Meet the candidates, learn the issues

May 11, 2017

Get involved in local happenings in your town and consider attending area events scheduled this month to get to know those running for local office.

We at The Camden Herald are sponsoring a candidate debate for those appearing on the June 13 ballot to fill three vacancies on the Camden Board of Selectmen. It will be held Monday, May 15, at 6:30 p.m. at Camden-Rockport Middle School.

The event will be an excellent opportunity to ask questions of those wishing to represent your interests in town. If you'd like to pose a question, but have prior commitments that night, please call or email Editor Kim Lincoln at 236-8511 or by email at klincoln@villagesoup.com and she will ask the question for you!

The town has also organized a series of public forums, all to be held in the Washington Street Conference Room, to learn about the issues and candidates that will be voted on in June either at the polls or at the annual town meeting.

On Thursday May 18, at 6 p.m., the Planning Board will hold a forum offering the public an opportunity to ask questions regarding the proposed draft of a new Comprehensive Plan, as well as articles concerning the proposed development agreement regarding the restoration of the American Boathouse and a proposed zoning amendment that seeks changes to permitted uses to the Harbor Business Zone. That meeting begins at 6 p.m.

On Monday, May 22, at 7 p.m., SAD 28 Superintendent Maria Libby and Camden Select Board member Marc Ratner will host a meeting to present the Bond issue for the proposed new middle school.

Tuesday, May 23 is candidates’ night at the Town Office. At 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to meet the six candidates for Camden’s Select Board. The meeting will allow for questions from both the media and public.

On Tuesday May 30, at 6:30 p.m., the two candidates for SAD 28 and the Five Town CSD will be available to take questions from the public and the media.

The town-sponsored events will be broadcast on Time Warner Channel 22 and livestreamed through a link on the town's website.

Not the right solution

A recent proposal by Gov. Paul LePage to require those given more than one dose of naloxone hydrochloride, commonly known as Narcan, to pay for additional doses struck us as bizarre.

According to a summary of LD 1558, the bill “requires municipalities, counties and their agents, including contracted first responders, to recoup the cost of administering naloxone hydrochloride and other opioid antagonists from individuals to whom they administer those medications a second or subsequent time.”

The drug is used to revive people who have overdosed on opioids such as heroin, which killed a record number of Mainers last year.

Addicts, in other words.

Does the governor think a fee is a deterrent? A punishment? Either way, being required to pay for a dose Narcan would probably not change the habits of an addict. The very definition of an addict, according to Merriam-Webster, is: “to devote or surrender (oneself) to something habitually or obsessively” — addicts can't stop.

We are more concerned the legislation might cause those around someone overdosing to reconsider calling for help, leaving the person to die unnecessarily. Narcan is an emergency revival method, which could result in an addict seeking long-term treatment and eventual recovery.

The bill also calls for a $1,000 fine — per incident — to municipalities that fail to recover the costs of repeated Narcan use from those who overdose. There's no indication how that money might be spent, but fines will be enforced by the Department of Health and Human Services, according to the text of bill.

Tracking of Narcan use also would fall to local responder agencies and municipalities, adding an additional and unreasonable burden.

This week, our sister paper, The Republican Journal in Belfast, has written about the carefully considered decision of the Belfast police chief to allow his officers, in addition to local ambulance personnel who already do, to carry Narcan. Since January 2016, ambulance crews have administered 17 doses of Narcan in the Waldo County towns covered by the service — an average of one dose per month. And that number does not include Narcan administered by other sources, such as family members or friends.

While Chief Mike McFadden expressed a number of initial concerns, he summed up his decision in a few words: “I am satisfied that this isn’t just a redundant service that we would be providing, that it covers any potential gaps in the service that some people may need.”

Charging people for that service, governor, simply isn't the way to proceed.

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