Thank you, teachers

In 2000, my husband and I purchased a house in Camden not because we craved fresh ocean breezes (although these are certainly nice) but because state data showed the town was served by one of the best school systems in Maine. Now, on the eve of our son’s graduation from Camden Hills Regional High School, it is clear the move was well made. While much has been written and spoken about the high cost of our public schools, I can say only this: Thank you, teachers, for giving our son an education that is priceless.

In particular, thank you Fern Campagnoli at Camden-Rockport Elementary for not trying to fit wildly disparate 8-year-olds into the same box and for recognizing that young children need plenty of mental elbow room. Thank you Debbie Meservey and Kathy Foss, SAD 28 librarians, for showing students that no matter how cool the web may be, a good book is still the best frigate. Thanks go to Nancy Seibert at Mary E. Taylor Middle School for making mathematics a challenge instead of a chore, and to her colleague down the hall, Trish Friesland, for opening the door to literary analysis. Also at Mary E. Taylor, Katie Bauer transferred to our son her enthusiasm for culture of all kinds, be it in a Petri dish or in the art of Native Americans.

Thank you Nell Alexander, Faith Vautour, and Tom Gray, social studies teachers at Camden Hills Regional High School, for proving that truth really is stranger than fiction. And thank you John Fitzgerald, chairman of the CHRHS mathematics department, with whom I had the privilege of serving, as a volunteer, on the curriculum committee in the school’s recent, successful effort to retain its NEASC accreditation. The countless hours that you and your fellow faculty members devoted to this time-consuming, two-year project showed me what real dedication looks like.

Most especially, thank you to all the teachers in the CHRHS visual and performing arts department, who on a daily basis introduce the joy of creative expression to the next generation of artists and musicians, in particular, Nancy Rowe for sharing her passion for music and for teaching her students that, in music as in life, OK usually isn’t good enough. Finally, thank you Kimberly Murphy, CHRHS choral director, for helping so many young people literally find their voice. You will never be forgotten.

Rebecca Sawyer-Fay
Camden

Asking for your vote

Rockport is beginning to become more than just the town that people go through to get from Rockland to Camden. More and more people are seeing Rockport as their destination in terms of employment, education, entertainment and housing. Rockport Steel, Rockport Marine and Avena Botanicals, to name just a few, are flourishing because of the foresight and creativity of their owners and workers. Maine Media Workshops is about to take the next step toward achieving the goal of being a world-class educational institution; the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship is already world renowned; and our library is cherished by both Rockport residents and those in neighboring communities. Shepherd’s Pie, Prism Glass Café and Bay Chamber are demonstrating that fine dining and top-notch entertainment can be found south of Camden. And, we have a broad range of housing opportunities that invite everyone to live here regardless of their income level.

We can continue to build on these and other successes or we can say “enough.” Rockport has built a solid reputation as a “can do” community because of the foresight of its residents, its leaders and its employees. We have good roads and good schools and a safe community. But, it all comes at a cost. The challenge is to weigh the cost against the benefit. And, unfortunately, sometimes you have to spend a little more than you would otherwise like so the quality is retained.

Or, you can make cuts for the simple sake of cutting. A couple of my opponents will claim we are spending too much on roads, that we can’t afford what we are spending on the library or parks, or that we have too many employees in the town office. Just because we were able to operate for a period without a full staff does not mean we can continue to do so in the future. We have excellent employees who have been able to do more with less, but there does come a time when the quality of work begins to deteriorate.

I believe we can be fiscally prudent while continuing to ensure we receive quality from our tax dollars. I believe we can continue to encourage excellent employment opportunities, excellent educational opportunities, excellent entertainment destinations, and beautiful and affordable housing opportunities. I believe we can accomplish all this and more.

I ask for your vote on June 14. Thank you for your support.

William “Bill” Chapman
Rockport

In support of Lyle Cramer

Lyle Cramer will continue to be a superior asset to Union as a Union selectman.

Born and raised here, Lyle has not been far away. His residence in Westbrook provided a career, one of helping people. He recently retired from public school, where he’d been a counselor. He was a member of town and county committees there. But, Lyle’s mother’s home address is still Carroll Road. His and his wife’s home is on Seven Tree Pond. The family has been contributing to Union’s progress for generations.

Since retirement, Lyle has become a very active member of the Union Fair Committee, Union Historical Society, Union Budget Committee, and People’s United Methodist Church. In short, Lyle is a person to go to when things need to be thoughtfully discussed and carried through. He’s the sort of person you’d choose as a Maine Guide. (He is one!)

His emotional and active connections over a lifetime with the beautiful place called Union qualify him extremely highly for the position of Union selectman. He deserves our support. He certainly has mine.

Dave Shaub
Union

Haselton will make a great school board member

At the polls on June 14, please elect Eliza Haselton for school board. Many people know that Eliza has the listening and critical thinking skills needed to review school policy and financial matters. Eliza is a dedicated volunteer and active citizen, she’ll make a great school board member.

Betsy Saltonstall
Rockport

Vote for Don White

I am a candidate for the Camden Select Board. I am a 20-year resident of Camden, a retired publisher of business and tourism publications, media sales manager, former Rotarian, and serve as chairman of the library book sales, chairman of the Regional Gateway Committee, chairman of the Camden Opera House committee, and a volunteer for various local organizations including theatre groups and the Camden-Rockport Animal Rescue League.

