Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor Jan. 09

Jan 10, 2020

Enough is enough from Union town officials

It is with great dismay when I read Union’s town managers letter to the editor Jan. 2.

The intent here is not to continue to stir the pot but to correct the inaccuracies in the letter.

In an attempt to continue to put his defensive spin on things, the article contains incorrect information and begins with calling a Courier-Gazette reporter "naïve" and then goes into his spin.

In item 1, there is an attempt to invalidate the taxpayer’s petition of over 70 signers in total when there is mention of “only 30 signers being Union voters”. The petition never mentioned Union voters, as it clearly stated “we the undersigned resident taxpayers in the Town of Union” thus making all signers valid.

Then, in item 2, it mentions the civil discourse pledge signed by the manager, board members and town employees, calling it a "moot point" as it was executed under the previous board. Three members are still on the board, so is he saying there is no longer a need to be civil? Clearly there is a need for the two new board members to sign this pledge which is the town managers responsibility. The Courier- Gazette published an article May 2, 2019, “Town joins national effort to promote civility” announcing Union elected officials and town employees pledged to uphold respectful and courteous standards.

In item 4, the ongoing petition (approx. 50 signatures at that time) was presented to all board members and town manager Oct. 15, 2019, with a cover letter. There is mention of the petition having no explanation, so what happened to the cover letter? It finally took the board until Nov. 19, 2019 to put the petition on the agenda, and only after pressure from the press.

Through all of this, there were posts talking about “fake news,"  yet they have not dispelled any of the facts brought forth but continue to put a spin on the facts.

After the Nov. 19, 2019 meeting was adjourned, the subsequent minutes made little mention of the 30 plus signers in attendance requesting a halt to the project until, as stated in their own comprehensive plan, the residents are allowed public participation of potential projects along with public support before committing resources. None of this has happened, and the project is being shoved forward which obligates the taxpayers to $102,704.00 plus 20 years mandated maintenance, which will require special equipment. This financial data is in the Municipal/State Agreement signed June 28, 2019, by the Town Manager and on the Maine DOT website.

Lastly, but just as important, the board needs to take a firm stand on the activities under the new Union Maine USA Facebook page, where public discord will continue if posts using “enemies, scumbags and trolls” aren’t stopped.

Catherine L. Meyer

Pritchard H. Meyer

A response to the Concerned Citizen

I was pleasantly surprised when I began reading the latest offering from our concerned citizens in last week’s Courier-Gazette. It was instructive, initially, to have a brief reminder about the basic tenets of our nation’s constitution. I hoped that this was a genuine attempt to affirm that true citizenship requires us to understand the core values of our national identity and to act responsibly in working to attain a more unified and bipartisan United States of America.

Then I reached the sixth paragraph and the extreme conservative partisan rancor began as I feared.

It is unfortunate that we have a fractured political system for the moment, one in which each 'side' plays to their respective party loyalties in order to score political points to the exclusion of the country’s best interests.

According to the Concerned Citizen who wrote last week’s column, this is totally the fault of the Democrats who are exercising "totally partisan" powers to pursue impeachment proceedings. If so, they are following the excellent example of partisan behavior modeled by Republicans throughout Barack Obama’s presidency. Two quotes from majority leader Mitch McConnell illustrate this fact.

In 2010 the National Journal reported this from McConnell: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for Obama to be a one-term president.”

In 2016 he claimed: “One of my proudest moments was when I looked Barack Obama in the eye and I said: Mr. President, you will not fill the Supreme Court vacancy.”

This obstructionist ideology doesn’t make for good government and it’s shameful behavior from whichever 'side.' This is partisan power play, pure and simple, and it does come from both political parties. It’s time that the concerned citizens stop blaming only the Democrats for our troubles, as in last weeks’ column.

Additionally, I’ll note that there was a surprising inaccuracy following the author’s description of our Electoral College. In defending against President Trump’s undeniable loss of the popular vote in 2016, he claimed that this was “100% due to the voting in the New York City area, the Los Angeles area, and other large cities." Absurd and wrong. In fact, here in Maine, Hillary Clinton won 48% of the popular vote with 357,735 votes, beating Donald Trump’s 45% with 335,593 votes.

It’s become very tedious to have the concerned citizens fanning the flames of partisan discord relentlessly, week after week, and to what purpose I ask?

Last week’s column could have been different if not for the sniping political jabs which apparently animates these writers. It could have been instructive, thoughtful, inspiring and unifying to remind us of our higher goals as true concerned citizens.

I’ll remind us of our national motto: E Pluribus Unum… out of many, one.

John Shepard

Union

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