linn Nellis

Stockton Springs

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Baker asks for votes in District 43

As a candidate for the state Legislature, I have had the great privilege to speak with hundreds of residents in Belfast, Belmont and Northport since I announced my campaign in February. During this time, I have listened and learned that voters are most concerned about the economy, jobs and taxes. They want their next state rep to put Maine people first and help move us out of recession.

I believe that Maine can have a brighter future and in Augusta, I will work to make that happen. I want to thank all the people who have taken the time to share their thoughts with me. It would be an honor and a pleasure to serve as your next state representative. I ask for your support Nov. 2. Thank you.

Lewis Baker

Belfast

 

Monday, Oct. 25


Sahadi has ‘energy, passion’

With all of the important issues that are facing our communities and the state, the upcoming election takes on even greater significance this year. I have known Helen Sahadi for quite a while now and have always been impressed by her passion and commitment to her family, the community and helping the people around her. During her terms on the school board for SAD 3, she demonstrated her ability to sift through the many different needs of the district, students, parents and students to come to decisions that enabled education to be delivered in an effective while cost-efficient manner.

During times of crisis, Helen never loses her positive attitude and willingness to do what is necessary to successfully navigate the bureaucracy and bring hope to everyone around her. As the owner of a small business in Belfast, she understands the issues local entrepreneurs and their customers are facing. As a local volunteer and resident, she understands the hardships that challenge many of our neighbors every day.

Helen Sahadi has the passion, energy, compassion and common sense that help her to look at a situation from all sides and come up with practical solutions. She is exactly the type of person that I want representing me in Augusta and I hope that you will support her with your vote too on Election Day.

Patricia Clark

Unity

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Does Maine want to be the worst?

Does Maine want to be the worst state to do business in?

According to Forbes Magazine, Oct 13, 2010, Maine ranks in last place in the nation (#50) for doing business and having a career. There are many reasons why: high electric power, transportation costs, and the state regulatory environment.

We would urge you to go to the Web site me-ri.org. This is Maine Economic Research Institute’s Web site, which will provide nonpartisan data to help determine whether legislators are voting to support Maine’s business community. The Maine Economic Research Institute is affiliated with the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Maine Motor Transport Association, the Maine Forest Products Council, the Maine Restaurant Association, the Maine Automobile Dealers Association, the Maine Energy Marketers Association and the Maine Merchants Association, to name a few.

Each year they produce a list of legislative votes and who voted for or against the votes that have taken place. These votes all would impact our businesses in Maine.

Mike Thibodeau has a ranking of 85.69 percent ([classified by MERI as a] very strong supporter of Maine’s economy), while John Piotti has a ranking of 20.25 percent ([classified by MERI as] a very weak supporter of Maine’s economy).

In our opinion, this is what is wrong with the state of Maine.

Until we replace legislators with a positive outlook and action towards business and the business community, we will continue to obtain the same results that we currently hold — which is worst in the nation.

Because this seat is being vacated by Sen. Carol Weston, who had a rating of 92.30 percent from the business community in the MERI report for 2009-2010, we urge you to vote for Mike Thibodeau for Senate to help turn this state around. As Carol Weston has said: ”We need more Republicans in Augusta, so we are not 50th on any list.”

In reference to LD 1495, which was passed by the Legislature, signed into law by the governor and overturned by people’s veto in June 2010, John Piotti said we just didn’t get it.

The truth is, we did get, it, and we didn’t like it and we wanted it voted down. It was defeated in his hometown of Unity by a substantial margin. This is why Maine is 50th on the Forbes list of states being the worst to do business in; and, why John’s voting record is so low in supporting Maine’s economy.

Mike Thibodeau is the best candidate for the job. Please join us in voting for Mike on Nov. 2.

Susan and Bill Russell

Unity

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Fire chief urges support for O’Brien

On Nov. 2, 2010, I urge everyone to support Andy O’Brien for re-election as state representative. Andy is a hardworking, genuine person who will fight for our wants and needs in the Maine House. I have known Andy for many years, and have never seen him turn his back on his friends, family or community. He is a person whom the surrounding communities trust as a proven leader in Augusta.

There is much value in using your local state representative. This was the case when the Lincolnville Fire Department was going through the permitting process for construction of a new fire station. The permit necessary to move forward with the first phase of construction was sitting in Augusta not being dealt with in a timely manner. A phone call was made to Mr. O’Brien, who took it upon himself to resolve the matter expediently. Calls were placed to congressmen and within 24 hours the permit was granted to the town of Lincolnville. Consider Andy a useful community resource. Thank you!

Go vote for Andy O’Brien Nov. 2. Your communities are a better place because of knowledgeable people like Andy.

Ben Hazen

Lincolnville fire chief

 

Friday, Oct. 22


Vote Herbig — homegrown leadership

I am writing to encourage your readers to vote for Erin Herbig on Nov. 2. Raised right here in Midcoast Maine, Erin will bring all of her knowledge, passion and imagination to represent us in Augusta. Her special brand of homegrown, hands-on leadership, combined with impeccable credentials and a commitment to integrity make her someone entirely worthy of our support in this election.

Cara McCormick

Belfast

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Former councilor supports Nancy Hamilton

After being actively involved in Belfast city politics for the past 20 years, including two terms on the City Council, I am happy to support Nancy Hamilton for the Council. I think she is one of the best people to come along in years. She is smart, fiscally conservative and does not have a personal agenda.

Mike Rauch

Belfast

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Being a legislator takes time

I live in House District 41, which is made up of the towns of Searsport, Prospect, Frankfort, Verona Island and Orland. I have a choice of two fine individuals, with whom I have worked on several voluntary organizations, to vote for statehouse representative. I have decided to vote for Veronica Magnan so that she can continue the excellent constituent work she started in the last session. I have deep concerns that her opponent, who holds a demanding, full-time job, will not have the necessary time and energy to do justice to either the statehouse or his other highly responsible public position.

A statehouse legislator has many duties, which require an incredible amount of time, if the duties are to be done adequately at any time period. However, in this vitally economically crucial time for the state of Maine, we need a legislator who is representing us every step of the way.

A legislator must be prepared to attend public testimony sessions, floor debates and town meetings, as well as public hearings. A legislator must listen to and act upon constituent issues, and research community concerns. A legislator must attend to the day-to-day duties described for the legislator as defined in the Maine State Constitution. All of these duties and more, such as travel time back and forth to Augusta, cannot be 100 percent scheduled to fit into the timeline of another full-time job.

Veronica has had a very successful professional career, from which she is now retired. Her attendance record in the last legislative session is excellent. This attendance record combined with her constituent work makes her an excellent choice for re-election. Vote Veronica Magnan on Nov. 2.

Faith Campbell

Sandy Point

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Former councilor supports Lee, Herbig

I believe it is the duty of a city councilor to spend money for the betterment of the city. This is a responsibility that weighs heavily on each and every councilor in the city of Belfast. The budget is reviewed line by line with a goal of no increase to the taxpayer, unless absolutely necessary.

At the same time, spending money to help the less fortunate, creating an environment where new business will come and thrive, create jobs for all citizens, support existing businesses creatively, value our youth and elderly, and share our wealth in land and parks for all is necessary and a community builder as well as economic builder.

I believe Roger Lee has chosen to spend wisely in areas that will make Belfast a better place to live for all. Re-elect Roger Lee as your Ward 2 city councilor!

Also, please join me in voting for Erin Herbig for state representative. She is honest, hardworking, knowledgeable, enthusiastic and will represent us well in Augusta.

Catherine A. Heberer

Belfast