‘Folks from away’ feeling exploited

After reading one too many letters to the editor from my neighbors suggesting that “folks from away” are driving up taxes, I’ve got a little troubling news for you-all: While we “from-away-ers” pay the relatively highest tax bills in your towns, we don’t get to vote in your town elections, we don’t get a say in your budgets and we don’t send our children to the schools that we help pay for — and where the majority of our tax money goes.

And we can’t take much more of it, either.

If your property were only worth a tenth of its current appraised value, your town would still spending whatever you permit it to, and you would cover your share, regardless of what your property is worth, or think it’s worth, with or without the help of outsiders.

Your town spends money of its own accord, and if you don’t like your tax rate, you are the only people who can keep it or change it.

Believe me when I tell you my tax rate is significantly higher in Maine than at my year-round residence, where I enjoy a much higher level of services. I work extra hard and make many sacrifices for the reward of my summer home.

I fancy to think I may even retire here. But let me tell you, there is a better chance than not that I will soon have to be selling my hard-earned camp (at a loss), for I am a blue-collar worker, just like you.

I, too, am finding it increasingly harder to justify the sky-high taxes, but I can’t do anything about it except walk away.

I would like you-all to give one thought of how much harder life will be without outsiders contributing to your town and state coffers, your farms and businesses, helping maintain your communities.

If you all feel you’d be better off without “folks from away” spiking (more like propping up) your property values, you may get your wish sooner than you think.

Keep letting your towns spend irresponsibly and our hands will be forced, and we will have little choice but to be gone. And that will make two of us very sad.

Steven Manseau




Paid days off would help keep sick kids at home


I am a small-business owner and I am writing to support LD 1665 — the paid sick days bill. I run a child care business out of my home and have one employee. I charge by the hour specifically to encourage parents to keep their sick children home.

All the other child care homes and centers I know of charge whether or not a child is out sick. This policy encourages parents to bring their sick children to child care, since they have already paid for it.

I am the only child-care provider I know of who does not have the perennial problem of parents giving feverish children a pill to mask a fever and get away with leaving them at child care, where all the other children are exposed before the illness is revealed.

My business policy is designed to keep working families with children healthy and productive by creating an incentive for keeping sick children at home, thereby containing germs and promoting rest and recuperation.

I support LD 1665 because it is another smart incentive for keeping sick workers and their children at home. No workers should be forced to go to work sick (or send their children to school sick) by fear of losing their job or needed income, thereby infecting others in a domino effect.

And no matter who you are, you deserve to be able to go to the hospital, grocery store, bank, post office, a restaurant or any business, and utilize services by workers who aren’t sick.

To keep the communities of Maine healthy, productive and working, all employees must have the right to earn and use paid sick days.

Melanie Collins




Exxon Mobil critics ignore all the good things it does


I have some thoughts on the recent letters regarding Exxon Mobil: There are millions of average people who have stock in this company and depend on their dividends to pay their bills.

The pensions plans and 401(k)s depend on stocks paying dividends. Exxon strives to be eco-friendly at their facilities, many of which are in third world countries, where they provide schools, clinics and housing for their workers and families.

They are also looking for new methods for getting oil safer, as well as searching for better products we all use. If a small business is to grow, it must make a profit. If not, it will fail.

It is beyond the average person to appreciate a person making millions in wages.

Yet, look to our sports figures and movie and music stars, what they make a year or a game. Members of Congress, who work for us, make $175,000 and more, plus medical insurance and pensions that are more than most of us make in a year.

Plus they have more perks, staffs, homes and travel expenses.

We could live under a government that would have us all live in the same homes, make the same salaries, have same medical care available. It has been tried in other countries, but how successful has it been?

I doubt we, no matter our station in life, would be willing to exchange most of what we take for granted for what others do without. Freedom is not free.

Janet E. Romano




The letters section of this newspaper contains attacks on corporate America on an almost daily basis. Exxon Mobil is a frequent target. Some facts are worth considering.

Exxon is a publicly owned, publicly traded corporation.

This “greedy” company’s profits are distributed annually to thousands of Americans who own Exxon stock. They are known as “shareholders.”

If so inclined, anyone who has $64 to invest can also become a shareholder and soak up some of that “greedy” money.

These shareholders annually elect the board of directors, including the chairman, who then run the company according to the owner’s wishes — it’s as simple as that.

Exxon has, the last I knew, around 80,000 employees and I think you’d agree their pay and benefits are truly outstanding.

Exxon also gives away around $200 million annually in charitable donations. Not too shabby an outfit, I think readers will agree. Just who then are the “evil” and “greedy” people?

Warren Swartz



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