I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast in your June 1 edition between the focus of the op-ed by Kevin Simowitz on Page A4, “Maine should broaden its thinking on caring for seniors,” and the above-the-fold, front-page news article by Staff Writer J. Craig Anderson, “In southern Maine, empty nesters flock to upscale senior housing.”

In the former, we’re told that most of Maine’s seniors are facing long-term care costs their families cannot afford. In the latter, we learn a new housing project will offer 105 homes to seniors for $625,000 each, “nearly three times the state’s median home price,” plus a $2,000 monthly fee for services, while 9,000 Maine seniors wait for affordable housing. There is so much that is so wrong with this picture of “Maine, the way life should be.”

Last year, Maine voters defeated an attempt to provide in-home care for disabled veterans and seniors. In addition to much dishonest opposition, many complained its funding tax would drive young professionals away.

This much is certain: The referenced development won’t house many seniors who spent their productive years paying taxes in Maine. But whether or not occupants are lifelong Maine residents, they could certainly afford the small amount that last year’s referendum issue would have required of them. The question should be placed before voters again, and this time funding should be limited to the tourist industry, permits for homes exceeding the state’s median price, recreational vehicles and motorized watercraft, and vehicles over the median price in their class.

This would guarantee that only those who can afford to purchase a nonessential item would be paying the tax to fund in-home care for Maine’s disabled veterans and seniors. It would provide the added benefit of allowing those taxpayers to know they are helping those who made Maine “the way life should be.”

Jerry Genesio


Comments are no longer available on this story

filed under: