Not so fast

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to Paul Womer’s letter in the Nov. 18 edition titled “Expand ranked voting.”

In light of Paul LePage and Benet Pols not attaining a majority of the vote at the polls, (over 50 percent), Mr. Womer argues that these results are reason to seriously look at the ranked choice voting example set by Portland and consider implementing something similar, as needed, throughout the state.

In Mr. Womer’s words, “This is not a precedent we should allow to continue.”

May I presume Mr. Womer desired a different outcome in our 2010 gubernatorial election, as well as our recent local Town Council election? Ranked choice voting might have resulted in a more favorable outcome for those Maine voters who are still in a snit over Paul LePage’s election to the governorship, winning 12 or our 16 counties). I haven’t heard many objections to Mr. Pols’ success.

In exercising a myopic view of “ one” election, ranked choice voting might have produced a different outcome in our 2010 gubernatorial election and would have been more acceptable to Mr. Womer and all others who were dead set against Paul LePage becoming governor. At the same time, Mr. Womer’s suggestion invites the cliché, “Be careful what you wish for.”

I’m curious if Mr. Womer is of the opinion that ranked choice voting should have been implemented in our 2002 and 2006 gubernatorial elections? Was he equally disturbed by those results?

With John Baldacci receiving 47 percent of the 2002 election, it is possible Peter Cianchette could have been our governor.

With John Baldacci only receiving 38 percent of the 2006 election, there is an even better chance Chandler Woodcock might have been our governor.

Along with candidates of a different party affiliation, ranked choice voting does hold the possibility of a future Paul LePage securing the victory as well.

Una Connors

Read the law

To the editor:

Shame on the Brunswick Town Council!

For the second time in fewer than four months, it has violated Maine’s Freedom of Access Act.

Under Title 1 MRSA Section 406, the public must be notified of a public proceeding when “a meeting of a body or agency consisting of 3 or more persons” takes place.

According to Title 1 MRSA Section 402, a public proceeding means the “transaction of any functions” by a board of any municipality.

When four members of the Town Council met with the Brunswick West Neighborhood Coalition concerning a subject of town business on Nov. 28, they had an obligation to notify the public and the press. That obligation applied whether they intended to speak or just listen and whether or not the coalition wanted to keep the meeting private.

It appears that the town manager and the Town Council have been misrelying on the advice of legal counsel. Perhaps they should read the Freedom of Access Act for themselves.

Michelle Small