I’m grateful to have been invited to Gov. LePage’s inauguration. Having said that, I had expected the colors to be posted on the stage at the very start, rather being marched in during the middle of the ceremonies and immediately marched from the hall before the actual swearing-in.

As a retired Coast Guard officer, I was disappointed that my branch of the service was excluded when the other four participated in the ceremonies.

The governor made some good promises, such as reducing the number of school administrators to enhance services to students and salaries for teachers. I also think he has a good idea in suggesting that many state services could be better served at the regional level with state assistance.

How the state would have the ability to assist regionalized services, however, is hard to comprehend if the governor is successful in severely reducing state revenues by eliminating income and estate taxes.

I have concerns that if those two taxes are eliminated, we will not only be unable to pay for regionalized services but also will continue to see significant increases in property, sales and toll taxes, as has been the case the past four years.

The governor encourages all of us to “think outside the box” to create new jobs. We can do that and avoid the high cost of avoidable emergency room, hospital and nursing home care by investing in non-hospital, community-based care for the growing population of low-income, homebound elderly.

Homemaker/home health aides trained as nurses’ aides would also perform domestic chores such as cooking, house cleaning, shopping, nutrition, disease prevention, supervision of medication and referral service under the direction of the primary physician.

Reps. Matt Pouliot, R-Augusta, and Kevin Battle, R-South Portland, have agreed to propose such an “outside-the-box” bill, which I hope Gov. LePage would support as a regionalized block grant effort.

Patrick Eisenhart

Augusta