I’m interested in smart economic growth. I love living in Camden. Changing Camden would change its character. But, with smart economic growth Camden can secure new businesses, create new jobs and improve our economy by finding tenants, businesses and residents to occupy the mill property on Mechanic and Washington streets, finding a suitable buyer for the tannery property, working to encourage incubator businesses to locate here and filling vacant office spaces in various existing buildings in town.

Route 1 can be made safer with a daily bus system connecting our neighboring towns and our residents will find the service appealing. We should explore expanding our pathways to accommodate bicycles and walkers.

Tourism helps to keep our economic engine running. The more tourists visit our town, the more they invest in buying goods in our shops, eat in our restaurants and stay in our accommodations.

Our Snow Bowl is another area that can help bring planned growth to Camden. The facility is in the midst of a private fundraising drive. Voters should consider aiding the upgrading and expansion plans by supporting a local bond issue once the private fundraising goal is reached. Not only does the Snow Bowl bring in outside revenue and attract visitors but it’s a great place for Camden residents to enjoy the outdoors.

For more than 20 years there has been talk of a parking garage in Camden. Now that the town has a development director who will seek grant funding, we can make a parking garage a reality with possible private/public collaboration.

I’m an advocate of government transparency. I believe that the privilege of being elected to the Select Board by fellow townspeople brings with it the responsibility to represent your interests. Important decisions are on the horizon and I want to be at the table when those discussions turn into decisions.

On June 14 I’d appreciate you voting for me to serve on the Camden Select Board.

Donald A. White Jr.
Camden

Cramer cites positive, productive record

I am Lyle Cramer, a candidate for Union selectman in the June 14 election. As selectman I would hold the line on new taxes and tax increases, communicate effectively with Union residents, cooperate with other towns to reduce costs and make new clean businesses feel welcome. I believe that we as a town need to be proactive. We can avoid costly legal expenses by updating town ordinances to reflect the values of our citizens. For instance, we need to decide how we may want to limit or control adult entertainment establishments that may want to locate in Union. It is also important that selectmen have two votes on financial and other significant issues.

I believe in running positive campaigns and have never criticized my opponent in public. I try to focus on my beliefs and experience. My opponent, however, wrote two paragraphs critical of my goals, referring to me by name. This article was intended to be her profile, not a debate of issues between us. She rejected my ideas with untrue information in a contradictory manner. It is interesting that her profile was headlined “will work to build credibility, trust, and unity.”

My opponent wrote in the June 1, 2011, edition of The Herald Gazette: “Updating ordinances, as suggested by Mr. Cramer is a good idea.” Then she states this is not needed because “Each type of business that seeks to be established in Union must have approval of the Board of Selectmen, the Planning Board, the Town Manager and the Code Enforcement Officer.” This last statement is not true, misleading and potentially detrimental to the town of Union. I personally have/had a blueberry business, a Maine Guide Service and a cottage rental business in Union, none of which required approval by a board, town manager or code enforcement officer. I only required a building permit to build the cottage.

Why could my opponent’s statement be detrimental to the town of Union? Anyone considering locating a new business in Union would think twice when falsely believing that they need to go through the four time-consuming approval processes as stated by my opponent. Union does not need the kind of bad press my opponent has created.

If elected to the Union Board of Selectmen I would propose a second vote for important issues. Many towns and cities across the state of Maine use this system. A second reading ensures ample opportunity for public input, discourages sneaking a vote when a member is absent and prevents a “giving in” vote change due to fatigue. If passage of an issue needs to be done quickly, the selectmen can call for a special meeting. My opponent rejected a second vote because things “need to be acted on quickly.” How can one encourage input from citizens, yet reject a second reading that allows for this input? I have used this second reading system and found it a great improvement over the “quick” one vote system.

This Tuesday, June 14, the citizens of Union will have the opportunity to choose Lyle Cramer or his opponent for Union selectman. I have a positive, productive record over a 30-year period of public service. If you have any questions about my positions, please call me at 785-2030.

Lyle Cramer
Union

Endorsing Don White

Camden Select Board candidate Don White would make an excellent addition to Camden’s board, and I write to heartily endorse him. Having served on the Camden Select Board for three years, I am well familiar with the work and time required to become conscientiously informed of the issues the board must address. Don has served as chairman and Camden representative of the Gateway 1 regional planning project while I served as Camden’s alternate, so I’ve had the opportunity to see how diligently, consistently and thoroughly he has represented our interests, how much time and effort he commits to representation and keeping all informed in every phase of the project, and how he assures that all have opportunities to express their views, while also being willing to attend virtually all sub-committee meetings.

Don’s competence, extensive career experience, familiarity with Camden through his 20 years of residency, willingness to give thoughtful consideration to issues and to speak up, and obvious dedication to investing considerable time and effort to serving our community all make him a person we are fortunate to choose as a Camden selectman. I urge you to vote for Don White on June 14.

Anita Brosius-Scott
Camden

Industrious complexities

Why should the U.S. military industrial complex keep a base open in Brunswick when it is much more lucrative to build new ones in Iraq, Afghanistan or Libya?

