I am concerned that Mexico selectmen seem to have such a hard time with the secret ballot. After six months of studying why and how other towns in Maine have embraced the secret ballot, here in our little town, some selectmen are still either violently against it or remain uncommitted.
The current chairperson saw no difficulty three years ago in voting to agree that Mexico co-sign a loan with the state for $400,000 so Rumford could complete its tech center project. This was done with the understanding that the loan would need to be repaid unless 40 jobs in the precision metal trades were created.
Today, that same chairperson proclaims that $4,500 for printing ballots would be quite an expense and the town’s budget is tight. I think that cost would be a small price for citizens to pay to be able to vote on the budget without concern for possible reprisals, and will provide more citizens with input into the budget.
For the past six months, I have worked really hard so the secret ballot could become a reality. I spoke to town officials in many of the towns in Maine that are already using the secret ballot. Those officials spoke of increased participation in their town meetings.
We must vote June 13 to make sure the secret ballot becomes a reality here in Mexico so that next year even more of us will have more of a direct impact on fiscal affairs in our community.
Gary Coffin, Mexico