Courier-Gazette Letters to the Editor Oct. 15

Oct 17, 2020

Rockland minimum wage ordinance

The Rockland City Council, by a 3-2 vote, put Councilor Davis's minimum wage ordinance on the ballot, and I would like to urge Rockland to vote no. Let me explain why.

This is a great example of an idea that has not been vetted by Rockland citizens during a pandemic. Whether you think it's a good idea or not, you have to examine the ordinance's contents to fully understand what it's saying.

First of all, in my opinion, minimum wage laws belong at a higher level of government than a city or town. Beyond that, look at the flaws in this. First, it is not equitable. It only applies to businesses of 25 or more employees within Rockland. So how does that help employers with less than 25 employees? My company has over 40,000 employees, but only three in Rockland. They do not follow under this ordinance, but perhaps a local firm like Maritime Energy would. How is that fair?

Rockland does not have the power to impose this ordinance on County, State or Federal workers. A great example of this are the junior enlisted Coast Guards who work here that have a base pay of $1733.10 to $1942.50 per month, which equates to about $10 to $11 per hour, but then again, I don't know any military people who work a 40 hour week.

Of course, like many companies, they have benefits that take them well over the minimum wage. Benefits are not considered in this ordinance, nor is there any training wage for students getting their first job and work experience.

Let's talk about enforcement. The sole person responsible for this ordinance is the City Manager. If they find a violation, then Tom Luttrell has to go to the company and ask them to comply. If they don't, the city manager has to take them to court to get the money.

What does that cost in terms of time and what does that do the city's legal budget? Is this what we want our city manager to focus on? I think not. For whatever reason Councilors Davis, Ben Dorr and Valli Geiger thought this was a good idea, I will never know. What I do know is this ordinance is not equitable, probably unenforceable and will come at a cost to city taxpayers.

Doug Curtis Jr.

Rockland

Sibling pride of Luce

I am Molly Luce’s brother. I have watched my sister blossom into an amazing woman on many levels.

She started her SafeCare business with no money, just one vehicle and built it into a thriving business known statewide for her ability to serve underprivileged and special needs children. Molly has a huge heart for these children, all children really. She takes money out of her own wallet to feed and clothe many of them without a word to boast about herself. When she sees a need, she acts.

Molly is also my “right hand man” so to speak, on all our missionary adventures over the past several years. She is daring, bold, sensitive, caring and kind. All the people that we meet on these trips love Molly! She even has a ministry within a ministry, of seeking out handicapped and special needs kids. She is a tremendous uplifter to them and the parents, who are often overwhelmed in a third world country.

Molly is blessed with common sense; she is able to make sound decisions quickly. She is also a problem solver and a hard worker. I know my sister well and I feel she is exactly who we need to represent us in Augusta.

Vick Pease

Union

Lachman is the man for City Councilman

We are living through mind-boggling changes. The challenges we face are many and varied. But there are always opportunities in times of challenge and change. Leadership is what allows these opportunities to come into focus and brings people together to seize them.

Adam Lachman will bring the best qualities of leadership to the Rockland City Council - active listening, fair process, accountability and a willingness to pursue good, common sense ideas from across the political spectrum.

In addition, he has proven experience working with government at every level to improve the lives of others. Perhaps more importantly, he has experience as a business owner. So, he understands what it takes to innovate in order to survive and the value of the economic and community development work that supports jobs, investment and a healthy tax base.

Rockland has so much going for it and we will continue to see growth as people seek the quality of life we enjoy. Please join me in voting for Adam to ensure our conversations about how to move forward together are civil, productive and focused on the many opportunities coming our way.

Tobey Williamson

Rockland

Mullins has what it takes

I am voting for Mike Mullins for the Maine State Legislature for House District 93, Rockland and Owls Head. We need someone in Augusta with vision and fire in the belly enthusiasm to bring it off, an achiever for whom two plus two gets you to five.

Mikes innovative vision could convert our abandoned quarries into carbon spongers that reduce greenhouse gases, attract federal grant money, and be a major boom to Maine's forest industry. This is just one of the potential benefits of having Mike Mullins presence in the legislature.

Mike is a conservationist and an advocate for our streams and rivers. Has has launched a non profit to give grants to herring runs across the state and wants to make Tennyson Quarry into a habit for sea-run fish. Hos restoration of the Cedar Street Quarry shows he has the know how and vision to actually get it done. Please vote for Mike Mullins Nov. 3.

Linda Post

Owls Head

Political vandalism

I listened to a discussion on WRFR-93.3 LP the other evening, between Maine House District 93 candidates Valli Geiger and Michael Mullins. Mullins stated a main issue for him is civil rights.

