Letters to the Editor, June 1

Jun 01, 2017

Believes in Magjik

When I first reached out to Amelia Magjik about the diversity resolution, I didn't know her at all. Then, at City Hall, she gave an incredible, rousing speech in support of it, where she spoke to the wonderfulness of Rockland and its people. Afterwards, people were asking, "Who was that?"

I am inspired by Amelia's willingness to put herself out there. I am inspired by her work ethic and dedication to speaking with an open mind to everyone. In a short amount of time, she has jumped into city politics, learning ​so much​ about taxes, the budget process, the need to support the schools and students, rent issues, homelessness, etc.

I'm inspired by her positivity and her fresh eyes on everything. I think she has good ideas about how to get more well-paying jobs here, all while preparing for the effects of climate change, preserving the working waterfront and making more green space and affordable housing.

When Amelia first announced her candidacy for City Council, I asked for her reassurance that she really was going to stay in Rockland. I said it's not just that people are nervous about newcomers, but that people in Maine value relationships and will want to know that your interest in being here is not just a passing whim. She said absolutely yes and I felt satisfied.

I'm proud to support Amelia Magjik for Rockland City Council. I feel that her strong commitment to progressive values, authenticity, independent thinking and being open to talk to lots of people will serve the city well. I think she will help lift us out of ​much of​ the old stuff the city has been mired in.

You can pick up an absentee ballot at City Hall now, or you can vote at the Rec/Flanagan Community​ Center June 13, where you can same-day register to vote.

Becca Shaw Glaser

Rockland

Delay on South Main repairs could cost lives

It’s all very well for the City Council and the DOT to agree to delay repairs to South Main Street until 2019, but last Sunday night a woman in a wheelchair was struck at night by a driver who left the scene. What the story didn’t say was that the sidewalks on South Main Street are not navigable by a wheelchair and she was obliged to travel in the street. The sidewalks are narrow, have steep up-and-down sections by Maritime Farms, and in some places have phone poles blocking them.

They are definitely not up to code for Americans with Disabilities, or even for normal people wishing to walk two abreast. Arlene Holt could easily have died. As it was, her back was broken, her motorized wheelchair destroyed, and her service dog was killed. Something needs to be done before 2019!

Eleanor Richardson

Rockland

Questions manager candidate's veracity

This letter is in regard to Rockland city manager candidate Christopher Philbrick and statements he made in his resume.

I’m now retired, but I worked for the Army Corps of Engineers as a civilian engineer and was involved in contract administration and quality assurance in the design and construction of infrastructure projects for the Army and Air Force.

Philbrick’s resume states that he was the “city manager” (his actual title was garrison commander) of Ft. Irwin, Calif., from 2005-2008 and claims that one of his achievements in that position was that he “led the design, grant writing, land use planning, construction oversight and administration of a $100M water treatment plant allowing for vital expansion of city infrastructure.” This type of project would not have been managed by the Ft. Irwin Garrison. An Army infrastructure project with a $100M price tag requires direct funding from Congress, and by law the COE is the agency responsible for the “design,” “construction oversight and the administration” of such projects for the Army. Also, it does not make sense that Philbrick would be “grant writing” for an Army project when the project would have been fully funded by congressional appropriations.

A quick internet search showed that the COE did recently complete a $100.1M design-build water treatment plant project at Ft. Irwin. The COE awarded the contract in 2012, with construction starting in 2013 and completed in 2016, with the COE then turning over the water treatment plant to Fort Irwin. Philbrick had left Ft. Irwin in 2008, so he wasn’t even there when the plant was either being designed or constructed!

I called the civilian director of Public Works at Ft. Irwin to find out if by chance another $100M water treatment plant had been built in the 2005-2008 timeframe. He said there was not another plant built during that period and that the new plant replaced the water treatment plant that was built in the 1980s. The director also said the new plant had been in the works for a “long time,” so I assume that Philbrick would probably have been aware that a water treatment plant was in the works.

If Christoper Philbrick was not truthful about the Ft. Irwin water treatment plant, I wonder what else is not true in his resume?