You might have recently read that although your tax dollars going to private war contractors is no more than a government handout for American corporations, the economically astute who fly back and forth make even more money facilitating the movement of drugs.

Then, the guys that haul in the drugs make yet more money with their privatized prisons that hold the little guys who get caught selling it on the street.

When you think about these things, they are more complicated and funnier than a comedy by Molière.

The humble Farmer
Robert Skoglund
St. George

Growing trail system

Last Saturday was the 19th annual celebration of National Trails Day, a nationwide event that involves 300,000 people at more than 2,000 locations in all 50 states. At the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area (home of the Camden Snow Bowl) several local trail-oriented organizations got together to work on hiking and biking trails, and then celebrate their efforts with a midday barbecue back at the lodge.

This year there were representatives from: the Camden Parks and Recreation Department, Coastal Mountains Land Trust, Georges River Land Trust, the Camden Rockport Pathways Committee, the Camden Riverwalk Coalition, and Friends of Pathways. Three different trail improvement projects were undertaken: along the Georges Highland Path, in the Ragged Mountain Preserve, and on a hiking and biking trail at the Snow Bowl. This represented over 60 people hours of work and resulted in significant improvements to our local trails.

Please join me in thanking these hard working volunteers who committed their Saturday morning to this effort: John Anders, Ray Andresen, Jay Astle, Hans Benetsson, Chris Christie, Hayden Christie, Dick DeGraaf, Bruce Faulkner, Don Johnson, Connor Lane, Casey Leonard, Cade Patten, Doug Prescott, Alec Raso, Geoff Scott, Jeff Senders, Richard Stetson, and Ian Stewart. Thanks also to Village Cabinetry for donating materials for bog bridging. I hope everyone in our community will get out into the woods and mountains to enjoy the ever growing trail system that can be accessed from the Ragged Mountain Recreation Area.

Jeff Kuller
Director of Parks and Recreation
Camden

Re-elect Craig Cooley

It is refreshing to see so many people running for the various open seats in the local elections. Waldoboro has two seats on the Board of Selectmen that are open, and several candidates running for them.

Craig Cooley is one of these candidates and deserves to win this election. In the past several years, he has served on the school board, the budget committee and most recently the Board of Selectmen. Time and again he has shown himself to be fiscally responsible, logical and reasonable. He is able to serve with the same dedication and commitment that he puts into his full-time job. He has already shown that he is capable of handling the position and has brought a fresh perspective to the board. I hope that people will show their appreciation to Craig for a job well done by re-electing him.

Cathy Trueman
Waldoboro

Support for Eliza Haselton

I am writing a letter of endorsement for Eliza Haselton for Rockport representative to the SAD 28 School Board. Although I am not a Rockport resident, I have been involved with the SAD 28 school district as a mother and as a professional and have much interest in seeing our schools maintain their status in excellence and state leadership.

I have known Eliza Haselton for over 20 years. It is in those many years that I have seen her rally passions, attention and efforts to important community and personal endeavors. Eliza has a rare talent for addressing community needs that are equally important to herself and to others. Eliza listens to the voices of the community and understands that to make a neighborhood stronger a representative needs to integrate different thoughts and opinions of others, while weighing realistic financial considerations. Active with the Snow Bowl, Eliza saw the need to expose all children in the area to the gift in our backyard — the Camden Snow Bowl. And with much determination she and many others developed the fourth-grade learn to ski program. With the same resolve, Eliza helped to develop the present ice hockey program for children ages 4 years to 14 years, and the present Camden Hills Regional High School Ice Hockey Team. At all times Eliza considers the needs of the community, parents, staff and children and understands that programs need to be financially feasible and realistic as well fun and promoting growth.

Cecilia Kinast Salas, Ph.D.

Memorial Day thank-you

On behalf of the Rockland Memorial Day Ceremony and Parade Committee we would like to thank the following people for their contributions in making this year’s event a success.

Master of Ceremonies Walker Hutchins, the Rev. Seth Jones, Maine State Rep. Ed Mazurek, Jake Barbour for his donation of a truck and driver for Bay Winds North Wind Ensemble, Beaver Stinson for his donation of a flatbed trailer, Cornetist Chris Blum and Tony Aex for the playing of Taps. Color Guards from the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Marine Corps League, Rockland Post 1 American Legion, area veterans who participated in the ceremony and parade, Bay Winds North Wind Ensemble, Rockland area Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Cub Scouts, Brownies, Daisies and their leaders.

Our sincere thank you,

Marlene Hall
Gary Henry
Rockland

Support for David Barrows, Julia Libby

I would like to comment on the upcoming Lincolnville selectmen’s election this coming Tuesday, June 14, at the Lincolnville Central School. There are two seats open and three candidates running!

I would like to encourage Lincolnville voters to support two new candidates, David Barrows and Julia Libby. Both have been involved in town affairs for several years and are great assets to the community.

Fresh perspectives on the board would be well received, and this is a great opportunity to encourage others to step up to the plate and participate in town affairs!

It’s kind of like when you go to a public supper — you get in line and wait your turn, and when it’s your time you pick up your food, then you go sit down, and you don’t go back for seconds or thirds till others in line have had their turn.

