Rumford Senior Center to close doors by Oct. 1

RUMFORD — The Rumford Senior Center is being forced to find a new home by Oct. 1 after their rent was increased to an amount above their budget, center president Barbara Morse said.

The non-profit Senior Center, located at 50 Congress Street, announced Tuesday that they were searching for a new building to move into by Oct. 1.

Morse said that the Greater Rumford Community Center informed the Senior Center that their rent would be increasing to $1,000 a month shortly after the second budget vote on July 23.

“I mean, we could maybe afford $400 a month, maybe $500, but as a non-profit group, $1,000 is out of our reach,” Morse said Tuesday afternoon. “The fundraising that we do is enough to help us function right now, but it's not enough for the new rent. I don't know who they expect to move in here and pay that kind of money.”

During the annual town meeting on June 11, residents voted 785-684 to approve $4,000 for the Rumford Senior Center, which was down from the $6,400 request they had originally submitted to the Board of Selectmen.

“We're looking for a facility that is handicap accessible, has plenty of room and has a good amount of parking,” Morse said. “That's our main concern, in terms of what we want for our building.”

Morse, who has been with the Senior Center since February 2012, added that moving would be especially frustrating, since they have just begun their bi-weekly public luncheon, where they invite the public to visit and have a lunch.

“I'm concerned about losing the kitchen,” Morse said. “All of these new events we're doing, the luncheon and the ice cream social, are dependent on the kitchen. It's something else we'll be looking for in a potential replacement building.”

The Rumford Senior Center, according to treasurer Marjorie Johnson, has a membership of 170 people, with many non-Rumford residents attending as well.

“We don't exclude anybody from outside of Rumford from becoming a member,” Johnson said. “We have people from Farmington, Peru, New Sharon and Dixfield attending the center. I'm a Hartford resident myself. The Senior Center closing would leave a lot of people without a place to visit.”

Morse said that during an event at the Senior Center, an average of 20 or 30 people will show up, with upwards of 50 when a musical guest performs.

Morse added, “If we can't find a place by Oct. 1, our doors will be shut and locked, and there will be no more luncheons, no more bingo, no more ice cream social, no more place for the seniors to go. When people come here, they sit in for a few hours, socialize and interact with other people. It's a great meeting place.”

Morse said that nothing would have been possible without her “group of volunteers,” who have invested a lot of their own time and money to keep the Senior Center running and growing.

“When I first started here at the beginning of 2012, membership was 86 and going down,” Morse said. “It was due to a lack of management and teamwork. It really does take a team to run this place, and I am very fortunate to have a wonderful group of people who volunteer. None of us get paid to do this. We do this on our own.

“I kind of see this thing as my baby,” Morse said, “and it hits me really hard, thinking that it could be shut down.”

mdaigle@sunjournal.com

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Phil Blampied's picture

Here's how supporters of higher budgets make their case

Here's a photo of a sign at the Marden's parking lot entrance, August 23, 2013: http://saverumford.com/001%20(640x562).jpg
It reads: "Vote Yes - The 'Save Rumford' group is a cancerous growth on our town"

Apparently, if you ever dared vote against a town budget, you are a "cancer". This is typical of the name calling and viciousness the supporters of higher budgets and higher taxes have engaged in. This sign,in particular, also demonstrates the cowardice shown in many of the statements by higher budget supporters. There is nothing to indicate who wrote or installed the sign, which is typical of various anonymous Facebook and internet postings, even of a Rumford finance committee member who tried to attack Save Rumford from behind a phony name on the Sun Journal web site. Let's show that viciousness does not pay off in Rumford. Repudiate these kind of tactics. It's yet one more reason to VOTE NO in the budget election coming up this Tuesday, August 27.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Probably put up by your own group

...in order for you to display your 'holier than thou' outrage. Nice try Phil.

Brad Gallant's picture

Actually Phil...

