Once again it has happened. I am wondering why, with the job market as it is, the city of Portland had to look outside of this state for a new manager.

Is it because those in charge of hiring think Maine people are too dumb to do the job? If the person doing it now was capable of managing it temporarily and was one of the finalists, why not give him the job? I have seen this done not only in Portland but throughout our state.

This leaves me thinking maybe our young people are doing the right thing by leaving Maine to look for work, as it sure looks like you cannot move up the ladder here at home.

Julie Dionne

Brunswick

I am sure the new city manager will be an asset to Portland, but I question his salary of $143,000 plus additional perks which we are not aware of. Now add the cost of a full-time mayor at $66,000, and we must ask where is this money coming from?

Property taxes on real estate are already too high. We increased the parking ticket revenue by about $1 million, we paid Chief Craig’s salary and more. What else can we do to drive business from Portland?

Joe Gray worked in that position for more than 10 years and was paid $121,000 in his last year. A 15 percent increase because (the new city manager) is from out of state?

As a business owner in Portland, I feel that this salary needs a little explaining.

Joe Schmader

Portland

Parking ticket still better than shopping at the mall 

I’m amused at yet another article regarding parking tickets (“Revenues up with no more forgiveness,” May 31).

I live in Portland, pay taxes in Portland and feed parking meters in Portland. I also make every effort to support the merchants in Portland and make every effort to walk to the establishments with which I do business.

When I do drive into the main business area of downtown Portland, I often park on the street and feed the meter according to what I think will be the time required for me to do my business and return to my car. I clearly know how much time I have on the meter and know that if I do not return to the car when that time lapses, I will likely have a ticket.

If I plan to spend or even think I will spend more than two hours doing my business, I will park in a lot or garage — the choice is clearly mine. I often take the “chance” that I will beat the parking authority to the car, but that is my decision and if I get the ticket, so be it.

Just for the record, I would rather get a parking ticket in Portland than shop at the mall. The merchants who own and operate the small businesses in Portland are friendly, informed and value their customer base up front, and that is very important to me.

Bruce Erwin Johnson

Portland

Resources and residents both need to be protected 

I have been a summer resident of Maine for more than 25 years and a year-round resident for nearly two years.

I cannot, for the life of me, figure how legislation to gut our environmental policies — because that is exactly what is being proposed — will help the economy. I am not a tree hugger; I am a farmer and businesswoman.

Maine’s economy is based largely on the wonderful natural resources of the state.

By allowing this governor and the industry-happy Republican Legislature to hack our good policies to bits, we are not creating sustainable jobs, nor inviting responsible developers. By gutting wildlife legislation that is based on scientific findings, we are only assuring that the next generation is not going to have any natural resources left.

L.D. 1031 won’t create a single new job. It will only assure that the state will no longer have the type of resources that attract companies and people who value those resources. More revenue is generated by hikers, paddlers, fishermen and wildlife enthusiasts than by all the factories in the entire state.

These shortsighted moves are a show of force that none of us can afford to go along with.

Alice White

Portland

I am a nurse practitioner who has worked with children and families for more than 30 years. It is on their behalf that I ask Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.

I appreciate Maine legislators phasing out BPA in children’s products and upholding the Kid Safe Products Act. Now the federal government must follow Maine’s good example by overhauling the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976 (TSCA), a law so flawed that it prevents the Environmental Protection Agency from regulating even the most deadly chemicals, such as asbestos.

TSCA has allowed more than 80,000 chemicals to enter the market with virtually no testing for long-term safety, leaving us to wonder and worry about what these chemicals are doing to our bodies.

The Safe Chemicals Act of 2011 would fix TSCA, eliminating the most dangerous toxins from common household products and requiring chemical companies to provide consumers with basic safety and health information about their products.

A new chemical law is long overdue. In 1976, when TSCA was passed, the chemical industry told lawmakers that “the dose makes the poison.” Current science reveals that children’s physiologic development makes them uniquely vulnerable to the toxic effects of chemicals, even at very low doses. TSCA does not recognize this, failing to protect child health and safety.

Eighty thousand untested chemicals on the market give me 80,000 reasons to urge Sens. Snowe and Collins to co-sponsor the Safe Chemicals Act of 2011.

Lisa Belanger

North Yarmouth

It’s time for public works to take action on street art 

I noticed this past holiday weekend that the chain-saw massacre art — aka “Tracing the Fore” — is still there. Someone, no doubt, is doing a six-month study on funding for the removal.

I have an idea. It’s in fairly small sections, so how about we (the taxpayers) send a couple of public works guys down there with a gigantic city backhoe and dump truck (all paid for) and rip that sucker out of there?

They can head right to the junkyard conveniently located next to public works and bingo, it’s done, with proceeds from the sale of the stainless steel going to reduce property taxes.

Bill Honan

Portland