Gov. LePage is once again threatening to hold up voter-approved bond funds for the Land for Maine’s Future program. He is mistaken if he feels that holding these funds hostage will affect his political opponents. There are, however, real victims.

Several years ago, our local land trust negotiated an agreement to purchase a conservation easement on a local farm from an elderly couple. These good folks, in their early 90s, wanted to preserve their farm to provide locally grown food once they were gone and have a little money for retirement. They generously agreed to a “bargain sale” price.

Through a competitive process, the trust was awarded LMF funds to complete this agreement. The governor has refused to release these funds. Without the promised money, the deal cannot be completed. At their age, they cannot wait for the political games to end.

These Maine folks and others like them – not the governor’s opponents – will be the injured parties if he persists in withholding the funds. Land for Maine’s Future has been a highly successful and popular program consistently approved by large majorities of Maine voters as referendum items. If the governor does not release these funds, he will be unilaterally breaking promises made by the state of Maine to these people.

David McDermott

South Berwick