It seems to me Phil that the sign, as you quoted it, refers to the group as a cancer, not anyone voting no. I would have probably used a word more like gangrenous...but I get the picture they are trying to paint. I think there are many people who vote no on many things for many reasons. It seems the sign indirectly refers to the "blanket NO vote" that was pushed by the group; which I might add saw quite a drop in support on the last vote (cut in half I believe). As far an anonymous posting, until you chose to call out Candice it is quite hypocritical to call out anyone else. Knowing the personal attacks that people have come under for expressing their thoughts at times I am not surprised that people post with pseudonym's at times. I think it ends up showing who cares about the information rather than who cares about whose idea it is. That's what some of the people attached to your group do not see. There is a well educated, driven group in this community that agree with some of your ideas. The problem is when you allow people like Candice and Frank, who have issues with the facts, and you, who tend to go off on childish rants, be the spokesperson for any group...you keep people away who would otherwise help you come loser to your goals. Not only do you keep hose people away...you drive them away. I have spoken with business people, town employee's, teachers, etc that are looking at moving out of Rumford not because of the taxes...but because of the turmoil this "Save Rumford" group has caused.

Richard Greene's picture

No one is a proponenet of higher taxes

Many of us do realize that the taxes that we pay are used to make this town a much better place to live. The "Scare Rumford" group has been part of a movement that has made life worse for many people in the area and many people realize that without some of the things our taxes provide for, our town will be a much less healthy, friendly and safe place to live. They believe that if we are to attract business and have a vibrant community that people will want to live in and perhaps move to, these things are important.

The article above about the possibility of the Senior Citizen's losing their place is a prime example. Many seniors live alone. The major thing that improves their quality of life is being able to get together with their friends and share a meal. It helps them lead a healthier, happier life here in the River Valley. The board of the GRCC recognized that and charged them next to nothing for rent. The consequences of the "vote no on everything" message is pretty clear now as to what it is doing to our seniors.

That's just one example. There are plenty of others.

The "Scare Rumford" group has not made the town a better place to live. Ask the seniors that may be losing their center. Ask the people that put their heart and soul into the library when they can't keep the building up any longer and have to substantially reduce hours. Ask everyone who uses our roads when they are plowed less frequently and high snow banking make it more dangerous for kids getting to school. Ask the children that will probably not have the GRCC or may not have a chance to play baseball next summer. Ask the families of those children if this continues to be a town where they want to live. Ask potential businesses if they want to move their families here. That's the fundamental difference we are talking about here.

The tax cap takes the will of the voters completely out of the equation. You want these things for the community? Too bad, we have a tax cap. Your group is always talking about the will of the voters but how could you really care about the will of the voters when you are so so hard to make sure that their will means little to nothing.

I don't know who put up that sign but I agree with it. The tax cap will make sure that these things we are losing will likely stay gone. Then the only reason for people to live here will be for cheap housing and perhaps because of a weak police force. Does that sound like a place any of us would want to live?

One last thing Phil. You are looking quite hypocritical to criticize anyone by saying people are "vicious" for saying that your group is cancerous to the town while you are accusing me of doing mushrooms and calling others ignorant. Go back and read your former posts, dripping with sarcasm, name calling and treating those that disagree with you with disdain and contempt. I've always liked and respected you Phil and it bothers me to watch you treat others like you have because they disagree with you.

Phil Blampied's picture

Letting Frank and Candice speak?

Brad, the Save Rumford group has no way at all to limit anybody's ability to say whatever they want to say. This whole effort has been an example of trying to herd cats. There are greatly diverging opinions within the group, and the only common part is fighting for a reduction in the town budget. The people you refer to are not spokespersons for the group, as neither am I. The political ads, website and signs are the extent of what Save Rumford, officially, says.

Take a step back though and look at this with some perspective: an effort simply to achieve a modest reduction in town spending creates such aggravation that someone refers to it as cancer? It shows that spending habits are so ingrained in the community that, without this political battle this season, the town was on track to spend itself blindly into catastrophe.

Mr. Kaubris further illustrates my point about the style of comment used the advocates of higher budgets with his insulting remark. Actually, I have seen some people who were putting up similar such hand written Vote Yes signs but, unlike you guys, I am hesitant to make unprovable accusations.

Jack Kaubris's picture

The low road

Phil, if you and Frank and Candice want to sling mud ...I will gladly join you in the mudpit. You have been allowed to throw out your paranoid opinions about the direction of this town without a response for too long. You and your ilk shall be responded to in kind. There is plenty of room for you on the high road if you should choose to take that path. But, I think Rick holds too high of an opinion of you...I can see through your act - your goal is simply to put another coin in your own pocket. How noble of you. How's that for the Blampied style of comment?

Brad Gallant's picture

No credit...