David Barrows and Julia Libby are longtime Lincolnville residents who love the town and deserve a chance to share their ideas and serve the community.

It’s their turn!

I ask you to vote for David Barrows and Julia Libby for the Lincolnville selectmen seats.

Rosey Gerry
Lincolnville

Vote for PACE

I urge Waldoboro citizens to vote in favor of the Property Assessed Clean Energy Ordinance, or PACE. It will not cost the town or taxpayers a nickel. Many other communities have signed on. PACE will offer residents low-interest loans to make their homes more energy efficient and economical. It’s completely optional, but for many people, it might be worth taking a PACE loan to make improvements that will save money on heating and other costs now and in the future. That’s good for the pocketbook and the environment.

You can vote early by absentee ballot at the town office or on Election Day, Tuesday, June 14.

Steve Cartwright
Waldoboro

Public charter school options are important for Maine

Just when you thought the folks in Augusta couldn’t agree on anything, the following things are happening:

The Maine Board of Education unanimously supports legislation that would allow the creation of public charter schools.

The Legislature’s Education and Cultural Affairs Committee, in a bipartisan vote, supports this important reform.

Even President Obama and Gov. LePage agree!?

A recent survey shows that more than 65 percent of Mainers are also ready for public charter schools.

If authorized through LD 1553, public charter schools will expand Maine’s public education system, offer affordable options to families of all income levels, focus attention on individual student needs and provide opportunity for innovation.

Not all children learn in the same way, and public charter schools recognize the differences that stimulate a lifelong love of learning. We need strong Maine educators to be able to create innovative programs that meet the needs of more of our children.

Many folks have been working hard to improve the choices for educating our children, please support their efforts by making your voice heard in Augusta!

Dave Miramant
Former State Representative/House District 46
Camden/Rockport

Vote yes for the library budget

Let your voice be heard on June 14 with a yes vote on Article 27, the Waldoboro Public Library’s request for town funding. In support of the town’s need to find areas to reduce its financial outlays, the Board of Library Trustees unanimously voted a 1.29 percent reduction from the previous year’s request for town funds. That request was unanimously approved by the Select Board at their March 22 meeting. The difference will be made up by renewed trustee fundraising efforts.

A yes vote for the library will mean we will be able to maintain our current hours of operation. Currently, at 32 hours a week, the library is still under the state average of 37 hours a week for libraries of similar size. We continue to work tirelessly to improve our services and increase our hours of operation. Your support on June 14 will move these efforts closer to reality. If you haven’t been in to visit, and you plan to vote, then drop by before June 14 and have a look around. We think you’ll be pleasantly surprised and impressed at the wonderful library that Waldoboro has.

And thank you to everyone who gives of their time and talents to make the Waldoboro Public Library the great place it is. And remember, a vote for the library is a vote for Waldoboro!

Please visit our website: waldoborolibrary.org.
Claire Bowley, vice president
Waldoboro Public Library Board of Trustees

Support program for weatherization projects

Thomaston voters will have an opportunity at the town meeting on June 14 to assist homeowners in home weatherization projects.

The proposed ordinance approved by the Select Board is: Article 44: Shall the Town of Thomaston adopt an ordinance known as the “Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Ordinance”? This will assist low to moderate income homeowners to borrow up to $15,000 through Efficiency Maine Trust for energy savings projects on their homes.

This ordinance is necessary for homeowners to be eligible to apply for a PACE loan for energy efficiency improvements to their property.

Information about the PACE program is available at the town office and at the Efficiency Maine website. As a Green Sneakers volunteer, I will be happy to discuss the program at 354-9556.

I urge Thomaston voters to support home weatherization projects by approving Article 44 at the town meeting.

Carmen Lavertu
Thomaston

DeepCwind project: it’s the location, stupid

The proposed DeepCwind offshore floating wind turbines are a noble idea but, when applied, may wreak havoc upon Maine’s lobster industry unless located with care.

The U.S. Department of Energy is taking public comments until June 9, 2011, on its draft environmental assessment of the DeepCwind project. This assessment is required by federal law before deciding whether to fund the DeepCwind project with the $20 million it is seeking.

The money will be used to build and deploy one-third-sized prototypes off Monhegan Island, and to build the first of the full-sized deepwater floating ocean wind turbines, proposed for deployment 20 miles east in deeper waters off the continental shelf.

At issue: the planktonic larvae of lobsters, scallops and many other important marine species rely on the existing currents of the Gulf of Maine to transport them to their best locations for reaching adulthood.

It is now known that ocean wind turbines can slow or even divert parts of these currents, and that this is a side effect of the continuous extraction of kinetic wind energy from the air above a single ocean location. This results in massive upwelling areas beneath the ocean windmills, which bring waters of a different temperature to the surface.

These miles-wide upwelling zones can disrupt the surface currents passing through the area, and the lobster and scallop larvae using those currents to get to their maturing locations can also be diverted from their goals

DeepCwind’s proponents have acknowledges this, but would rather wait until the windmills are deployed before taking action. That is closing the barn door after the horse is gone.

