M. St. John: Ignoring the will of the people

As a member of the Norway Planning Board, I was devastated to learn that a five-year-long community project to revitalize our downtown and create jobs is now in jeopardy because of a purely political decision by Gov. Paul LePage and his allies in Augusta.

For years, our friends, neighbors and community officials have been working together to raise the funds needed to revitalize four first-floor store fronts in the Norway Opera House. That project will breathe new energy into our downtown, support local businesses and create jobs

Not allowing the bond money to be spent is no way to run government in Maine. It is a slap in the face to community members in Norway and an assault on job creation in Maine at a time when creating jobs and putting money in the pockets of working Mainers should be the top priority.

In 2011 alone, Maine lost more than 1,000 jobs, and we're one of only seven states in the entire country that saw its economy shrink.

And, now, in a time when we should be creating an economy that is built to last, by investing in our downtown and making sure that working families and small business owners — the real job creators — have the resources they need to thrive, Gov. LePage and the majority in Augusta are turning their backs on job creation and ignoring the will of local communities throughout Maine.

Voters deserve more.

Mary Lou St. John, Norway

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 's picture

Would you like to know why

Would you like to know why there are no jobs or money in Norway? Because it's NORWAY MAINE. It's not LePage's fault you live in a podunk flyspeck of a town with nothing in it up to and including anyone with enough desire or income to keep your own "Opera House" standing. That's tantamount to blaming LePage for Aerosmith not playing a gig at the Caribou community center. When should it ever be incumbent upon the taxpayers of the entire state to fund the renovation of one town's private property?

Um, because the taxpayers of

Um, because the taxpayers of the entire state voted to approve the funding of SEVERAL towns' PUBLIC property. If the town owns it (or a non-profit set up by the town), it's public property.

 's picture

If it's important to Norway,

If it's important to Norway, let them pay for it. At least the governor is smart enough to figure out basic cost/benefit analysis. A renovated Opera House in Bugtussle will affect the lives of what, six people...and at what price tag? There are more important matters than throwing away money this state doesn't have. Bonds in Maine have always brought us closer to the brink because the average Mainer thinks it's free money. It's like taking a vote with first graders on longer recess.

 's picture

Not the taxpayers of the entire State of Maine.

The entire Staet of Maine voted on this particular Bond Issue and if you check the out come it passed! So, if passed by the majority of the voters of the State of Maine should those funds be frozen and not utilized for the intended purpose. Perhaps our Governor could have cut the Bond appropriation in 1/2 or or more...but to freeze all that had been unamiously approved by the citizens of this great state is just completely unfair. Everyone, including our Governor expects a weeks pay for a weeks work completed. I wonder how he would feel if the people promised him a certain paycheck at the end of every week and then suddenly....oh NO Sir....we are going to freeze those funds! I am not saying the State can afford what was intiially promised back in 2010....the economy is far different than it was, but for heavens sakes dont freeze all of it. The Norway community will busts it fanny to raise all that it can but isn't the state obligated to follow through with its commitment as well, even if due to economic circumstance it needs to be adjusted. I feel than any financial assistance is better than NO assistance at all!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The rehabilitation of the

The rehabilitation of the Norway Opera House should be Norway's problem, not the taxpayers of the entire State of Maine.

 's picture

Not the taxpayers of the entire State of Maine

Then can you please explain why the taxpayers of the entire State of Maine APPROVE the Bond issue to begin with???????

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Sure. The taxpayers of Maine

Sure. The taxpayers of Maine have never met a bond issue they couldn't embrace. They'd approve a bond issue that would fund the extinction of storks as a means of birth control if it were included in a bond package. Somewhere along the line Maine taxpayers have convinced themselves that bonds are free money.

Thank you for calling the

Thank you for calling the majority of the people of Maine idiots. I guess you feel right at home.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Actually, you did it pretty

Actually, you did it pretty well yourself. You said it; I didn't.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Why doesn’t business owners

Why doesn’t business owners front the money if the financial benefits are as great as you propose?

Why must Norway have to spend the public money?

Bickford Wiles's picture

Money spent

You can't spend money you don't have.The loss of jobs was probably from liberal fear of a true,resposible,government.Good job LePage!

The bonds were already issued

The bonds were already issued and money recieved and earmarked. He's not SAVING anythi8ng. So the question is: where is he sending the money that the Voters of Maine have already designated for the bonds?

 's picture

Hear, Hear.

Well said.


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