October 21, 2013

Letters to the editor: Another sign of a failed City Council

Wow, city inspector quits and is paid hush money by the city leaders (“Portland restaurant inspector was paid to quit, clam up,” Oct. 16)! And this is news? No news to me.

click image to enlarge

Michele Sturgeon checks the temperature of food at a Portland restaurant. A letter writer says the city should be ashamed for paying her to quit as health inspector.

2012 File Photo/Gabe Souza

For years I have said that it’s time to replace the entire City Council because of its inability to run this city and listen to the concerns of the taxpayer. And over and over, the voters rubber-stamp them all in again.

People! It’s time for some major changes in the council chambers, and maybe, just maybe, you have been shamed enough to make the changes in November. I seriously doubt it, but I am hoping.

Anybody with a brain can figure out what the latest shame is about. This woman most likely had to quit because of pressure she was getting from city leaders wanting her to pass inspections on their favorite eating establishments – or else.

She knows names and dates and the places where it has happened, but our fabulous councilors decided to make her sign a release stating that if she keeps quiet, they will pay her. Am I wrong, or isn’t that against the law?

I am only one voter, but you can bet the house on me voting for everyone else who hasn’t served on the “Panel of Shame” for years, wasting taxpayer money and draining the wallets of the elderly – and, most of all, wasting time on city ordinances only to run and hide when opponents go to the American Civil Liberties Union and sue.

It has happened many times. It just goes to show you that spineless people are running your great city.

Maybe I should write a book about how this city has changed over the years, from the useless mayor’s job (that we now pay for) right on down the line. Most likely a best-seller.

Frank Teras


Good time for investing, so let’s vote for bond proposals

The American Council of Engineering Companies of Maine urges voters to support the balanced set of bond proposals appearing on ballots Nov. 5.

Today, Maine has a very competitive bid environment that gives taxpayers a favorable return on investments in roads, educational facilities and other capital projects. Meanwhile, Maine is also experiencing low interest costs on borrowing and Maine has a conservative borrowing policy in place. This is a good time for Maine to invest.

Additionally, the proposed bonds connect the dots between our anemic state revenue forecasts and the decline of our public infrastructure. Just as the tools for conducting business need to be periodically repaired and modernized, so must the public invest in the infrastructure that supports the Maine economy.

In the area of transportation, the Legislature acknowledges a capital funding gap of at least $110 million a year, and this assumes passage of the $100 million bond issue now being sent to the voters for their approval. Similar stories can be told regarding the unfunded backlog of needed educational facility improvements.

The American Society of Civil Engineers in their Report Card gives Maine’s infrastructure a set of grades no child would wish to bring home to his parents.

On a more personal note, the engineering companies of Maine join their colleagues in the construction industry in experiencing severe impacts from the continuing economic downturn. It is not uncommon to hear of engineering companies reducing their work force by up to 50 percent in recent years. These are some of the best jobs in Maine.

For all of these considerations, ACEC of Maine encourages a “yes” vote on Nov. 5 on the bond proposals recommended by the governor and Legislature.

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