The LePage administration and all Mainers need to keep the pressure on the University of Maine, Bath Iron Works and the rest of the DeepCwind project participants to be sure that they are not risking the Maine Coast’s most important and successful industry: lobstering.

Details at http://tinyurl.com/gomdcw.

Ron Huber
Rockland

Make it magical

Can you believe that the Fourth of July holiday is only four weeks away? For the 2011 celebrations Camden will become America’s music village once again on Sunday, July 3 with the Camden Rotary Club’s Music by the Sea presenting three different ensembles performing a wide range of American music; a free public concert with classic Motown act Junior Walker’s All Stars presented by Bay Chamber Concerts in Harbor Park at 8:30 p.m.; and a spectacular fireworks display above the most beautiful harbor in Maine.

Last year’s concerts and fireworks exceeded all expectations, with thousands of people jamming downtown Camden on the promise of great music and a beautiful fireworks display. This year we expect even greater numbers to join us for a wonderful evening of entertainment, so stake out your picnic blanket in the park nice and early.

In order to stage the Junior Walker concert and the fireworks we need to raise funds from the community. To that end, the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce and Bay Chamber Concerts are seeking the support of all of you reading this to ensure a great evening for the Midcoast. Let’s show off our vaunted community spirit and pride in our region by working together to celebrate our nation’s independence. Indeed, let’s show off our own independence and pitch in for our own party rather than depend on others to pay for these things for us!

If you remember how perfect last year was, with the day-long music, stunning weather, enormous crowd, and incredible fireworks all combining for a magical weekend, then we’d like to call on your support and generosity to recreate the magic this year. If you’d like to help support Independence Day celebrations and contribute toward the cost of the concert and the fireworks, please send a check to the CRL Chamber at P.O. Box 919, Camden, ME 04843 or Bay Chamber Concerts at P.O. Box 599, Rockport, ME 04856, marked “Festival of Independence.” No contribution is too small.

Dan Bookham, executive director, CRL Chamber of Commerce
Monica Kelly, executive director, Bay Chamber Concerts

Library is great asset

At the recent forum for candidates for Waldoboro town selectmen, one thing was clear: Waldoboro needs new businesses to provide jobs, services and support for the tax base. Among the most positive and visible things that can be pointed out to anyone thinking about locating a business in Waldoboro is its library.

The Waldoboro Public Library is a tremendous asset to the community. It provides all types of books including large print books, audio books and downloadable e-books. Computers, Internet access, children’s programs, a variety of speakers, movies, periodicals and adult literacy tutoring are all available for free at the library. A businessperson considering Waldoboro should be impressed by the library and the community that supports it. On June 14, please vote “yes” on the appropriation for the library. A vote for the library is a vote for the future of Waldoboro.

Robert A. Lipper and Nancy M. Lipper
Waldoboro

Giving back to Camden

When my wife and I decided to move our family back to Maine nearly 30 years ago, it was to raise our family in an environment that was more suitable for all of us. Part of this suitability, for me, was centered around community involvement. Fortunately, I was able to join organizations where my energy could make a difference. I joined the Camden-Rockport-Lincolnville Chamber of Commerce and eventually became its president. At the same time, I was on the Camden Area YMCA Board and served as fundraising dinner chairman for three years. A good friend sought my guidance and, through him, became a board member of the Camden Shakespeare Company.

I was a charter member and president of the West Bay Rotary Club. My interest and energy in bringing an ice skating rink to the area was rewarded when the Mid-Coast Recreation Center was built; subsequently I became a board member of the Maine Coast Skaters Association.

I am currently serving a second term on the Town of Camden Budget Committee and serve as chairman of the Parking, Transportation and Traffic Committee.

Giving back may be a cliché, but I think my past and current activities are both a testament to that concept and a reflection of my own interest to be involved. Camden has given me great happiness and nurtured me through profound sorrow. This is home. My four children have grown up here and I now have two grandchildren who are following suit.

I would appreciate your consideration of my candidacy for the Camden Select Board. Voting Day is June 14. Thank you.

Jim Heard
Camden

Make conservation tool permanent

Private landowners — and especially family farmers and foresters — will be the beneficiaries of legislation, co-sponsored by U.S. Reps. Chellie Pingree D-Maine/1st) and Michael Michaud (D-Maine/2nd), to make permanent the federal tax incentive for donations of conservation easements. The incentive, which is slated to expire at the end of 2011, has helped the Georges River Land Trust work with willing landowners in our communities to conserve 900 acres of agricultural and natural lands since it was first enacted in 2006, which represents 35 percent of all our conserved lands.

The Conservation Easement Incentive Act, and its Senate companion, S. 812, will aid in the protection of thousands of acres of Maine’s agricultural lands and wildlife habitat by making permanent an expiring incentive that allows modest-income landowners to receive significant tax savings for donating conservation easements that permanently protect important natural or historic resources on their lands.

When landowners donate conservation easements to Georges River Land Trust they maintain ownership and management of their land and can pass the land on to their heirs, while foregoing their rights to develop the land in the future. The incentive, which applies to a landowner’s federal income tax, will:

Raise the deduction a donor can take for donating a voluntary conservation easement from 30 percent of their income in any year to 50 percent;

Allow farmers and foresters to deduct up to 100 percent of their income; and

Increase the number of years over which a donor can take deductions from 6 to 16 years.