David Leon

Rockland

Questions Philbrick's suitability

Is Chistopher Philbrick, the sole candidate for Rockland city manager, the man he appears to be on his resume? Has the Search Committee confirmed that the job titles and descriptions claimed by Mr. Philbrick are factual? Had they conducted an online search, they would have discovered myriad false claims disproved by solid sources such as Stars and Stripes, the Army, and the Department of Defense.

Mr. Philbrick claims that from 2005-2008 he was the city manager of Fort Irwin, Calif. He was the garrison commander. Philbrick claims Fort Irwin is a city. It is a 1,000-square-mile, extralegal jurisdiction, in which to conduct realistic military operations to prepare brigade combat teams for deployment.

Thousands of civilians live on the base, but there is no city hall, no council, no minutes, no municipal law or governance. No homeowners. Everyone is a tenant on federal property. Civilians who violate the law are tried by Army JAG prosecutors under the Code of Federal Regulations.

Mr.Philbrick claims that he was the "chief executive officer" of this "city," "responsible for the administration of the city's day-to-day operations." The army mandates that a permanent civilian employee, the deputy to the garrison commander, "shall have full responsibility for planning, directing, organizing, coordinating and controlling overall operations through subordinate managers who possess technical expertise in their respective areas."

The deputy is to develop and implement "both the long and short term policies and plans ... delegate authority ... exercise fiscal management responsibility by monitoring expenditures and reallocating funds based on shifting program needs ... assume a leadership role in developing personnel management policies..promote good relations with a variety of groups and individuals including unions, community organizations and the local chamber of commerce."

The current deputy has been at Fort Irwin for 13 years. Mr. Philbrick was there for three. Despite his brief tenure, Mr.Philbrick claims he led the design and construction of a $100 million water treatment facility, though that facility literally belonged to the Army Corps of Engineers, was initiated years before he arrived and constructed and transferred to the Army long after he left.

Mr. Philbrick's propensity to relabel his job titles, inflate his responsibilities and appropriate the accomplishments of others is on constant display throughout his resume, as is his practice of inserting the word "municipal" and "city"into his titles and narratives.

Mr. Philbrick claims that from 2000-2002 he was the "Deputy City Manager" of Fort Rucker. He was a battalion commander, responsible for his battalion of troops, vehicles and equipment.

Mr. Philbrick claims that from 2008-2009 he was the "Principal Municipal Adviser, Ministry of Defense, Baghdad, Iraq," and that he advised the Iraqi minister of defense on all aspects of municipal operations.

The city editor of the Desert Dispatch in Barstow, Calif., reported May 23, 2008, "Philbrick's next post will be in Iraq, where he will serve as an adviser to the deputy chief of staff for training and doctrine."

Mr. Philbrick didn't discuss municipal fiscal analysis over tea with the Iraqi minister of defense. He offered his 30-year cache of U.S. Army training and doctrine to his Iraqi counterpart. Is Mr Philbrick's expertise the kind we want in Rockland?

Springer Lowell

Rockland

Hall asks Waldoboro voters' support

I have recently thrown my hat into the ring as a candidate for the Waldoboro Select Board. As a longtime volunteer member of numerous town committees and boards, I think that I have developed a sense of the needs and wants of the citizens of Waldoboro, and I'd like to help address some of these issues if I can, as a member of the Waldoboro Select Board.

Some candidates also running for a seat on the Select Board seem to feel that Waldoboro's best days are behind us, that there is a dearth of volunteer participation on town committees and boards, and that the town staff are a problem, in terms of their interest in helping the residents of Waldoboro do those routine things that all of us occasionally need help with at the Town Office, not to mention planning for Waldoboro's economic future.

My impression couldn't be more different: having served on:the Planning Board, the Economic Development Committee, and both the MASD 40 and Region 8 School Boards for some years, I have been singularly impressed by the willingness of my neighbors to serve on these and many other committees, and do the hard work of trying to control the town budget, work on bringing more good jobs to Waldoboro, and improving the educational prospects of our children. And this is to say nothing about the remarkable job our finance department does in controlling town expenses, or how well the Department of Public Works does maintaining our roads, clearing them of snow, and running the transfer station, all in a very cost-effective way.

