Candidate ‘is a listener’

To the editor,

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all candidates running to support us as our local Maine officials. The time, effort, energy, personal cost, and exposure to risk they all put forth are admirable. As this year’s election season approaches, I ask that you consider casting your vote for Ron Russell of Kennebunkport to serve as our representative to the U.S. Congress, representing Congressional District 1.

Ron is a native Mainer, born and raised in Fort Fairfield. He has served this country for 40-plus years, first as an infantryman, then as an Army Green Beret, and finally as the president of a small company providing support to the Department of Defense. Ron believes in smaller government that rewards the ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit of its citizens. He promotes lower taxes, fewer regulations, and fewer mandates in order to create conditions for our businesses to thrive.

Importantly to me, Ron is a listener. He knows that for our form of government to work, leaders need to listen to each other, to work across the aisle to find solutions to the multitude of problems facing us, and to find a consensus that brings solutions, not stalemate.

I met Ron, very briefly, 30-plus years ago. He was visiting our Army unit and my boss said to me, “Bo, this is Ron Russell, shake his hand. You need to grow up and be like him someday.” Decades later I am tickled to live within a mile of each other here in Maine. Now that I’ve had a chance to truly know him, I can tell you, Ron is the type of composed, civil, determined, leader most of us would like to see represent our interests in Washington, D.C.


If you haven’t met Ron yet, and want to ask him about his positions, you can contact him at On June 11, vote Ron Russell in the Republican primary to represent Congressional District 1 in the U.S. Congress.

Robert M. Balcavage


We can find common ground

To the editor,

Injuries and deaths from firearms have been due to unintentional acts, suicide, and violent crimes. The numbers will continue to trend upward unless we take action.


If the unrelenting reports of individuals being shot and mass shootings concern you, or if your children are worried, then I urge you to ask your state representative and senator to support the “A Safer Maine” bill package currently under consideration in Augusta.

This comprehensive legislation includes common sense measures aimed at enhancing public safety and the prevention of injuries or death from firearms, while preserving the rights of responsible gun owners.

Here are the four proposed common-sense measures:

1. Background checks on gun sales: Mandating background checks for a firearm purchase is a fundamental step in preventing firearms from falling into the wrong hands.

2. A 72-hour waiting period for buying a gun: This will provide a critical buffer period that can prevent impulsive acts of violence or self-harm.

3. True extreme risk protection orders: This will allow family members and law enforcement to petition the courts to temporarily remove firearms from individuals who pose a risk to themselves or others.


4. Ban on bump stocks: Bump stocks enable semi-automatic firearms to mimic automatic fire, posing a grave threat to public safety. The bump stock allows a weapon to fire at nearly the rate of a machine gun. No child, and no one else either, should ever be faced with a shooter holding an assault weapon.

Inaction at this time will result in ongoing tragedies.

Joanne Hulsey


Transgender policies ‘should be revised’

To the editor,


I thank Ms. Goldsmith for reporting on the efforts of Advocates for Truth in Our Schools to provide truthful and factual information to parents, educators and the general public about this important student policy issue involving students with gender distress.

I wish to clarify several points in the article regarding RSU 21 policy: 1.) The RSU 21 Transgender and Gender Expansive Students policy is not based on settled law. The policy itself states in the first paragraph, “This area of the law is unsettled …” 2.) It is a huge developmental crisis in a person’s life to ask to be treated as the opposite sex. It is often associated with other psychological issues, yet RSU 21 does not require any professional assessment of the student. It just involves the student making “more than a causal declaration of gender identity or expression.” 3.) It is the policy of RSU 21 to affirm and socially transition students claiming transgender status by creating a student plan that facilitates the new identity. How many student plans are there? Research indicates that most students re-identify with their biological sex if they are not socially transitioned early. 4.) If the student and parent disagree about the student’s gender identity the school “shall whenever possible abide by the wishes of the student …” and high school students can gender transition at school without the inclusion or involvement of parents. This policy substitutes the school’s authority for the parent’s authority and undermines parents. 5.) Students and teachers are expected to participate in a student’s social transition by affirming the student’s preferred new name and new pronouns that are incongruent with the student’s sex.

These transgender policies do not help students appropriately cope with and resolve developmental challenges and they potentially collude with students against their parents. They should be revised. The Advocates for Truth in Our Schools encourages compassion for students experiencing gender distress, courage to face reality, and commitment to truth.

Tom Moyer


It’s budget time again


To the editor,

Here we are, once again, about to address our latest budget, but with the good news that it will only increase by 13.2%. Truthfully, budget increases, year after year (it was plus-23.6% last year) are not necessarily all bad; if that is what we all want and are willing to accept, along with understanding the differences between needs and wants.

Moving from a town that had the dubious honor of having the highest tax rate in the entire state, it’s easy to witness Kennebunk’s own trajectory heading in that same direction, but hopefully under better control.

Unfortunately, and especially over the last 2-3 years, the lure of easy money along with generous government handouts, has made it harder than ever to reign in our expenses, now compounded by higher interest rates and other factors. Maybe it is just a case of the old adage “pay me now or pay me later.”

We have all watched and much too often in silence, these recent wants and desires playing a much greater role, including the previous ease of hiring extra staff, helpers and aids, during the initial stage for our pre-school program, even when merely relying on a one-time temporary funding gift. Schools, of course, represent our greatest expense, but that is to be expected in a district that employs one teacher for every 12 students. Even the millions spent to overhaul the high school fields and install eco-unfriendly artificial turf, with it’s limited seven- to nine-year life span, occurred with little opposition. We also added municipal and school staffing, resource officers, summer interns and even a business marketing professional, while making sure we voted to reduce our safety personnel retirement waiting period by 25%, even if knowing that future employees could now retire at an earlier age, just when he/she was most clearly needed.

And it wasn’t long ago that the Post reported that our fire/EMT definitely needed to hire one or maybe two new employees, yet we later learned that the lure of more easy but temporary government funds allowed the hiring of up to four employees, whether truly needed or not.
The bottom line, this is our town and, personally, I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else. So, if you and I are comfortable with paying more or even excessively more, year-in and year-out, for what may simply be disguised wants, that remains our choice. And above all, let’s not look to blaming the budget people or looking for a silver bullet. This is all on us.


Jim Thompson


What is impact on tax bills?

To the editor,

Kennebunk is once again heading into budget season. For those not paying attention, the budget and select boards are proposing a double-digit increase in the municipal budget again this year. After last year’s 22% increase, this year we are looking at a 13% increase in the municipal budget. What will that mean for our property tax bills? The state’s property tax stabilization program has been eliminated, so our seniors are no longer protected from these increases.

Residents may also be interested to know that the town’s Charter Commission is proposing a revision to the town charter that will allow the town council (now known as the select board) to approve up to a 19% increase in the municipal budget without voter approval. That’s right – for any budget increase under 20% voters will no longer have a say. With the unchecked spending of the last several years, we can only expect this charter change to result in even higher property tax bills.

Please attend a meeting or send an email and let the select board know that these budgets and changes to the charter are not in the best interest of residents. And be sure to vote in June.

Mary-Isabel Aromando


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