Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor, May 16

May 16, 2019

'Mystified' by legislator's stand on vaccination requirement

As longtime fans of Sen. Dave Miramant [D-Camden], we are mystified by his stand on legislation allowing parents to claim their religion as justification for not having their children vaccinated. This makes no sense to us.

Medical conditions should be the only permissible exemptions. People are free to believe that their god opposes vaccinations, though the religious community as a whole does not hold that view. But religious views have no place in legislative decisions affecting public safety.

If people send their unvaccinated children to public schools, they are imposing their beliefs on everyone else and putting other people’s children at risk. Diseases spread when enough people are not immunized. Herd immunity is a fact.

The right to one’s own beliefs cannot supersede the right of the whole community to be protected from serious health risks. If parents choose not to believe the extensive scientific research into this question, those parents are free to homeschool their children.

Miramant is a man of good conscience and intelligence, but in this, he has it wrong. His vote to allow a “religious exemption” is putting children and other medically vulnerable people at serious risk. We are urging all of Knox County. Please tell him: davemiramant@gmail.com .

Sherry and Bruce Cobb

Union

Ellie Goldberg

Hope

Time for change in Waldoboro

As we residents of Waldoboro head toward yet another annual town meeting and election in about a month, I hope that my neighbors and fellow townsmen and voters will set aside some time to reflect upon just what are the most pressing and important issues facing our community, and who it is they might want to represent their interests and aspirations, particularly as members of the Waldoboro Select Board.

For some years now, it seems like the election of our Select Board members has been as much a popularity contest as it was a deliberative process through which we, the voters, selected individuals to serve who had strong and clearly expressed ideas about where they thought our town needed to go, and how they'd help to get us there.

Like most Maine communities, Waldoboro consists of an ever-changing, wide variety of folks, some longtime residents, some relative newcomers, but all of whom appreciate what a special place our town is. And since we are a community made up of so many people and families with varied needs and interests, it seems incumbent on our elected officials, as a core part of their public work, to do their best to identify and meet the needs of the greater community.

A few years ago there arose an effort by members of our community to look into creating a Waldoboro Community Center, located in the historic village district. Such a facility would meet the needs of all manner of residents, from toddlers (including a new permanent home for our Head Start program), to seniors and teenagers, all of whom need a convenient, safe place to gather, hang out and just spend time together. The Community Canter would also have provided a convenient, central easy-to-get-to location for holding community events, like those on Waldoboro Day.

After more than a year of considering the possibility of creating such a sorely-needed community center, the Waldoboro Select Board, with the enthusiastic support of the town manager, abruptly punted considering the whole idea, and decided to do, well, nothing.

I believe that Waldoboro desperately needs new leadership. One member of our community, who has been serving on the RSU40 School Board for years, is stepping up to the plate. As a longtime resident of the historic village, and someone who cares deeply about our community, Sandie O'Farrell, in addition to her demonstrated planning skills, will bring new energy and fresh vision to the Waldoboro Select Board.

I hope that you will join me in voting for Sandie O'Farrell for Waldoboro selectman June 11.

Seth Hall

Waldoboro

O'Farrell has what Select Board needs

I was glad to hear that Sandie O'Farrell has decided to run for Waldoboro Select Board. Although the school board will miss her expertise, she certainly has much to offer the town of Waldoboro. She has a long history of serving her community. She is generous with her time and her personal contributions whenever there is a community need. She is energetic and never turns down a request to help. She has served in many capacities on the school board. She always does her homework and understands, in detail, the issues that she has to decide upon.

But I think her most important abilities lie in the area of finance and budget. She has worked professionally in this field and as a volunteer. She knows and understands the complicated intricacies of managing public finances. She is creative in finding solutions to complex problems. But she is wise in making hard choices and will manage the town's money in a fiscally responsible way. I hope you will join me in supporting Sandie O'Farrell for Waldoboro Select Board.

Emily Trask-Eaton

Waldoboro

Butler seeks return to Select Board

I’m running for Select Board because I enjoy working with neighbors and colleagues to meet challenges. During the past three years, we’ve laid the foundation for future progress, and now we have to build on it. What is that foundation? We now have continuity with our town manager through April 2024; our Shellfish Committee is cleaning up the Medomak; we established the Sylvania Task Force to oversee the Osram-Sylvania site and look to its future; we prohibited recreational marijuana; we created a FY2020 budget, which will not require an LD-1 override, while bringing the police department up to full strength and ensuring sufficient operating funds for all town departments; we purchased a ladder truck to mitigate the risks our volunteer firefighters face; we proposed a Tax Increment Financing District to save funds for future infrastructure projects; we now have fiber broadband internet in the downtown village and areas of North Waldoboro; we are working with regional organizations to create a place where young and old can be safe and play, where medical and social services are made available and where drug abuse can be treated.

We have accomplished a lot during the past three years, but much remains to be done.

Waldoboro is on the move since the demoralizing closure of the Osram-Sylvania plant more than 10 years ago. That closing cost the town some 600 jobs and reduced its tax base. We often forget the huge impact that loss had on the town. The social and economic climate of Waldoboro is changing. People feel the vibrancy of Waldoboro’s renewal as the Waldo Theater’s roof is repaired in anticipation of opening in 2020, the Broad Bay Congregational Church undergoes renovation and new businesses come to town.

Those who know me understand that I work to confront challenges so that Waldoboro can better face the future. Return me to the Select Board so I may work cooperatively to find sensible and cost-effective answers to Waldoboro’s challenges. I wholeheartedly enter this race and ask for your support.

Bob Butler

Waldoboro

Comments (1)
Posted by: Mary A McKeever | May 16, 2019 17:40

Kudos Ellie! Right on!

Mary "Mickey" (Brown) McKeever



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