Letters, Camden Herald
Lottery system flawed
What a good idea the state of Maine has come up with this time. Now the state has decided to make a lottery for the elver/eeling fisheries. Which one will be next?
I, as others, have been commercial fishermen all our lives. We have been paying taxes and buying commercial fishing licenses in Maine and putting up with the increases in fees every time they wanted more money and did not want to officially raise taxes. Some of us pay thousands of dollars to obtain the many licenses needed to make a living in a year. Some times we can't afford all the licenses we need so we have to make choices on the ones most valuable for us in a specific year. Never thinking we would have to make choices on the ones most valuable in a specific year. This, because the state's Department of Marine Resources only lets you know of the loss after, not before with the excuse of when a fishery can handle it you can then get back your license. This has led to a lottery system instead and opens the fisheries to anyone and not to just fishermen that have fished all their lives. Fishermen depend on being able to fish from fishery to fishery to make fishing work and to make their livelihood and therefore to be able to pay their fees and taxes.
To be fair then why don't we make all state of Maine jobs a lottery system also. It costs $27 to get into the elver/eel lottery, which gave you a chance to become a commercial fisherman. What would the prices of the lottery tickets be work for the governor's job and for the jobs of his cabinet members? How about for other state jobs? We could hold the lottery once a year for all the state's jobs. This would more than likely do away with taxes as money would roll in when the state jobs board was posted. What the jobs were paying could be run on the news channels to ensure lots of public participation. Then maybe career fishermen would be considered as having a real job like state job holders are!
Dale "Jap" Witham