On Sept. 14, Mullins posted on his Facebook account that his campaign van was vandalized. He states, “I have spent almost the entirety of this year volunteering for community service (making masks), or campaigning for issues like civil rights, environment and education. I’m not so sure it matters what I do. Many are so stridently opposed to anyone in the ‘wrong’ party. I hear it every week.”

Subsequent posts jump on the bandwagon of solidly blaming the left for the vandalism of the campaign van. Some blame the supporters of Mullins’ opponent. Words like “communism” and “Marxism” are used alongside the slurs against the left. One individual volunteers his services as “head of security.”

Molly Luce, the Republican candidate for District 95, states in the comments, “We need more Mike’s in Augusta Vote Mike!”

Mullins says nothing in response to any of these comments to remind people that there is no proof that someone on the left or with any political motivation was responsible for vandalizing his van. But then again, his initial comments were the sparks that fanned the flames. The only comment he makes other than his initial post is to say “thanks” to someone who comments, “Sincerely, someone on the left.”

You cannot be a candidate for political office fighting for civil rights if your own actions and words do not back up your claims. There is no proof offered, no responsibility from any group or individual claimed for the act. Yet, blame is solidly placed and not refuted.

Mullins has total contributions for a Maine House seat totaling $52,665.70. Most of this is his own money. The Maine Ethics Commission 42 Day Pre-General Report filed Sept. 22 states he has spent $38,027.68 on items ranging from catering, paid staff, an outside consultant and golf tournaments. Geiger is running clean and has spent $4,379.03 of her allotted $5,854.00.

When asked, Mullins cannot state simply whether he supports specific legislation, whether he would support a LePage candidacy or whether he supports Trump. The written record concerning the van vandalism reflects discrepancy between words and action.

The voters of Rockland and Owls Head have a clear choice. When asked, Geiger will tell exactly what she supports, and the walk matches the talk.

Elizabeth Dickerson

Union

Page for Senate!

Please join me in voting for Gordon Page for Senate in our District 12. Gordan is a valuable asset as a member of our select board in Owls Head. He has the ability to look at all sides of a situation and find the best answer. He has many years of experience working with people and bringing them together.

He is the type of candidate we need more of in Augusta from all political parties. Please cast your vote for Gordon Page.

Linda Post

Owls Head

Why Mullins is the best option

Mike Mullins is a problem solver. Since moving to Maine, he has taken an abandoned quarry, once an ecological disaster, and made it into a natural wonder. On one occasion, we watched as the geese came flying overhead in a tight formation before making a water landing. The wildlife is now thriving there, and Mike’s love of nature is on display with the grand quarry ecosystem filtered with carefully chosen aquatic plants and materials.

On Sept. 11, we welcomed Mike into our home to meet with our neighbors and discuss his political platform. For over three hours, we bombarded him with a variety of problems facing our state.

It is clear that Mike is an out-of-the-box thinker who researches issues and finds solutions. His ideas are refreshing and atypical of a political candidate. Mike’s vision for our quarries could revolutionize our carbon footprint. His vision for Maine, the Midcoast in particular, will move the state in a positive direction. Mike Mullins has my vote for Representative Nov. 3.

Bev Cowan

Rockland

Why Maxmin is our future

Chloe Maxmin is Senate District 13's opportunity for a brighter, more representative future. Chloe's campaign has four themes: resilience, broadband, transportation and healthcare. Expansion of each is critical to serving our community.

This District includes the oldest population in our country, many of our seniors are homebound. As I drove around Washington delivering Meals on Wheels (pre-COVID), I met some of those vulnerable, isolated members of our community. They don't have access to affordable, sensible transportation, they are at the mercy of relying on friends, health care workers and private drivers.

They don't have access to broadband internet, so while our current "virtual everything" is able to bring some people closer together, some have been cut off entirely from their friends, churches and other support groups.

One candidate has plans that will lift up every member of our community and the sensibility to vote for what's right for us. Endorsed by the Sierra Club, Maine Conservation Voters, and the Maine Education Association — this is a candidate concerned for our future. I look forward to voting for Maxmin to represent our region in the State House.

Sarah Masters

Washington

Valli Geiger is our best choice

I'm supporting Valli Geiger in her run to represent House District 93 in the state legislature. Honestly, when I heard the seat was opening, I thought about running. But then I heard Valli wanted to run, and I realized she would do a far better job than I would.

Over the last four years, I've worked with her on the city council, and though we don't always agree, I respect her opinions and her passion for Rockland. Disagreement isn't the same as dislike, and if she can carry that attitude with her to Augusta, we'll all be better represented. I've gone with her to Augusta, and she's already an effective advocate for Rockland, she'll be even more effective as a legislator.

