In support of Anne Carney

To the editor,

During these difficult and demanding times, it is important to elect the most capable and dedicated people at all levels of government. For Maine Senate district 29 (South Portland, Cape Elizabeth, Scarborough) that person is Anne Carney.

Currently representing Cape Elizabeth in the Maine House of Representatives, Anne has worked hard and successfully to preserve Maine’s environment, improve heath care, especially for children, increase educational opportunities, and bolster Maine’s economy.

In the recent session of the Legislature Anne introduced LD 2033 which requires owners of petroleum terminal sites no longer in use to remove them and clean up the sites at their expense. LD 2033 was signed into law March 26,2020 thus relieving the expense of closures and clean-ups from the taxpayers. In addition, Anne is a strong supporter of protecting Maine’s natural resources and increasing the use of solar power.

Anne knows Maine’s economy and its people are suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic. Her focus will be to bring government resources quickly, efficiently, and effectively to provide needed relief.

Anne’s believes in community service. As a graduate of Maine Law School, Anne volunteered for eight years at Pine Tree Legal Assistance working with low income Mainer’s on employment issues. As a life long outdoors enthusiast, Anne served on the Board of Directors for the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust for 10 years, three of them as president.

My interaction with Anne brings me to know that she is a sincere, straight forward, hardworking, honest, and caring person. Those attributes coupled with her legislative and other life experiences make Anne Carney the right person to represent Senate District 29. I urge you to vote for Anne on the Democratic Primary election July 14, 2020.

Greg Hanscom

Scarborough

Vote for Kyle Bailey

To the editor,

COVID-19 poses a real threat to the lives and livelihoods of Mainers, and fiscal challenges to the State of Maine.
Now, more than ever, we need to elect thoughtful, collaborative, and experienced leaders to the Maine House to help
us navigate these uncharted waters. That’s why I am pleased Kyle Bailey has stepped up to run for the State House
in District 27, which includes parts of North Scarborough and Gorham, to succeed term-limited Rep. Andrew McLean.
I am supporting Kyle Bailey for State House because he doesn’t back down from challenges. Instead, he has
demonstrated an ability to take on difficult issues and build coalitions to get things done. Kyle was part of the
leadership team that secured the freedom to marry for same-sex couples and he led efforts that won and protected
Maine’s landmark ranked-choice voting law.

Our state government is once again facing significant fiscal issues, but this time it is coupled with a massive public
health crisis. In addition to the pandemic and economic uncertainty, the opioid epidemic rages on, the cost of health
care continues to rise, many families are struggling to earn a good living and too many of our young people are
leaving Maine to seek economic opportunity. As a civic and nonprofit leader, former school committee member, and
local business owner, Kyle has grappled with these challenges on a public policy level and on a practical everyday
level.

When the state cut revenue-sharing to towns, Kyle worked with his colleagues on the school committee and town
council on budget compromises that met the needs of students and maintained fiscal discipline. As a result, those
school budgets were approved by voters. In Gorham,, Kyle successfully championed the expansion of all-day
Kindergarten as a critical investment, and he was successful in restoring student representation on the school
committee.

As a leader with a proven track record of getting things done, even when the budget is tight, Kyle will be an effective
advocate for North Scarborough in the Maine House, working with lawmakers, stakeholders, and constituents from
across the political spectrum to get results for Mainers. That is why I am proud to support Kyle Bailey for State House
and I hope that you will join me in voting for him on Tuesday, November 3rd. To learn more about Kyle, please visit
his website at BaileyForMaine.com or his Facebook page at Facebook.com/BaileyForMaine.

Jean-Marie Caterina

Scarborough

Stacy Brenner for State Senate

To the editor,

I’ve been a resident of Scarborough for the past 24 years and I’m writing to support Stacy Brenner for State Senate.

I first met Stacy when I joined her farm’s CSA, but I had also closely followed the development of this long-unused farm as Stacy and her husband, John, turned it into the active, vibrant enterprise known as Broadturn Farm.

When I visit the farm to pick up my vegetables or flowers, Stacy has been warm, open, and willing to answer questions. In our casual conversations, I have been impressed by Stacy’s dedication to the environment, education, support for local businesses, and her focus on connecting people and finding shared interests. Since Stacy is a trained nurse midwife, our conversations have also included discussions about health care and our shared hopes and challenges as two mothers raising daughters.

