On November 2, 2010 voters in Cumberland County will have the opportunity to adopt the county’s first-ever home rule charter. Currently, the county operates without a charter.

A charter is a template by which we organize and manage our government. It lays the legal foundation for what kinds of services the county will provide in the future. Cumberland would be the third county to adopt a charter — after Aroostook and Knox counties.

You began the process to adopt a home rule charter in November of 2008 when you elected six of us to serve on a charter commission. We now offer you the results of our two-years investigation: a more-efficient form of regional government, which will improve the way the County delivers services to participating communities, and reduce the cost of delivering them.

Voters will enjoy greater transparency and accountability in government. The Charter Commission believes residents will directly benefit from new and innovative programs and services, such as the successful Community Development Block Grants and the new countywide 9-1-1 service, which brings top-notch emergency response to participating communities.

The Charter Commission urges you to vote ‘yes’ on question 4 on your state ballot: County Charter Referendum: “Shall the County approve the new Charter recommended by the Charter Commission?” You have an opportunity to make a decision that will impact you, your family and neighbors for years to come. Please visit our website at www.cumberlandcountychartercommission.org to view the Charter and to contact Charter Commissioners. Thank you.

Kathleen Babeu