No one could have predicted the upheaval of a 2020, but we want our best and brightest to help find answers, and Valli is our best choice.

Ed Glaser

Rockland

Adapting voter registration to fit 2020

In this extraordinary year of the COVID-19 pandemic, many routines have taken a backseat as we work to maintain health, safety and economic security. One of these that we may not have thought about is making sure our young adults and other family members are registered to vote.

Many students who typically register at school voter registration drives have not had this opportunity due to school closures. This fall there have been changes in schedules and in who may enter schools to hold events such as Student Voter Registration Day for those who will be 18 by Election Day.

Registering to vote is a simple process. You can do it by mail, but it’s easier if you go in person to your town office. You must be a U.S. citizen, a Maine resident and be 18 by Nov. 3. Bring your Maine driver’s license or state ID. If these show your current address, that’s all you will need. Otherwise, bring proof of residency with you.

This can be an official envelope you have received in the mail with your name and address on it or a paycheck stub.  You can find a list of documents that you can use to register at the Secretary of State’s website maine.gov/sos/cec/elec/voter-info/voterguide.html. Fill out and sign a Maine Voter Registration Application card, and you’re done.

Newly registered voters are advised to bring their ID the first time they go to the polls. If there’s any problem, you can fix it by registering on Election Day. Even if you have trouble on Election Day, if you are a qualified voter, you can still vote on a challenged ballot and it will count when the ballots are tallied.

This year, many people are voting absentee due to health and safety concerns. In Maine, you don’t need an excuse to vote absentee. You may go to or call your town office to request an absentee ballot application. If you go in person, you can get your absentee ballot and vote early while at the town office. You can also go online and fill the request form out at maineballot.org/vote.

After your ballot is mailed to you, complete and return it as soon as possible. You can return a completed ballot by mail, in person to your town office, or at a drop box if your town has one. Remember, to be counted, absentee ballots must be received by the municipal clerk by 8 p.m. Nov. 3. Don’t forget to sign the envelope flap. You can also vote in person on Election Day. Polls will open between 6 and 10 a.m. depending on where you live, and close at 8 p.m.

The League of Women Voters believes democratic government depends upon informed and active participation in government. We encourage all eligible citizens to participate in their representative government by exercising their right to vote.

Linda Zeigler

League of Women Voters, Midcoast

Gordon Page for State Senate

I enthusiastically support Page’s candidacy for the state senate for several reasons.

First, Gordon brings his desire for public service in Augusta a wide range of work experience in business and non-profit sectors, as well as a generously high level of involvement as a volunteer for many worthy causes across the mid coast, including serving as head selectman in his Owls Head community.

Second, Gordon will approach his service in Augusta, as he approaches everything he does, as a pragmatic problem solver. In these days of increased polarization in politics at state and national levels, we desperately need legislators who know the private and public sectors of our economy and who, armed with that knowledge, will work across the political aisle to forge solutions that potentially enable everyone to prosper. Gordon is that person.

Third, and most important for me, Gordon is a people person. He knows and likes many people from all corners of our community. I was initially introduced to Gordon 30 years ago at a large gathering. We talked briefly at the time. The next time we met weeks later, he remembered my name and the substance of our initial conversation. That feeling of connectedness to Gordon never wavered. Once Gordon gets to know you, you become part of his community forever. He cares.

I hope you will join me in voting for Gordon this fall.

John Bird

Rockland

About the A.D. Gray School project...

As an architect, I had, over the years, the opportunity to work with both state and federal housing agencies in the development of affordable housing for Maine people.

For three decades, our firm worked with HUD (the federal housing assistance program), the Maine State Housing Authority and the USDA Farmers Home Administration on elderly and multifamily housing developments from Presque Isle to Wells.

In this, I worked with developers, towns and the housing agencies to develop between 70 and 80 quality developments that remain robust and active today.

In a recent phone conversation with Brian Sykes of Volunteers of America, I reviewed the most significant components of their proposal to the town for the conversion of old A.D. Gray School to affordable senior housing.

Briefly, I learned how his organization’s approach, its history and background, could serve the town’s needs. With Brian I was able to review all the key aspects that, in my opinion, would be of concern to the town in developing rental housing for lower income seniors.

While there are clearly some development options that need to be carefully considered, such as unit type, mix, etc., my discussion with Sykes convinced me that Volunteers of America is knowledgeable and experienced at undertaking projects such as this, and they will serve the town well in making the school, which lives on in the memories of so many Waldoboro residents, come alive again.

John Morris

Waldoboro

You have the right. VOTE.

