WINDHAM – I can understand the concern, but I think (and hope) the worry expressed by environmentalists in the front-page article (“LePage vision worries environmentalists,” Nov. 8) proves not to be as extreme as expressed.

LePage is the governor-elect. His beliefs, aspirations and goals are very much in transition. He has never held a position on this scale.

I recall, from working with him and Waterville city councilors on an ordinance to recoup outstanding property taxes, that he is a smart guy who cares about his community and is someone who will seek to find reasonable solutions.

I also remember him as someone who prefers that decisions be made expeditiously — not by a hundred committees giving recommendations to another hundred committees.

Anyone who lives and works in Maine either knows by now how important the environment is to Maine’s future or they will never know.

NOT IN IT FOR SHORT-TERM GAINS

I am confident that Paul LePage, even though he seeks to correct the overreach of government and rein in state spending, will have an eye on the overall bottom line which includes the protection of assets and investing in Maine’s future.

LePage must know, based on the experience of running his business and his years at Marden’s, that there are short- and long-term considerations that must be considered equally for healthy change and positive growth in any business. Now he will be scaling up his knowledge in order to lead the state.

At the same time that he is seeking to attract businesses and jobs to Maine, he must realize he will need to look after the health of existing large and small Maine businesses that produce goods from Maine’s natural resources, i.e. wood, fish, food, water, etc.

Although Waterville, with the exception of a few events such as the International Film Festival sponsored by the Railroad Square Cinema, is not a tourist destination, he knows that tourism, the leading source of income for Mainers, is dependent on the health of Maine’s environment. He simply cannot allow the stripping or poisoning of Maine’s resources for short-term gain

Regarding the reference in the article to a comment made by Dan Demeritt, LePage’s communications director, that “LePage has relied on his interactions with ‘real people’ to inform his environmental views,” that was last week.

As Gov.-elect LePage grows into the job, he will depend on advice from anyone who can contribute to the stability and healthy growth of our state or he will fail. He seems to be a savvy guy who can discern spin from informed advice and not waste excessive time in the process.

In 1968 I had an office in the basement of the old Augusta City Hall building. My drafty window looked out on the Kennebec River with swirling foam and a constant parade of multi-colored bubbles, some almost a foot in diameter, caused by discharges from plants and sewage pipes emptying into the river. LePage must remember the state of the Androscoggin River during his years in Lewiston.

Anyone who remembers when our state was being poisoned by various industries will know that LePage’s stated belief that “ private, rather than government, ownership results in better stewardship of natural resources” only works with oversight.

DIFFERENT MIND-SET NEEDED

I think a few past Legislatures were carried away with oversight. But we only have to look back over 100 years of clear-cutting forests, siltation of streams and rivers, fouling the air and poisoning of our waters by industries, many owned by corporations with no internal ties to Maine, to disprove the private stewardship theory.

But many things said by all candidates during an election campaign are exaggerated for various reasons.

In a calmer, more reasoned atmosphere, more information from varied sources is sought and taken into consideration. Real leaders, given time to review information, will not stick their own foot in their mouth — especially if it involves the health and well-being of those around you.

Based on my observations from living in Waterville for 20 years and being involved in different aspects of the community, Paul LePage is not someone who can be bullied.

I don’t presume to know absolutely how LePage thinks, but remember him to be someone who didn’t appreciate being approached confrontationally. He seemed to prefer resolving issues reasonably and quickly.

If the time should come when lines need to be drawn and positions defended, I feel confident that he will listen and seek to bring the best thinking together, especially from those being impacted by existing or proposed legislation — which, ultimately, is all of us.