Rumford, Maine, 2013, is not Rumford, Maine, 1960. The “Golden Age” of the town has passed.
Rumford 2013 may have to deal with the closing of the NewPage paper mill as other towns have dealt with the closing of their paper mills. Paper mill representatives visited the Rumford selectmen in open session this year to note financial problems at the mill, in Maine and the nation, asking for the town’s support. That should be something for residents to think about.
Rumford 2013 has half the population of its “Golden Age” when the paper mill was competitive in the world market. The community is now made up of the elderly, retirees, widows and widowers, the disabled and the unemployed.
Rumford 2013 has been unsuccessful in improving its economy. The town lost a paper museum, veterans home, an art gallery, a retirement community, a hotel, and the casino, even though some citizens have worked hard to improve the economy.
When Rumford citizens voted no on the town budget in June, they were facing the reality of Rumford 2013. They were telling their elected officials that they must face that reality, as well.
Rumford 2013 must change.
Tom Fallon, Rumford