October 26, 2013

Letters to the editor: RSU 23 pullout will leave Saco on the hook

Voting ‘yes’ entails a long-term obligation that the city would be unwise to take on.

Only in America do we have instant coffee and take an hour to drink it.

click image to enlarge

If Saco pulls out of RSU 23, it would have a new, $100 million contract with Thornton Academy, above, to educate high school students for the next decade.

1996 File Photo/John Ewing

Only in America do we have all-you-can-eat restaurants and then spend billions on diet plans.

Only in America do we change contracts when we have years left on the existing one. I’m speaking, of course, of the new 10-year required $100 million-plus contract Saco is obligated for with Thornton Academy if we vote “yes” on withdrawal from Regional School Unit 23.

We have two to three years left on the existing contract with TA in what the mayor and the superintendent of schools say is a more favorable contract for the city of Saco. You have to ask yourself: In these financial times, with government shutdowns and financially strapped cities and states, is this the time to obligate our city of Saco to a 10-year contract?

It seems logical in the next 10 years, the state might continue to reduce the subsidy amount to the schools, and with a 10-year contract we will have no choice but to raise taxes or cut programs to the K-8 schools.

Thus, based on the current financial environment of the country and the rush to withdraw from the RSU, Saco would best be served by voting “no” and not obligating ourselves long term at this time, which we must do if we vote “yes” on withdrawal.

Remember, our country became strong by combining the 13 colonies into a country and sharing resources, not by being isolationist. Let’s make the RSU work, at least until we get a better understanding of the financial times and cost.

Bill Abbott


Customer sees valid basis for criticism of Time Warner

In an Oct. 6 article (“Time Warner Cable’s reputation tarnished”), one Time Warner customer expressed his dissatisfaction with that company’s customer service. The article included the results of a survey of cable customer service that placed Time Warner 15th out of 17 cable providers.

In a Consumer Reports article, Rob Marcus, president of Time Warner Cable, was quoted as saying, “We have a very well-choreographed program for moving people from the most heavily discounted promos into the rational next-step pricing packages.”

My most recent Time Warner bill included a price increase of nearly $9 a month for DVR service. Bear in mind that this applied to DVR service that I have had for years and did not include any additional features or function.

A call to Time Warner produced no positive results. I can fully understand why Time Warner scores so poorly in customer satisfaction.

Gary W. Reed


Bellows a spirited entry for the U.S. Senate race

“I believe we need more courage and honesty in Washington.” Thus spoke Shenna Bellows in announcing her intent to run for U.S. Senate.

I can’t think of a better reason to run, and I can’t think of a time when courage and honesty have been so lacking.

Nor can I think of a better person than Shenna Bellows to bring these qualities to the campaign trail and to Washington, D.C.

Shenna Bellows has brought integrity and vigor to every political fight she has fought here in Maine, and there have been many. In doing so she has elevated the public dialogue and brought passion, intellect and accuracy to important debates.

Shenna never relies on the rhetoric and platitudes common to many so-called leaders. She states her position and defends it, and she always responds with the utmost respect to differing points of view.

I have found that there is always something to be learned, whether I share her point of view or not.

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