This legislation has been endorsed by the American Farm Bureau Federation, Ducks Unlimited, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, American Forest Foundation, the Land Trust Alliance, and more than 60 other organizations nationwide, as well as the Georges River Land Trust.

A permanent incentive will help more families afford to save their land, choose conservation over land development, and, by so doing, protect clean air and water, scenic and historic landscapes, recreational places and wildlife habitat in our communities. Georges River Land Trust applauds the leadership of Reps. Pingree and Michaud in the effort to make this important conservation tool permanent.

Gail Presley, executive director, Georges River Land Trust
Rockland

An effective school board member

About 30 years ago when I met Eliza, one of the first things she told me was that we were going to wind up in this wonderful community and she would be on the school board. Just kidding, she asked me if I was hungry and if I washed my hands after fixing her car, I could stay for dinner. Seriously now, we’ve come a long way from her days as an English literature major at Middlebury and me, an itinerant surf/ski bum.

My wife is running for the Rockport seat on the school board after being very engaged in local education from pre-school through high school. She has paid close attention to all aspects of the schools from the parent, taxpayer and business owner perspectives (our company has provided services to various schools over the years). She realizes that the role of school board member requires multifaceted understandings of the organizations responsible for educating our children. In order to be effective she will utilize her ability to listen and her good judgment to balance the considerations that can pull us in different directions. Allocations of the limited resources will be a core part of the challenge she will face. A variety of perspectives and backgrounds on our school board is a positive attribute and will better represent stakeholders. I feel Eliza will compliment this group. Although meek and mild, she is able to assess the issues a school board will face and work from a fact-based, informed stance in her contributions. Eliza is running against Tom Farley. We hold Tom, his family, business and citizenship in the highest esteem. We are fortunate to have so many caring and qualified people that give back to their communities. However, I admit that I am biased here. Eliza will make the time and has the patience to find ways to get the most from what is available, being married to me has honed this skill!

George Haselton
Rockport

Why I’m running…again

The first time I ran for the Waldoboro Select Board, three years ago, there were three candidates for two seats. This time there are eight candidates for the same two seats. A field of eight makes it challenging for the candidates to ensure the voters can tell them apart.

I’m writing this letter to update Waldoboro’s voters on what I’ve done the past three years, to clarify my positions on key issues, and to explain why I’d like to serve the town for another three-year term.

Compensation and Benefits. Certain voters believe some of Waldoboro’s employees are paid too much, are too numerous and enjoy benefits that far exceed those of typical private sector employees.

One of my first goals, after getting onto the board three years ago, was to advocate for change in the way Waldoboro was structuring its health insurance. The town was on the verge of having to pay more than $350,000 in annual health insurance premiums for its 28 full-time employees. During my first year on the board that number was more than cut in half through adoption of a higher deductible health plan with similar coverage.

More needs to be done to moderate Waldoboro’s health insurance costs. We’re experiencing “health insurance premium creep”; annual health insurance premiums are approaching levels of three years ago. This is not sustainable.

Employees who are not currently contributing to the cost of their health insurance need to do so, just as private sector employees do. However, this step cannot be taken in isolation. Waldoboro must to look at health insurance as one element of its overall benefits and compensation package. And, compensation must be tied to a credible employee evaluation system. What I’m suggesting here is an exhaustive review of the way Waldoboro hires, evaluates and compensates its full-time employees.

I propose the creation of an employee compensation and evaluation review committee. It’s critical that both compensation — including benefits — and the evaluation process be scrutinized and updated. The new committee would take a hard look at salaries, hourly wages, employee health insurance and other benefits, incentives, job assignments, job descriptions and performance evaluation procedures. It would ultimately make recommendations to the Board of Selectmen.

Town charter. I’ve been a consistent proponent of a town charter. Recently the Select Board took steps to consider the formation of a Charter Commission. That process must continue. My personal conviction is that Waldoboro should have a charter. If properly drafted, the charter will make very clear to all how Waldoboro conducts its business. The charter could provide for a return to the traditional town meeting and still meet the desire of Waldoboro’s majority to have referendum voting.

Budgeting. A third important issue is Waldoboro’s budgeting process. The budget committee should not meet to review each town department’s budget with the Select Board. The Budget Committee should meet with department heads separately, prior to Select Board deliberations over the budget. The process would be more time-consuming and require that budgets be prepared in time for separate Budget Committee and Select Board reviews. However, the review process would have more integrity, Budget Committee members would make a more meaningful contribution, and the Select Board and department heads would benefit from a Budget Committee that is truly independent and engaged in the budgeting process.

Wind energy. With input from Waldoboro’s director of planning and development and the Planning Board, I drafted Waldoboro’s Small Wind Energy Ordinance. It addresses installations of 100 kw or less. Waldoboro’s voters approved the ordinance in November 2009. Waldoboro still lacks an ordinance for large-scale wind turbines, those exceeding 100 kw. Failure to establish the ordinance leaves Waldoboro vulnerable to enormous wind energy turbines that could compromise its areas of pristine beauty and reduce property values. A commercial wind energy ordinance is an important order of business for the planning and Select Boards during the coming fiscal year.