Are you referring to the website which put up tasteless "cartoons" of "Carlo's World" then when they were pointed out as such were taken down overnight and no one wanted or take credit or admit they were there? Because if that website is what the group believe in "officially" I find it cowardly comical that many in the group denied the cartoons were there.

Lets talk about a "modest reduction"...I favor reductions in taxes, saves me money too. What cannot be done is successfully merge any services, which I advocate for in the local Towns and in RSU 10, when you decimate services in any one town. If you want a merged department (FD, PD, Roads, Parks, etc.), but cut it to the point where merging would not save any money...why would anyone merge? The savings need to happen during the course of regionalization. Also, I would not call a 15-20% reduction "modest". The "Vote NO" group has taken a hatchet to the budget and have refused to compromise which shows their lack of caring of the Town. If the "Vote NO" group would have put their weight behind the 2nd Selectmen's budget (which at least one person originally did until he recanted and the Frank tried to cut even more money...shooting himself in the foot) we would have a budget within 5% of what the group wanted and the group could have then been doing something productive by working with the Town trying to help merge services. But instead we are going to vote again, if it passes it will be even higher than what you could have had and tax money has been wasted in suits and extra votes.

Lastly. "I am hesitant to make unprovable accusations"..yet you have no problem inferring someone is taking mushrooms and bring yourself down to childish name-calling?!? Doesn't make much sense to me I guess.

Richard Greene's picture

Spend itself blindly into catastrophe?

and you say you don't use scare tactics? Really?

Phil Blampied's picture

You three make my case

The three of you with the preceding posts, make my point for me. Could you be any nastier?

In an attempt at actually discussing the issues, Rick argues that budget cuts will inevitably result in destructive service cuts. This ignores the many efficiencies that could be implemented in lieu of cuts in service and exaggerates wildly the effects of changes such as the senior center moving. There are so many storefronts for rent in town that they should have no problem moving.

The cartoons came and went as many things have come and gone on the website. They were based on things Carlo actually said. He is a public figure and his statements bear scrutiny. Check the editorial cartoon in this newspaper. Brad complains about the cartoon being on the website and then twists it as some kind of sneaky act that they are no longer on the website.

You all agree, then, that the people who don't vote the way you want them to are a kind of cancer or gangrene?

This is why you keep losing at the polls and will probably lose again next week if there's a reasonable turn out.

Richard Greene's picture

Phil, you hear what you choose to hear

I clearly said I agree with efficiencies in a planned, thoughtful way. I know you put some ideas out and I hope they are looked at. However, the "say no to everything" message has really caused some problems as this article indicates. It will cause other issues as well and it will affect public safety. Those are facts.

NO ONE called any individuals cancerous, just the overall functioning of your group. Please stop twisting our words

Town leaders do deserve our scrutiny. They don't deserve juvenile, demeaning cartoons. Are you really arguing that behavior is helpful? It seems simply spiteful and juvenile to me.

Finally, could WE be nastier. I didn't call anyone ignorant or suggest anyone was doing hallucinogens. I simply called you on your behavior. Mr. Blampied, could you model for us how we should behave in these discussions?

Brad Gallant's picture

Hilarious...

Phil, please let me know what was "nasty" about what I said. I know you find facts offensive when they do not suit you but they are what they are. As far as the cartoons being a progression on the website...I am good with that, I think they showed the juvenile nature of the person who put them together. I just found it hilarious that several of your unherded cats associated with the group played stupid once the cartoons were pointed out as childish.

Shame,Shame, Shame

GRCC Board taking it out on this group. What about the hair solon and the other business in that building did their rent go up also? This would not have happened if under different management . This building is lucky it's been open this long considering it doesn't meet handicap requirements and is a fire trap. Now let's look at cleanliness. I've spoken to people who refuse to go in because of the uncleanliness. It has been going down hill for a long time. When I grew up there you could eat off the floors on every level. They threw up opportunities in the past to get out of that building and didn't do it because it meant work. Bottom line, So now let's spank everyone because of their errors that they won't admit to. Have a good day.

