Opinion

Check facts on proposed D-F Charter

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To the Editor;
It saddens me to see people use this space to put out misleading and false information to the taxpayers and voters of Dover-Foxcroft. Therefore, I feel the need to correct information which Chris Maas stated last week in the publication of this newspaper.

In his information regarding the vote on the new proposed charter in Dover-Foxcroft, he stated “One of the requirements is that every town has to have a charter and to revise that charter when appropriate.” This is simply not true. Maine towns are governed by MRSA 30-A. That law is readily available on the internet. Not only do towns NOT have to have a charter, but many do not. The Maine Municipal Association, which all taxpayers support through the dues the town of D-F pays to them has a list of all towns which have a charter and all which do not. The list is longer for the towns that do not have a charter. Please do not take my word for this, but go to the Maine Municipal Association website and check it for yourselves.

He also states “The change we [the charter commission] made is that under the new Charter, any and all budget items will continue to go to the June ballot for approval.” Readers, please, go to the D-F website and compare the present charter to the newly proposed charter. You will find the exact opposite to be true. The charter which rules our town now is very specific in that all of the articles which are affirmed by the voters will appear on the warrant in June. The newly proposed charter, which you will be voting on, will have ONE (and only one) budget article appearing on the ballot in June. It will state “Shall the municipal budget [insert budget number] adopted at the Annual Town Meeting in April be adopted.” What happens if you choose to approve the budget for one department but not another? Sorry, you have no choice. It’s all or nothing.

Chris is one hundred percent right. With the new charter we will still have a secret ballot. But, think about it THAT SECRET BALLOT WILL MEAN NOTHING. You will be voting on one number only.

I hope all of you will check out my facts and have the appropriate information prior to voting in June.

The charter we now have is very specific. There was no legal requirement to change it. To my knowledge there were no complaints about it. So, why change something that is working well?
Hilda Mulherin
Dover-Foxcroft

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