Transfer station. I’ve been working as one of the Select Board’s representatives on the Transfer Station Task Force, soon to become a permanent committee of the town with representatives from Cushing and Friendship, Waldoboro’s transfer station partners. The committee will revisit Waldoboro’s Transfer Station Ordinance, which is now outdated. Waldoboro needs an enforceable ordinance to ensure recycling rates are improved to save the town money. The new ordinance should also call for a swap shop and a permanent Transfer Station Committee with the full participation of Friendship and Cushing. The Transfer Station Committee would focus on reducing the costs of operations and ensuring all three towns are actively engaged in making decisions about the disposal of their solid waste. This is serious business. The Transfer Station has an annual budget in excess of $500,000. Solid waste is not “glamorous,” but it’s one of the basic services towns provide. Getting those who use the transfer station seriously involved in organizing and managing it is essential to reducing costs and holding the line on taxes.

Police. The police department in Waldoboro wanted to purchase tasers to save lives. I worked closely with the police chief to draft policy language, approved by the Select Board, which protects both the need for officers to make appropriate decisions on the spot and the rights of Waldoboro citizens to expect even-handedness and reasonable police behaviors. Some folks are proposing the police department budget is too high and that the Waldoboro police force has too many officers. I disagree. The town’s ratio of less than 1.4 officers per thousand of population is well below the state average. Waldoboro occupies a lot of territory, which requires the existing levels of staffing. Moreover, Waldoboro must maintain its 24/7 police coverage. We have a high percentage of elderly people living in our town who rely upon that level coverage.

Purchasing policy. The town did not have an up-to-date purchasing policy when I joined the board. Now it does. I worked with the town manager to put together a policy, which will ensure the town manager and department heads have clear-cut purchasing guidelines and defined limits when they spend taxpayers’ money.

Energy Committee. I advocated for the formation of Waldoboro’s Energy Committee and have attended meetings of that committee as a representative of the Select Board. The Energy Committee may soon begin soliciting proposals to weatherize the town office and the Department of Public Works buildings under the terms of a $36,225 Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grant, which Efficiency Maine awarded. (The town’s match is $3,623.) This is important work and will, hopefully, serve as an example of what Waldoboro citizens can do to bring down their energy costs.

Department manuals. I worked closely with the head of Waldoboro’s Department of Emergency Medical Services to review and edit the EMS Manual. I learned a lot during those hours of effort, always on weekends, and gained an appreciation for the dedication and work of Waldoboro’s EMS team. A similar effort needs to be made to review and update operations manuals for other town departments.

One of the candidates running for the position I now hold suggested that someone draft a job description for the responsibilities of a selectman. There is no job description, per se, but there is a requirement that Select Board members listen, use their judgment and experience and take an active role in town governance. I’ve seen very few of those running for the board this year in consistent attendance at Select Board meetings either to offer advice or to gain an understanding of how town government works. A dedicated selectperson rolls up his or her sleeves and gets to work. There’s an implied commitment to spend considerable time outside of board meetings seeing to the town’s business.

Challenges. The Select Board faces specific challenges in coming years: It must work to restore the undesignated fund balance; the comprehensive plan must be updated to ensure the town is eligible for state and other funding; a new use must be found for the A.D. Gray property; labor union negotiations are looming; and the marijuana and methadone ordinances must be finalized and put to the voters.

In Waldoboro a Select Board member is only “one of five.” Fostering change requires communication and a willingness to listen, to learn, and to find common ground. Consensus building is not easy. Sometimes it doesn’t come at all. Fostering change also requires a sense of humor because Select Board members seldom agree on anything. But, they do need to get along and learn to work with one another. It is their responsibility to set the priorities, establish policies and ensure the town manager works hard for the citizens who pay the bills. The Select Board is ultimately responsible for making Waldoboro’s government work.

I find the work interesting, sometimes fascinating — and occasionally frustrating. But it brings a measure of satisfaction to those of us who do it. That is reason enough to want to run and be re-elected.

Bob Butler
Candidate for Waldoboro’s Board of Selectmen

Will promote highest potential for schools

Thank you to all the current and past school board members, teachers, administrators and staff. You have put in countless hours to create one of the best school districts in Maine and I applaud you all.

As a candidate for the Rockport seat on the school board I fully support the school district developing a strong writing curriculum as our students entering ninth grade are consistently identified as weak writers.

I worry that the early math tracking our school district uses leaves some “later bloomers” from ever catching up and being eligible for the highest levels of math that is available in high school.

The whole language reading approach does not work for those students who have any phonetic awareness deficiency or processing problems. I would like to see a phonetic based reading program, which could begin as early as kindergarten and would capture many of those children identified as late readers and keep them in the regular classroom while also building strong reading and spelling skills in all children.

A strong vocational curriculum is vital to produce competent teenagers that have a skill set that enables them to earn a living wage upon leaving Camden Hills. Even for those who do go onto college, practical hands-on learning may become the greatest asset they acquire in high school. Let us also take a minute to recognize that for the last five and a half years our high school has had over 20 students receive National Merit scholarships. These types of achievements are only made possible by the offering of many honors and advanced placement courses that demand those students to focus and apply themselves academically and intellectually. We are fortunate to have a rich array of course offerings for our students and I will work diligently to preserve this asset.

