This is a rebuttal to editor John Balentine’s March 2, 2007, “Manifest destiny” editorial.

Mr. Balentine makes the analogy of the college to the growth of a business, he does not recognize the fact, when a business has growth it also has growth in taxes paid.

Saint Joseph College does not have the right to expand at will, as it is located in a zoned district. What the college is asking for is a “special exception” use of their property. Standish has in the past been very liberal in allowing special exceptions as I remember at least four previously. I doubt there is another entity that has had more than one special exception other than the college; special exception is singular by description.

The expense of the growth of the college has been passed on to the Standish taxpayer by the need to expand town services without the college paying for the capitalization or the ongoing expenses for their needs. When Standish personnel and equipment are called to the college taxpayers are denied use. There are many towns in the state that have smaller populations than the college, yet maintain their own fire departments, EMS and all other services to take care of their needs. The college needs to do the same.

No one will suffer lack of education because St. Joseph’s cannot expand. There are many excellent colleges for students who want a good education.

The Appeals Board has the responsibility to taxpayers not to a single non-tax entity. I have not heard of another town rushing to have the college build an annex in their town as might be the case with a taxpaying business. If you need a comparison of business versus the college, look at the business currently leaving Standish. It has 200 employees, seldom using Standish services and paying $52,000 in taxes.

This is not only an issue involving St. Joseph’s versus abutters. It involves every taxpayer in Standish. This expansion request should go to referendum for taxpayer approval for the increase in taxes it will cost.

William Orr


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