“The right to vote is of the essence of a democratic society and any restrictions on that right strike at the heart of representative government,” stated Justice Rehnquist, in a 1974 case defending this fundamental right The 14th Amendment, with four amendments, guarantees freedom from voting interference.

We have the incredible privilege to vote for our representatives in America, unlike other places in the world, where elections are not free and open. While Nov. 3 is Election Day, we can also vote by mail, suitable for students, those traveling abroad, those who are disabled and now for many who are at risk of COVID-19.

Voting by mail is the same as absentee voting which has been in place for years, and has never been considered fraught or fraudulent. It has even been used by the current president and yet the administration threatens, that mail in voting should be suspect.

How does the President claim this when there is no evidence to support it? The assaults on the Post Office during a world-wide pandemic, why? Voting in this democracy is the one issue that should cause everyone to do everything in their power to practice. In Maine, there are several helpful websites for those with questions about voting locations, securing an absentee ballot, etc. They are voteinmaine.com and iwillvote.com/me.

Do not let anyone interfere with this right as a U.S. citizen.

Annette Naegel

Rockland

Get to know Gordon as I have

I first met Gordon Page 33 years ago, when our sons played together in Little League. Gordon was a coach, and a very good one. We served on the Board of Directors and we both have been Little League President.

Over the years, I have been very impressed with his ability to get a job done, and that is all you can ask for. He will do the same as your next Maine Senator.

Gordon is very fair minded and has lots of integrity. You already know that if you have met him, and if you haven’t met him, then take the time to do so in person if you can, or by going to gordonpageforsenate.com. You can chat with him online.

His accomplishments are too numerous to list here, but most people will remember his service to our community as President of Rockland-Thomaston of Commerce and as Executive Director of Rockland Main Street Association.

I want you to learn more about Gordon, and I am sure you will be as impressed with him as I have been these last 33 years. Based on my knowledge of Gordon, he is an independent thinker and will not vote strictly on party lines. He will do what he thinks is best for his constituents and Maine as a whole. He will not continue the acrimony in the State House and will bring fresh ideas. It is time for a change and Gordon Page is ready to make those changes.

So please go to that website or meet him if you can and really drill down on who Gordon Page is. Learn about him, think about him and understand him and when you do, I am sure you will, like me, vote for him to be our next Maine Senator from District 12.

Dennis Norton

Rockport

Sen. Miramant: No One Better Suited for the Job

As a recent transplant to Knox County, I support of Sen. Dave Miramant for reelection to the Maine Senate for many reasons, several being very close to me.

It’s heartening to know Dave’s focus on environment protection aligns with my passion for protecting and enjoying the ocean. With the Gulf of Maine being the fastest-warming body of water on the planet, we have a front-row seat to climate change. Dave’s ability to balance and manage the needs of the fishing community, fisheries they depend on, the fragile coastal ecosystem and the need for environmental responsibility demonstrates leadership and vision for the future of our marine industry, community and beyond.

His understanding of renewable, clean energy tech, its application and its role in reducing fossil fuel dependency exhibits his forward-thinking strategy for our future. These are qualities needed to effectively lead Maine toward a sustainable future.

As a commissioner of the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission, Senate Chair of the Marine Resources Committee and a member of the Coastal Caucus and the Energy, Utilities and Technology Committee, Dave has the expertise and clearly demonstrates dedication to marine resources and protecting the environment.

I’m currently exploring the opportunity to develop a coastal business. Knowing Dave supports entrepreneurs and has firsthand knowledge of challenges they face gives me comfort. His reputation precedes him, and I know I can count on Dave to be responsive and knowledgeable in his efforts to help me and my business succeed.

Maine’s economy depends on a healthy environment and small businesses. Dave’s experience as a small business owner provides an intimate understanding of what makes them tick. Coupled with his experience leading us in the Senate these last six years, there is no one better suited for this job.

I fully support Sen. Miramant to represent our district in the Maine Senate, and hope you will, too.

Mark Haley

Rockport

I put my faith in Gordon

It is my pleasure to enthusiastically support Mr. Gordon Page for Maine Senate District 12.

Gordon was literally the first individual to extend a memorable warm welcome to the midcoast community, when he approached me at the Captain Linsdey House in Rockland, which hosted a Chamber of Commerce Business event.

As a result of our friendship, we ended up serving together on the Chamber Board for many years, including as President. His extensive involvement in the community exhibits his passion for our beloved area and its fine residents.

I am especially proud and impressed with his support of the small business owners who have benefited from his past advocacy and leadership. Perhaps his strongest accolade is his devotion to his 27-year involvement with the Kiwanis Club, providing critical support to children in our area.

I urge you to join me in voting for Gordon, whose proven and honorable leadership voice is needed right now in Augusta.

Connie Russell

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