2018-11-02 / Letters

Writers weigh in on upcoming vote

To the editor,

If you’re fed up with intolerance and bias in politics then the place to start making a difference is here ta the local level. The Maine House of Representatives race in District 10 (Arundel, Dalton and Lyman) between Henry Ingwersen and James Booth offers one such opportunity.

Look beyond the handbills, ads and road signs to better understand just who you are voting for. Take a few minutes to enlighten yourself on your favorite search engine. Our community deserves your informed decision.

John Entwistle
Arundel

To the editor,

There are two very good reasons to vote for Janet Mills for governor. She supports Maine Care expansion, allowing lower-wage earners the chance to have health insurance.

She also supports a woman’s right to control her own body as upheld in Roe vs. Wade. This issue will become more important to state government since the Supreme Court has become more conservative.

Her opponent supports neither.

Jacky Peters
Kennebunk

To the editor,

You have all seen this phrase before. This should be applied to a matter before you as you vote on Kennebunk local Question 2 next week.

I speak to you as a longtime lifelong citizen of Kennebunk and not as an elected member of your Board of selectmen, nor as a director of Evergreen Cemetery.

You are being asked to allow $100,000 to be transferred from Kennebunk’s surplus bank balance to subsidize Hope Cemetery in its continuing losing operation of that facility. The truth is far beyond the Save Hope Woods signs you have been seeing recently. You are actually being asked to be a party to a larger plan of financing other organizations and individuals under the guise of setting more land aside for conservation, which is a larger question in itself. Another nonprofit group, organized to funnel money to Hope Cemetery in conjunction with the Kennebunk Land Trust, has put together a $1.4 million package to be raised to Save Hope Woods.

A conservation easement will be purchased and placed on about 72 acres of the unused land of the cemetery, in order to preserve or save it from development, much of it wetland and not prime space for anything but that. Such an easement will run with the land forever and cannot be sold again. Hope Cemetery will continue to own the land but will have monetized itself out of the picture. The town of Kennebunk will receive nothing except a promise of more contributions needed later on.

According to their handouts, barely a little over half, $770,000, will go to subsidize the failing operation of the Hope Cemetery which is losing an average of $52,000 per year on their current method of operations. This will only tide them over for a decade or more.

The rest will be spent in other ways and means. Kennebunk Land Trust itself will keep $50,000 to monitor the easement. What exactly needs monitoring if it can’t be used? The Hope Woods Recreation and Trail organization will use another $400,000 to create and maintain trails, $180,000 will be spent on fundraising, grant writing and campaigns to continue this charade.

The unveiled threat from those groups is that the town of Kennebunk will have to take over the cemetery and its operation when it fails. Again, not true. State statutes require that towns shall maintain veterans’ graves according to standards set by the state.

The town of Kennebunk already contributes $4,400 each year to Hope Cemetery to meet that requirement. Towns may take on responsibility for other graves as seen fit, but are not required to do so.

In summary, even if the town votes to contribute $100,000 to the Hope Woods Initiative it will only push off the inevitable failure of Hope Cemetery as an operating entity and will have exhausted any continuing efforts to monetize itself.

Details of how these organizations spend their dollars are available in the recently released financial statements of Hope Cemetery and Kennebunk Land Trust, which is interesting reading for those watching how their money is spent.

Philanthropy is easy when you are giving away your neighbors’ money. Have you asked them how they feel about that? Vote no on local Question 2.

Wayne E. Berry
Kennebunk

To the editor,

They’re assaulting our intelligence again — negative ads on TV. The black and white blurred photos of opponents that make them look like Halloween ghouls. The false statements that don’t reflect what the candidates truly stand for.

They would be laughable if it weren’t true that they are effective. They place a grain of doubt in the mind of the voter and may even flip votes against a candidate they had been considering.

If you have a question about the position or background of a candidate, look to trusted news sources, listen to the debates, call the headquarters of the candidate in question, and find out for yourself if the allegations are true.

During the primaries, I was almost swayed by a negative ad, until I found out that it was run by an outside firm. Trust your own judgment, not the ads. And vote on Nov. 6.

Victoria Adams
Kennebunk

To the editor,

Voting for Diane Denk for House District 9 is essential to giving struggling families the health care they desperately need, while also improving job creation through public and private investment in Maine’s future growth.