As State Senator, Stacy will work hard to support people from all walks of life and will bring passion, knowledge, and strength to the Maine Legislature. Please join me in supporting Stacy Brenner to represent Senate District 30.

Abi Ordway
Scarborough

Get your hand our of my pocket

To the editor,

I want my Homestead Exemption money in MY pocket, not the town’s! This program was created to provide direct property tax relief to homeowners in Maine “in recognition that Mainers are drowning in ever-increasing property taxes” as voiced by Nate Libby, State Senate Majority Leader, at a 2019 public hearing to increase the exemption amount. Now certain councilors are trying to disguise a tax increase as a real deal for taxpayers because the state increased the Homestead Exemption by $5,000. Instead of a few more dollars in our pockets as the state intended, the town wants it in their pockets.

I am tired of being told “It’s just 2 trips to Starbucks!” Stop spending my money before I even get it.
John Frazier
Scarborough

Scarborough calling Augusta: Where are our CARES dollars?

Big numbers can often be confusing, so the current discussion of COVID-19 funding from the federal government to Maine has been a real challenge. But from the article in the Portland paper on June 10, it appears that Governor Janet Mills has only allocated a miniscule $13 million of the $1.25 billion of the Federal CARES act funds coming to Maine to defray pandemic-related expenses incurred by municipalities.

That’s only a bit more than 1 percent of the total available!

Meanwhile, cities and towns around the state are trying to prepare budgets for municipal and school operations for the fiscal year that begins on July 1. Some are including significant anticipated pandemic-related costs that will be passed on to the property taxpayers. This is absurd if large amounts of Federal CARES funds will eventually “trickle down” to the municipalities from Augusta to offset those costs.

Here’s some very basic arithmetic to illustrate the impact those federal funds could have on Maine cities and towns. Let’s assume 25 percent of that $1.25 billion of federal funds ultimately gets passed along to cities and towns to defray municipal and school COVID-19 expenses. That would be about $313 million available for Maine municipalities. With Maine’s population of 1,344,000, that would be about $230 per person if the funds were allocated on a per capita basis.

For example, based on its population of 20,000, Scarborough would receive $4.6 million in CARES funds. But as of today, Scarborough’s proposed school and municipal budgets do not anticipate receiving a single dollar of that federal funding. Instead, there is discussion of adding hundreds of thousands dollars of COVID-19 expenses that would be passed on to property taxpayers in the Fiscal Year 2021 tax rate. So local homeowners would absorb the pandemic costs but not get any benefit of the federal funding.

This is just plain crazy. Yes, state government has its hands full at the moment. But there is no excuse for this total breakdown of the state’s financial management. The state must give guidance to cities and town about federal funding that is coming their way to offset pandemic expenses so that local budgets may be adjusted appropriately. Local taxpayers should not be on the hook for pandemic-related expenses that the CARES act will ultimately pay for.

Steve Hanly
Scarborough

Why should you care what’s in the new Scarborough teachers contract?

To the editior,

This new teacher contract will have a huge impact on your pocketbook. Salaries and benefits make up about 80 percent of the School Budget and about 70 percent of our town spending.

This pandemic has caused record unemployment and changed how we do just about everything. No one knows what the new normal will look like. Almost everyone has been hit hard in the pocketbook with job losses, pay cuts, and lost retirement savings.

There is one group which has been practically unscathed in terms of financial losses: school department employees. No school employee has had a pay cut or has been furloughed. And now, with the new contract, the teachers will be receiving pay increases. How much? No one is saying. We may not know until after the votes are counted in the school budget vote on July 14.

Why the delay in releasing the BOE approved and teacher ratified contract? It is easy to speculate. What we do know comes from a report issued earlier this year. We believe teachers will receive a retroactive pay increase of about 5 percent as a lump sum now, and an additional 5 percent in each of the next two years; about 15 percent over 3 years.

This is just not the time for big pay increases. The school budget is under review by the Town Council. They will probably approve a tax increase of 1-2 percent. We the taxpayers deserve to have a zero percent increase. This can be achieved easily if the teachers and school employees agreed to a small pay cut like so many other town and private sector employees. The schools employed over 800 full and part-time employees in 2019. A small cut to individual job classifications would go a long way and to avoid cuts to school programs and layoffs of teachers.

Scarborough teachers and staff — do the right thing and pitch in!

Susan Hamill
Scarborough

 

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