Sutton: 'I believe in the American dream'

By Paula G. Sutton | Oct 06, 2018

The year 2016 was bittersweet. Both of my parents died within six months of each other; my mom passed just weeks before the election. The joy of my victory was tempered by my resolve to keep my priorities in perspective and not to lose sight of friends and family.

Shortly after I was elected, I received an invitation to an Eagle Scout ceremony from the Bradeen family in Warren. Not knowing them, I took notice. The invitation spurred a revelation: I was now a public servant.

My husband and I both attended the ceremony, which was held at the Warren Congregational Church. The parents and relatives of the scout were all beaming with pride over the young man's accomplishments. I watched him hug his parents and was filled with emotion at witnessing such an exchange, knowing I would never hug my parents again. I learned that becoming an Eagle Scout is quite an extraordinary achievement. It was inspiring to know that fine young men in our community are being nurtured by a caring group of scout leaders.

When the father of the scout died suddenly less than a year later, it stunned us all. As an elected official, I reached out and connected with my community and the Bradeen family on a new and profound level. When asked why, in this toxic and tense political climate, I would seek reelection, I think of this family and so many others like them. These deeper, richer connections have made me a better representative of the people.

We need to work together to build a bright, healthy economic future for our kids and grandchildren. Demographics are destiny, and Maine may the oldest state in America, but we have much potential.

We need tax policy that is welcoming.

Until we grapple with our high income tax rates, Mainers will continue to experience long waiting lists as we struggle to attract and retain medical providers and highly skilled workers. Many highly skilled professionals have already relocated to lower-tax states.

Government should be efficient so taxpayers get more for their money; this helps ease the need for additional tax dollars.

We also should reduce regulations on individuals and businesses to provide more economic freedom.

I believe in the American dream. If we work hard and play by the rules, we can get ahead in this life. While we have made progress, there is clearly more work to do in Augusta. The legislative process is slow and deliberate by design. The checks and balances among the three branches of government are safeguards; laws should not be overly influenced by current events and trends.

With my background in fisheries, my Marine Resource Committee assignment is a good fit. The lobster industry is vital to our economy and aquaculture has massive growth potential.

My work on the Government Oversight Committee resulted in meaningful legislation that directed funding to pay foster families and caseworkers more; ending the fiscal year with a surplus because of fiscally prudent practices helped provide the much-needed resources.

The opioid epidemic requires a three-pronged approach: prevention, enforcement and treatment. In some cases, people use drugs to fill a void; community and family members are all called to get involved and be part of the solution.

Property taxes are a persistent issue. Whether you are a school district or a town, controlling spending is important; living within our means is the only way to keep taxes lower. The majority of our property taxes pay for our schools, and while some think that increasing the state’s revenue-sharing program would help, it’s merely a redistribution of wealth program that does not factor in local spending or voters’ decisions. Before voting for an expensive new school, there should be a plan for how to pay for it. Before voting on increasing minimum wage by 60 percent at the ballot box, people ought to realize all the implications and consequences.

I vow that I will not lose sight of you -- the taxpayer. I will always remember that without you the government has no income; government must be responsible with your hard-earned dollars. I will be honored to again be your eyes, ears and voice in Augusta and ask for your vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Thank you!

PS. If you have questions about my votes or positions, contact me at 380-3406 or Paula.Sutton@legislature.maine.gov. Be sure to read my written candidate’s survey at PenBayPilot.com. My public Facebook page and voting record are additional resources.

Paula Sutton represents Maine House District 95, including Appleton, Hope, Warren and part of Union. She is running for a second consecutive term.

Comments (2)
Posted by: ED LAFLAMME | Oct 09, 2018 11:25

I have watched Paula work extremely hard these past two years.  She will definitely have my vote.

 



Posted by: Richard McKusic, Sr. | Oct 07, 2018 12:45

Well written, positive and informative.  What we need more of. Not sure if she will have my vote, but she does have my respect.



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