The policy committee, high school staff and concerned parents worked hard on the substance abuse policy and I would like to continue to make that policy clear, fair and understood by all.

The budget must be kept without increasing it and we need to focus on creating the absolute best education that our dollars can support. Each budget cut has been examined by the board with tremendous consideration and I will continue to do so as well. No one wants to eliminate positions that directly serve the students.

I will represent Rockport with fairness as a school board member and help to elevate our schools to the highest potential. Please remember to vote on June 14.

Eliza Haselton
Rockport

Vote no on 6A

As a Millville resident, a member of the Conservation Commission and the Riverwalk Coalition, I have followed the tannery process closely. For the Select Board to offer new language regarding the sale of property on the upcoming town warrant that could potentially override the results of the November 2008 special town meeting without first openly discussing the positive and the negative aspects of the recent failed tannery sale is beyond premature.

I find it troubling that the Select Board has taken this step. They no doubt feel that they are acting in the best interest of the town, but to me this action is antagonistic, confrontational and divisive.

I urge you to vote no on article 6A on June 15.

Bob Gassett
Camden

Vote for Clinton Collamore

To all residents of Waldoboro. My name is Clinton Collamore. I am running for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Please vote for me on Tuesday, June 14. Thank you in advance for your support, and enjoy the summer.

Clinton E. Collamore Sr.
Waldoboro

Tea Party positions

The members of the Union Tea Party held a caucus on June 1 to review the annual town meeting warrant articles and take a position on candidates for selectman.

The party endorses Doris Vertz for the position of selectman. We’re very impressed with Doris’ credentials, but more so by her involvement with the public and her desire to learn about town government.

After reviewing the warrant, the Union Tea Party has taken a position on three articles and is seeking more information on several others.

Article 22, item K deals with the planning/codes department. In the current economy with no significant recovery predicted in the near future, we feel a full-time code enforcement officer is not something the town needs nor can it afford. We believe a part-time CEO paid according to the number and type of permits issued is a better fit for the town and this could be a one-day, possibly two-day a week position.

Article 29 proposes to transfer unexpended Septic System Reserve funds to a Computer Reserve Account, and Town Office Building Maintenance Account and the balance to Undesignated Funds. We feel the full amount should go back to Undesignated Funds. Since the funds were not needed for the original purpose, they should not be redirected, but rather returned to surplus.

Article 32 asks to carry over a remainder of FEMA funds and place them in the Highway Equipment Reserve Account. These funds should either be used to repair damage claimed to FEMA or returned to FEMA.

We see that the budget committee does not recommend Article 9, Knox County dispatch fees. While we share concerns regarding the cost of dispatching, we wonder what alternative is proposed if the article does not pass.

We also will be seeking more information on Articles 16 and 17, 16 being a Community Development Block Grant application and 17 authorizing applications for grants. We would like to know more information on the Community Development Block Grant with regard to what actual project is being considered that would be funded by the grant. We feel very strongly that Article 17 should be followed as written. This article authorizes the Board of Selectmen to apply for grants. Department heads, the town manager and other people should not apply for grants in the town’s name unless they have been directed to do so by the board and all applications should be reviewed and approved by a vote of the board before grant applications are submitted.

Article 21, item E asks to carry over $8,252.62 in ambulance income, but doesn’t state where it will go and Article 27, which deals with funding the ambulance, makes no mention of it. In the 2001-2002 warrant, the total ambulance budget was $68,200. Ten years later the proposed budget is now $179,600. The amount appropriated has gone from $10,000 to $17,224 in the same period. This is a significant increase that needs to be discussed as that seems like a pattern that cannot be sustained in the future.

Article 26 deals with paving and road construction. The dollar amount of the article seems appropriate for the amount of work needed. Paving a mile of road adequately costs about $73,000. We should be able to pave three miles of road per year at that price with this budget. For years, the selectmen have asked town mangers/road commissioners for a long-range paving plan and a plan is vital for a positive vote on this article. The voters were told last year when the million dollar bond was proposed that we were going behind on our paving. We need to spend every dollar appropriated for paving on paving in order to get our program back on track. Article 41 deals with the same paving issue with an additional $75,000 proposed for paving.. We need a detailed explanation of where this money will be spent. The two articles together total almost $300,000.

Lastly, Article 44 asks us if we want to exceed the tax cap. We feel this article should be at the beginning of the meeting, rather than at the end. It makes much more sense to discuss exceeding the tax cap and voting on it at the beginning of the meeting rather than at the end, when all the money articles have been voted on.

The members of the Union Tea Party hope you found this informative and we look forward to seeing you at Union Town Meeting on June 20. Voting will take place June 14 and we hope you all exercise your right to vote. The town meeting warrant can be viewed or downloaded at http://www.union.govoffice2.com/vertical/Sites/%7B45C83186-1E71-4F7C-A6A6-4C9EBBC99C05%7D/uploads/%7B8987202C-EF6F-40C5-8FFA-4417699395FF%7D.PDF.

Don and Debbie Kemp, Sara Moore, Cathy Holcomb
Members of the Union Tea Party Committee, Union