March 16, 2013

Letters to the editor: Recalls won't resolve issues in OOB

What a joke our community is turning out to be. We have three members of the Town Council who are dissatisfied with the way the new council is working here in Old Orchard Beach, so they are crying "recall" and getting a selective few to do the dirty work. And now other people are trying to recall these three councilors.

click image to enlarge

Old Orchard Beach Town Clerk Kim McLaughlin goes over a blank recall petition Tuesday with David Francoeur, who’s leading an effort to recall four of the seven town councilors. On Thursday, a separate group started a drive to recall the other three councilors.

2013 File Photo/Gabe Souza

The tables were turned from a year or so ago, when Michael Coleman, Robin Dayton and Robert Quinn were making all the decisions before they even sat down at a council meeting.

We have lost numerous dedicated employees through termination by this town manager for no just cause, which has exposed the town to several lawsuits. When does it end?

We have lost a dedicated General Assistance person who served our community with dignity and was let go for no just cause. We lost our public works director and the finance director. What's next?

For years I have been stating that we should hire within our own community so that the person in control has an idea of what this community is all about.

Two names come to mind for an interim town manager: Mr. George Kerr and Mr. Jerome Plante, who are both honorable, respected and loved members of our town who have served us well in the past.

I have a piece of advice for the interim town manager who this council will have to choose.

It's time to take care of our own, employ our own as we have done in the past and make sure they live within Old Orchard Beach and have knowledge of Old Orchard Beach so that they may serve us well.

Forget the recalls. We don't need them. Councils change -- get over it and move on.

Sonia Gardner

Old Orchard Beach

Catholic schools' defenders don't make convincing case

Sister Joyce Mahany, who spoke for Catherine McAuley, and Mary Lee King, who spoke for Cheverus, are entitled to a response to their letters of March 8 ("Catholic schools strive to welcome all").

Sister Mahany has suggested that I step forward and offer a scholarship. I have already stepped forward and established an ongoing scholarship at Saint Joseph's College, founded by the Sisters of Mercy.

I have also established a specialized school in Haiti to teach the poorest children English and academic courses online, with no cost to them.

Both Sister Mahany and Mary Lee King stress the importance of the teaching of religion. There is absolutely no correlation between the teaching of religion and morality. Morality cannot be taught. The troubling sexual scandal by priests in the Catholic Church is evidence of that.

Mary Lee King stresses the superiority of Jesuit schools and cites "cura personalis" or "the care of the entire person" as a guiding principle of a Jesuit education. It cannot be said that the public schools do not teach the entire person.

Fifty to 75 years ago, the Jesuits had a reputation for being excellent teachers. The ranks of the Jesuits have been decimated with the falling-off of vocations.

Currently Jesuit high schools and colleges, including Cheverus, have very few Jesuits in the classroom. They have been replaced by laypersons. To suggest that Cheverus offers a Jesuit education today is misleading.

Mary Lee King has difficulty accepting the word "elite." The term "elite" is defined as: "A group enjoying superior intellectual, social or economic status." This definition describes both Cheverus and McAuley. They are selective and noninclusive. They select the intellectually able and those who can pay the five-digit tuition fee. They exclude many who do not meet these standards.

Concerning choice: I have no problem with parents who have the financial resources sending their gifted children to McAuley or Cheverus, but it cannot be said that this practice is Christian or democratic.

Coleman P. Gorham

Portland

As the times change, so do Obama's views on deficit

In the 2008 campaign, then-Sen. Barack Obama said that the $4 trillion debt that occurred under President Bush was irresponsible and unpatriotic.

President Obama said this week during an interview that the debt is not a pressing issue.

He has added almost $5 trillion in four years. I guess this is no longer an irresponsible or unpatriotic problem.

How do you say "hypocrite"? He accepts no responsibility for anything.

John Walkenford

Gray

Gov. LePage meets criteria for safely carrying a gun

Recently, the Press Herald printed a picture of Gov. LePage holding up his license to carry a concealed gun ("Maine Voices: Releasing concealed-carry data violates permit holders' rights," Feb. 27).

When I first saw the picture, it made me nervous.

Then I realized that the governor has all the qualities one would want to see in someone who may be carrying a gun.

He is calm under pressure, slow to anger, able to distinguish a real emergency from an imagined one, never threatening and circumspect. I felt much better after thinking about the matter.

Gerry Brookes

Brunswick

Bill usurps residents' right to decide on local concerns

Do our "representatives" in Augusta really think they know more about what the people want/need than the people themselves?

Case in point: Biddeford residents passed an ordinance requiring individuals to live in their fine city if they are employed by the city (school superintendent), and then quashed a proposed change to the charter. It is important to the citizens that those individuals have an investment and belief in the school system.

The crux of the situation is that the people of Biddeford spoke. Are our legislators in Augusta trying to take away their rights?

I am not a Biddeford resident, but if my vote on a town or city issue were dismissed by the state Legislature, I would be incensed ("Maine panel backs school superintendents residency bill," Feb. 21). It is difficult enough to get an ordinance passed by citizens of a town or city, and when the people speak they should be heard.

Ernest Eaton

Sanford

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