Diane is a proven leader with plenty of energy to get important things done! Please join us in voting for Diane Denk in House District 9.

 Voting for an elected official is like hiring them to do a job for us. So when we need a painter, or auto mechanic or baby sitter, we look for someone who has demonstrated that they have the skills to do that particular job well.

As we look for someone to lead our state government, we want to hire the person with the best track record in elected state-wide positions. Janet Mills is clearly that person. She knows how the public sector works and how to work within it to get things done.

The rules of the game are different in business, the private sector, which is designed to maximize profit for owners. We don’t have time to allow another businessman to do on the job training in the governor’s office.

We need Janet Mills to step in and start leading the state of Maine to benefit all of us.

Cathy and Peter Fellenz
Kennebunkport

To the editor,

The political climate in this nation is corrosive and dangerous. It’s hurting all of us. Watching the news is commonly the most discouraging event of the day and something that we want to shield our children from. Civility is non-existent in the White House and the Blaine House.

Maine’s gubernatorial candidate, Janet Mills, frequently wears a pin that reads “Civility.” Synonyms for the word civility are politeness, consideration, good manners, courtesy, respect.

Janet Mills has the appropriate temperament for public office, she is smart and experienced, she knows how to bring stakeholders to the table, she understands decency, she listens, she knows how to wage a tough and fair battle but she’s not itching for a fight, she loves Maine and its people, and she will represent all of us.

When it comes to health care, clean air and water, justice for all, women’s reproductive rights, LGBTQ equality, reconstruction of Maine’s workforce, expansion of broadband services statewide, and bringing people together, Janet Mills is ready and qualified.

When it comes to civil discourse as a means to addressing the issues facing the people of Maine, Janet Mills is ready and qualified.

When it comes to a brighter, more advantageous and inclusive future for Mainers, a vote for Janet Mills is the one to make.

It’s up to us, please vote on Nov. 6 or earlier via absentee ballot at your town hall.

Marie Louise St.Onge
Kennebunk

To the editor,

As we head toward the mid-November elections, we will be hearing a lot of hoopla surrounding our president’s tax package, aka, buying your vote or, a nice gift to corporate America. And while Mr. T. loves playing Santa Claus, let’s not forget that his handout included a nice personal gift to himself and worse of all, at our expense.

How easy it was to simply transfer or more accurately steal ($1.5 trillion) from our treasury’s projected tax receipts and in the process, create a huge new debt that our children and others will now need to bear, going forward.

And for what?

It’s not that I am not grateful for the small bone Mr. T. threw my way that may result in a small personal tax adjustment, but why specifically underfund and cause collateral damage to so many needy American’s, especially those depended on the Affordable Care Act/Obama Care is a true travesty.

Apparently it didn’t matter that his predecessor had already handed-off to him one of the healthiest economies in decades and that many corporations were already paying little or no taxes whatsoever and instead relying on our generous IRS tax write-offs and creative loop holes. Similar, if not exact, to what our president himself has been doing for years.

Maybe this also better explains why Mr. T. will never release his federal tax return to the American public. If he did, he would surely need to explain where, why and how his generous tax gift clearly benefited him personally and likely much more than we can ever imagine.

I was brought up to believe that inside or advantage trading, which this closely resembles, along with similar types of personal wealth schemes were punishable by fines or jail time. So how is this political shell game really any different and if not illegal, certainly unethical.

Frankly, Mr. President, you have little if anything to boast about. In fact, you should be ashamed.

Jim Thompson
Kennebunk

To the editor,

Kennebunk is blessed with fascinating historical sites and beautiful open lands. In the downtown area we have both together in the historic Hope Cemetery and 72-acre Hope Woods.

To enable the cemetery to remain financially viable and to forever preserve Hope Woods for public use, a very creative partnership has been created, involving the cemetery, Kennebunk Land Trust, the private sector and, hopefully, the town of Kennebunk.

As a resident of Kennebunk, I applaud this innovative collaboration and hope our community will approve on Nov. 6 the referendum allowing a $100,000 contribution from the town to help leverage the additional resources required to complete this exciting project. A win-win project for all of us.

Ted Trainer
Kennebunk

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