Voters should approve city bond items
We support voting to approve bonds proposed by the City Council, including $10.4 million for sewer repairs and improvements and $1.1 million to fix the leaky Rockland Public Library building.
The question is not whether we will fix the 35 miles of century-old clay and brick pipes that collect our wastewater. This work must be done, and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection is going to make sure the system works properly.
The money to finance repairs to the collection system and Water Pollution Control Facility, as well as to separate the wastewater from the stormwater, will be borrowed at a low interest rate and replaces a bond we have finished paying for. City officials are on the record saying this will not increase taxes.
We believe it makes sense, as the city pays off its debts, to reinvest in improving our infrastructure. It also will save money in the long run to approve a plan for infrastructure maintenance, rather than waiting for something to break and fail and then paying to fix it as an emergency expense.
This is the best decision for the citizens' pocketbooks and for the environment.
Proposed road repairs and building repairs in the bonds fall into the same category of need. One does not need to look very far in Rockland to find the results of deferred maintenance on property and buildings.
The one area that may seem more elective is the proposed $400,000 to improve the city's fiberoptic broadband network.
However, many of us use the internet in our businesses every day, and in the near future not having this high-level technology could set us back. Failing to invest in fiber would be like failure to add phone lines in the past century.
As a community that is always seeking new businesses, residents and job creation, this seems like an opportunity. We have seen the benefits of several technology-related businesses in the community already. In addition, increasing numbers of young professionals are able to work from home using high-speed internet connections, and Rockland, with its quality of life, is an attractive location.
Voting to approve these bonds is the wise choice for our future.
Hang in there for the election
After what many found to be a depressing second presidential debate Sunday, and a relentless stream of negative campaign advertisements on television, we can understand if election fatigue has started to take a toll.
However, we do ask readers to hang in there and give attention to information on the local races. We will have a special election edition of The Courier-Gazette on newsstands Saturday, Oct. 22, with candidate profiles of people running in local races. We've peeked at the stories coming in for that edition and they are mercifully focused on the issues, rather than the personalities, personal lives and what Bob Schieffer of CBS referred to the other night as "WrestleMania."
Courier Publications and VStv are sponsoring a debate Oct. 20 at the Rockport Opera House.
House District 94 candidates Independent Owen Casas and Democrat Kathleen Meil will face off at 6 p.m. and State Senate candidates Democrat David Miramant and Republican David Emery will take the stage at 7:30 p.m. To submit a question for the candidates, email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This debate will be focused on the issues as well.
This election has been rough, but it is a small price to pay for the freedom to enjoy a government of the people, by the people, for the people.
Quote of the week
Speaking of Bob Schieffer, we thought his statements summed up what many were feeling Sunday night after Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump debated each other for a second time:
“How have we come to this? This is supposed to be a campaign for the most powerful office of the land. Here we’re marching in women into the hall who were supposed to have some relationship with one of the candidate’s spouses. What’s that supposed to prove? ... I mean, this is what they do in Banana Republics. This is the United States of America. ... I just hope to God I don’t see another campaign like this one. America can do better than what we have seen here tonight. This was just disgraceful."