It is relatively easy to be a naysayer, and pooh-pooh the hard work of literally dozens of committee volunteers, especially when you've chosen not to be one yourself. As Chairman Callamore of our Select Board has repeatedly observed, without the uncompensated efforts of these many volunteers, the hard work of protecting our river and fisheries, of controlling our transfer station costs, and of developing an effective and reasonable town budget simply wouldn't get done.

My impression is that Waldoboro is on the move: both the Route 1 corridor and the Historic Downtown District have new businesses opening storefronts, and new restaurants opening. We again have a full-service automobile dealership in town for the first time in many years, and the Waldoboro Business Park is growing and thriving. And thanks to the efforts of our town's Planning Office staff, we're about to receive a grant to create a public river waterfront park adjacent to the Town Landing, as a public space for all residents to enjoy. As if this weren't enough, there is a volunteer nonprofit move on to create a Community Center for Waldoboro, and another to build a community playground in town. This is exciting stuff!

As a tried and proven manager and small businessman, I'd appreciate the opportunity to give back to my town as a member of the Select Board, and if you share the above bright vision of Waldoboro's future, I'd appreciate your vote.

Seth Hall

Waldoboro

Keep Collamore

I have known Clint Collamore for 28-plus years. I heartily endorse his re-election as a candidate for selectman of Waldoboro.

When I was his fellow selectman, he was a dedicated civil servant and represented Waldoboro well. Throughout, he was a hard worker, whether it was as shipbuilder, as a clam digger, a lobsterman, or as a driven scholar. I feel our Select Board should represent the breadth of our population.

Clint truly loves the town and works diligently for its future. You would be hard-pressed to find a better person for this important position. So elect Clint again!

John T. Blamey

Waldoboro

Minzy asks for another term

Representing Waldoboro citizens as a member of the Select Board has been a real privilege, as well as an education. The learning curve is steep and wide! Our board is balanced and well represents the diversity in our community.

Please keep that balance, that stability, and that experience by re-electing Clint Collamore and me.

Jann Minzy

Waldoboro

Re-elect Collamore

Clint Collamore is running for the Waldoboro Select Board. This is not news, as he has been on the board off and on for many years. His first election was when he was only 29.

Clint went to Medomak Valley High School and UMA, where he got his degree in public administration. He gives us this valuable experience on the board. Clint works as a commercial lobsterman and commercial harvester. He worked at Bath Iron works for 22 years, where he served as president and vice president of the Shipbuilders' Local. He brings all this knowledge to us.

Besides being on the Select Board, he serves on the Shellfish Committee, Waldoboro Day Committee and is presently the chair of the Sylvania Task Force committee.

Clint has a fount of information and a deep institutional memory. Please join me in voting for him on Tuesday, June 13. Let’s keep the "more" in Collamore for the town of Waldoboro.

Betsy Wooster

Waldoboro

Re-elect Minzy

I highly recommend Jann (Joanne) Minzy for the Waldoboro Select Board. In her previous term, she has proven herself to be reliable, committed, knowledgeable and very interested in hearing from everyone in the community. She has attended training classes, informative seminars and has done much of her own research to ensure our town departments are as efficient as possible.

She reads all the materials given to the Select Board and continues to seek further information whenever a question arises. She is as fiscally responsible in her personal life as she is for our town. She is one of our most well informed Select Board members and shares her knowledge with those around her.

Jann’s patience and ability to understand and explain complex matters is due to her extensive experience as a teacher, educator and mother. She has contributed her time and energy to many civic organizations in this town and continues to do so. A great deal of her time over the past few decades has gone to the library, the church, the schools, the Town Office and recently, the Medomak Arts.

After raising her five children in this town and being an educator in numerous schools, she has met many Waldoboro families through their children. She knows this community and is well respected for her hard work and positive attitude. Jann is a pleasure to be around because she is always thoughtful and kind.

