There is no pool in Question 1 on the June 14 ballot in Falmouth. Question 1 authorizes the town to create a community center, an expanded library, revenue-generating leasable space and a town green on the campus of our soon-to-be-vacated elementary school buildings.

All this will be done without raising taxes.

The referendum question is very straightforward and clear about what the project encompasses and how project costs will be covered.

Specific renovations are described, and a detailed list of funding sources is identified. In three different places in the referendum language it says that no new tax revenue can be used for the project.

Unfortunately, even though the referendum question is posted online at the town’s website and also at, there is a lot of misinformation floating around town. For instance, I have heard many people say that there is a pool in the proposal.

This is entirely false. There is no pool in the plan. There has never been a pool in the plan.


Anyone suggesting that there is a pool in the plan probably has a lot of other parts wrong, too.

The pervasiveness of this and other unfounded claims suggests that there is a deliberate misinformation campaign against Question 1.

I hope that everyone who votes on Question 1 in Falmouth, both for and against, has a solid understanding of the facts.

I have read the referendum question, and I will be voting “yes” on Question 1.

Masey Kaplan



I couldn’t agree more with Falmouth Town Councilor Cathy Breen’s column on May 27. Falmouth faces a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in the upcoming vacancy of its elementary school buildings. Residents can accept this opportunity by voting “yes” on Question 1 on June 14.

Opponents of Question 1 argue that we should sell these buildings off. But this 20-acre parcel, just steps from our town’s major business district, is one of our most significant assets.

Does it really make sense to sell such a valuable asset in a down market? No true fiscal conservative would endorse such a move.

Instead, Falmouth residents should vote “yes” on Question 1, which offers a clear, fiscally responsible plan for reuse of the buildings. By reusing existing buildings on town-owned land, we can resolve major facilities needs without raising taxes.

Falmouth has been in this situation before. Lunt, one of the buildings in question, was vacated in the 1980s when we no longer needed it as a school. But the farsighted council at that time chose to hold on to Lunt instead of selling it.

Good thing they did, because we got decades more out of it when changing demographics led us to need Lunt as a school once again. It’s fiscally responsible decisions like this that let Falmouth maintain one of the lowest tax rates in Cumberland County.


Falmouth has a terrific track record for finding ways to benefit the community without burdening the taxpayer. That’s why we have the highest Standard & Poor’s bond rating given in Maine for our “well-managed financial position” and responsible fiscal decisions.

I urge all Falmouth residents to make the fiscally responsible choice when casting their ballots on June 14.

Marna Miller


As a town councilor in Falmouth, I strongly support Question 1, which authorizes the town to convert its soon-to-be-vacant school buildings into an expanded library and community center without raising property taxes.

It’s hard to believe that there is opposition to this extraordinary opportunity, but Falmouth has always been a fiscally conservative town. Our residents think long and hard before approving expenditures, even in cases like this where both sides acknowledge that the project’s capital costs will not increase our tax rate.


Project costs will come from the sale of some town properties, private fundraising by the library and up to $1.5 million from the town’s undesignated fund.

I get a lot of questions about using the undesignated fund, which has a balance of $10 million, more than other towns in the region. Under the town’s policy governing use of this money, funds are set aside as a “rainy day fund” to pay for two months of operating expenses in an emergency.

This policy allows the rest of the fund — about a third of the total — to be used for one-time capital investments. Such expenditures are common in Falmouth and other towns. Freeport recently approved use of $2.3 million from its undesignated fund to create new athletic fields. The fund is regularly replenished from investment income and unexpected tax revenue. Taxes need not increase to replenish the fund.

Residents also wonder whether increased operating costs for these facilities will be a burden. Town staff projected expenses over 20 years and concluded that, after five years, costs would be offset entirely by new tax revenue from town properties that are sold as part of this plan. The plan really is tax neutral.

Question 1 is a smart plan. I encourage Falmouth residents to vote “yes.”

Bonny Rodden



People often want government to be run more like a business. After reading Councilor Cathy Breen’s column on Falmouth’s Question 1, this project appears to be a well-conceived strategic business initiative by the town.

Like companies that experience market growth — for Falmouth, this is ongoing population growth — the town is looking to the future, shedding excess inventory (buildings and land) and leveraging its income and private assets to poise the organization for positive future performance.

In issuing its AA-plus bond rating, Standard & Poor’s took note of Falmouth’s “consistent financial performance and very strong reserves” and “low debt burden.”

Like the decisions that earned Falmouth this stellar reputation, Question 1 offers taxpayers a great return on investment: improvements in services, boosts to property values and no additional expenses.

That looks like a smart business move to me.

Jay Geller



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