Local Letters to the Editor

Monson selectman weighs in

To the Editor:

    For the record when I decided to run for selectman in Monson I did so for two reasons, both of which I view as equally important. One, to do whatever we could do to stop Peter Vigue from building a race track for Canadian truck drivers through the middle of our small town. And two, to try and look out for the tax payers’ money.

    Anybody who knows me knows that I don`t think much of government, or the way revenue is generated. If you work hard, or own property, you get penalized. Last July the winter plowing contract was pretty far down on my priority list. But the fact of the matter is that as a result of the town succumbing to the lure of “low bid,” we have seen a significant drop in the quality of our winter road maintenance. When the county threatens to step in, there is a problem. When there are three ruts in the road with a log truck coming the other way, there is a problem. When the contractor doesn’t take advantage of a warm day to scrape and push the banks back, there is a problem. When it’s been snowing all night and the first responders can`t get up the hill in front of my house without getting a run for it, in four wheel drive, there is a problem. When it`s been snowing all day and nobody sees a plow until after five, there is a problem. And when any contractor thinks the people he works for don`t have a right to judge his performance, there is a problem.

    All problems can be fixed but they will only be fixed by the contractor doing a better job, not by the town accepting less for their money. It is not the job of the selectmen to hold the hand of any contractor doing any job for the town, we do not need to be the experts. Our job is to pick a contractor with the expertise, equipment, and people to get the job done right, at a fair price and then enforce the contract as need be.

    But since Mr. Knowlton asked what my qualifications were, the only answer I have to that is I have also plowed a few driveways in the past, so I guess we are both equally qualified.

Bryant Brown


Proud of Parkman Grange

To the Editor:

    My wife and I are summer residents of Parkman and members (active when in town) of the Parkman Grange. I want to congratulate and thank the Grange for an outstanding 2012. The 53 members, through donations of time, food and money, raised and gave back to the community over $10,000. It is truly an honor and privilege to be associated with such an active and involved group of people. Thank you.

Dick Colver
Springfield, Va.


Keeping a promise

To the Editor:

    Recently, media outlets in Maine posted articles and pictures of the new home for the controversial mural honoring labor unions here in the State. It was unveiled in the atrium of the Cultural Building. This building houses the Maine State Museum, Maine State Archives and the Maine State Library.

    In the media photos, there is a picture of three very sheepish looking Democrat leaders standing in front of the mural. I say sheepish, because as the Democrats try desperately to contrive a victory out of the mural’s public placement, its very presence is a damming indictment of the lack of vision Maine Democrats present to the people of this state.

    As a few politicians mingled with a small group of media to cover and celebrate this homage to union workers, they must have become painfully aware that no one else was there. The Maine people didn’t give a rat’s “behinder parts” for the Democrat’s prized painting. Since unions make up a scant percentage of the private sector and the independent workforce, which comprises the majority of Maine’s business landscape, received nary a brushstroke of recognition amongst the dull grays and browns of the union’s forlorn masterpiece, it’s no wonder Maine residents preferred to be otherwise occupied.

    But there is more to the uncomfortable disposition of the Democrat’s “Three Amigos.” It is the realization that the mural Mark Eves, Jeff McCabe and Seth Berry were posing before is a great drab verification that the Governor had kept his word. When the one-sided representation of Maine’s workforce was removed from the Department of Labor, the Governor promised the prejudicial painting would be rehung in a suitable place. This was delayed when the party of those three grinning models of union loyalty attempted to tie up the LePage administration in court over this canvas of contrived controversy. (Ahh, alliteration.)

    The suits against the Governor were thrown out of court. So while the Governor and the Republicans were working to balance the budget, make Maine a more suitable place for business and raising a family, Democrats were spending taxpayer money to pout over the placement of a persnickety Picasso, of sorts. Amazingly, despite all the bad behavior from Democrats, the Governor was still determined to keep his word, once all the tantrums had been thrown out of court.

    His pattern of behavior, this dogged determination like a bloodhound on the trail has continually endeared Governor LePage to the people of Maine, who still call him “their Governor.” Despite his gruff, crusty and, at times, poorly thought out presentation, he continues to focus on the promises he made to the people. The majority of Maine people are a salty, weathered, hardworking lot, who are willing to forgive a wealth of fashion faux pas if they can see the man is working hard. And that he is.

    When the Governor took office, one of his first priorities was to pay back the hospitals. There was a strong first attempt at doing that very thing, but it soon became evident that more would need to be done. The mistakes of 40 years of spend thrifty Democrat mismanagement had taken its toll. The hospitals need more money and the Governor gave his word.

    Much like his steadfastness on the mural, LePage has remained focused on his promise to the hospitals of Maine. He has proposed a plan that would pay back the hospitals. By using the liqueur revenue available, the Governor would pay back the hospitals.

    But Justin Alfond and the Democrats are angry about this plan. Why? Greed, that’s why. Democrats want to continue the former 40-year cycle of taking any surplus found and using it to grow more government and government bureaucracies rather than fixing the present balance sheet. They want to funnel the money to themselves and grow their political machine. Instead of giving Maine a hope of financial freedom, Alfond prefers to repeatedly mock and attack the Governor in hopes of keeping Maine locked in the grays and browns of debt and greed, another mural of despair painted by the Democrat policies of self-preservation.

    Those revenues belong to the people of Maine and to the hospitals, which were promised payment on services rendered. The Governor intends to keep those promises. Mr. Alfond seems intent on stopping him. For the Governor, promises are a means to be kept and honored. For Justin Alfond, promises are a means to an election and nothing more.

Andy Torbett

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