Please consider voting for Jann Minzy, the candidate who has proven herself worthy.

Caren Clark

Waldoboro

Keep Minzy and Collamore on Select Board

The voters of Waldoboro are fortunate to have two highly qualified, hard-working incumbents to re-elect to the town’s Board of Selectmen this year. Jann Minzy and Clint Collamore are experienced board members with proven listening and problem-solving skills that the town needs. Over the years, Waldoboro has been enriched by their many hours of volunteering with various other organizations. As a consequence, they have a deep understanding of the town and its needs for the future.

A vote for Jann and a vote for Clint are a good and safe investment in the future of Waldoboro.

Elisabeth Goode

Waldoboro

City can't get anything right

How does Rockland actually get into so much trouble, so easy, and so often.? Becca Shaw Glaser has more intelligence in her tiny little fingers than the entire city management, council and cohorts in this on-again, off-again city manager debacle.

Never in a million years can I even imagine this city getting anything right. Becca has done more homework than the entire committee, City Council, and city management into the entire process searching, investigating, researching, questioning, developing, choosing and selecting what appears to be another failing-from-the-start city manager candidate.

Riddled with confusion, careless policy, favoritism, pressured decisions and countless other faults, this city has done it again. Obviously, from Becca's letter, the process was slippery at best from the start. The candidate has a questionable past -- not totally negative, but nowhere did I see where he actually ran a town or city. With a background in the military, very extensive from what you can read from his resume, there is a lack of "connection" that would equate that background to Rockland. Unless, of course, we plan to add another layer to our police department with fortifications all over the town, militia-style equipment, and arming all citizens in fear of an attack from the seaward side.

His involvement with the Boy Scouts needs clarification, as do so many other points that not one person involved in this choice even considered to act on, I assume. This committee was hand-picked for good reason, all on the same page in supporting each other. They should have been at each other's throats tooth and nail to grind out the pros and cons of every angle thought possible.

How many made individual phone calls to interview anyone connected with this individual? Becca found out a lot of information by doing just that. I cannot imagine that a candidate like Jeff Evangelos does not deserve, or did not deserve, at least an opportunity better than this guy got. This guy applied for jobs all over the USA. Does that not ring a bell? Rockland is gullible, the last guy reminds us of that and this guy is on his way to teach us another lesson, even if he never shows up.

We, as a city, are incompetent at choosing management, from the top all the way down to many department heads. Good ol' boys' club. Good ol' girls' club. Salaries in this city are way out of proportion for the return on our investment. There is no efficient management of time and money. Yes, we have good people, but, they are not in positions of authority and should be.

I commend you, Becca, one of the few who do their homework. Unfortunately, your efforts will fall on deaf ears, as have those before you who have put exhausting efforts into the betterment of this city. This is a travesty of efforts with no solution that will make us proud.

Dale Hayward

Rockland

Sheriff welcomes pre-K program

I was so pleased to read in the Village Soup a recent story about the Hope Elementary School’s innovative pre-kindergarten pilot program. As sheriff of Knox County, I want to add the law enforcement community’s perspective on the importance and value of early childhood education as one of our most powerful crime prevention tools.

Study after study shows that high-quality early learning programs, especially for our at-risk youth, have great outcomes. Kids who participate in early education programs like the one at Hope Elementary start kindergarten ready to learn, do better in school, are more likely to graduate from high school (and graduate on time), and are more likely to further their education beyond high school. Just as important, youth who participate in these programs are less likely to become involved in crime as teens or adults. This helps our state in numerous ways, including keeping our communities safer.

So much about Hope Elementary School’s program is to be lauded, including the importance of family involvement in early education. Kudos to the REDCO Foundation’s commitment to the program, its ongoing partnership with the school and generous contribution to fund the program’s startup costs. It gives me great hope for the future of the town of Hope and its kids that this program has been launched. All Maine children and the communities in which they live would benefit from similar early learning programs that set the foundation for the future learning and well-being of our citizens, and enormously benefit our state.

Donna Dennison

Knox County Sheriff

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