Richard Greene's picture

The GRCC is trying to keep it's doors open

not "take it out on any group" They have already laid off every single employee. What's going to happen when they can no longer afford to heat the place? These are some of the repercussions already being felt because of the "Scare Rumford" group. Seniors are going to be stuck in their homes and more isolated than ever, kids on the street with little to do and the quality of life in town eroding. It's just the start of a long downward spiral that the tax cap will makes sure continues.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Destroy Rumford

Another nail in the coffin by the group that is trying to bury this town. This is another consequence (though unintended) of the successful attempt by the Destroy Rumford group to deny our youth any town funded recreational opportunities. You folks should be real proud of yourselves. The Seniors group should contact some of the local churches for placing their center. I know that Holy Savior has facilities that are close to what the Senior center is looking for...plenty of parking, handicap accessibility (elevator), kitchen facilities etc....just a thought.

Phil Blampied's picture

The name calling reveals your lack of ideas

The mill is teetering, population is plummeting, young people leave the area after graduation, and yet the town government has been running a high ticket operation, passing the bill on to the shrinking number of taxpayers and milking dry the shrinking tax base. Add to this scenario the uncertainty of state revenue sharing.

Any adult could see the need to trim the government, partly through greater efficiencies (http://saverumford.com/50waystocutthebudget.pdf), and partly through modest reductions in staff and non-essential operations.

But we don't seem to be dealing with adults here. Anyone advocating a ten to twenty percent budget cut (not fifty percent budget cut, not an eighty percent budget cut - although circumstances could eventually force that to happen if preventative action isn't taken first with modest cuts), is a "liar", a "hypocrite", a "snake oil salesman", "Destroy Rumford", "Scare Rumford", and on and on

The government gravy train seems to have infantilized some people. Instead of informed debate, the first resort seems to be to screaming insults at those who disagree... or predicting an apocalypse of burning houses, black ice and rampant crime, all from only a modest ten to fifteen percent budget cut.

There are a hundred great alternative spaces for the senior center. There are numerous strategies that competent people could employ to get the GRCC back on its feet. Insults and hyperventilated claims of disaster won't help the situation in either case.

.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Shame, Shame, Shame Phil

Maybe it is the initial infantile posting that gets the dirt flying around here. I think people are tired of the misinformation that your group is spreading and your point man (hit man) Frank is usually the instigator for the feedback. But, of course he happens to be one of your good 'ol boys (oops, sorry...name calling) and you choose to look the other way. Let's look at some of the issues that you raise. 'The mill is teetering'...so true, has been for 20 years. It seems more dire today due to the Bush Recession of the past 8 yrs that we are slowly coming out of and a couple of unfortunate decisions made by mill management/Gov Lepage (see the Electric Rebate scam that the mill was fined millions for and the suspension of the BETR rebates by the guv). With competent management, the mill should see a financial rebound as the economy improves. If the mill cannot survive during this (albeit slow) recovery - it will not be due to local taxes..'.Population is plummeting'...it has been since hitting it's peak in 1930 (according to the Census)...though since 1960 it has been a steady decrease. When I grew up in the 60's/70's most of my friends came from large families - 6 to 8 children seemed to be the norm ( I blame it on Roman Catholicism...obviously the rhythm method did NOT work too well) but, regardless of the reasons, the local breeding stock has taken a hit. 0-3 children seems to be the norm today. But, though I came from a family of 10 - there weren't 10 taxpayers in the family back then(only one house - not 10). There was only one taxpayer. The same with today...the family size might be 4, but there is still only one taxpayer...therefore, despite a hypothetical decrease of 60% in population the taxpayer base is the same. So your 'shrinking tax base' claim should not be confused with a 'population is plummeting' argument. For instance, according to the Census, in 2000 there were 6472 residents in Rumford and in 2010 there were 5841 residents. If you were to infer that we lost 631 taxpayers in those 10 yrs, you would be wrong. According to the Census we actually gained 7 Housing units in that time...from 3280 in 2000 to 3287 in 2010. So if a Housing unit is taxed, then one could infer that the taxpayer base is increasing. Personally, I do think it is shrinking, but not nearly at the rate that your group is suggesting. 'Young people leave the area after graduation'...no kidding. This has been going on since at least 1960 (if not forever) and it is directly due to automation at the mill and the size of it's workforce. There is absolutely no correlation to the local tax rate.
If your group were more honest in your actions/statements it would go a long way toward alleviating your perceived name-calling. But if you put out misinformation, you will be called on it. If it is a lie, then it will be called that. If it is hypocritical that some of your members reaped the benefits that this town offered but are now attempting to 'stop the gravy train' as your inflammatory remarks suggest, then they may be a hypocrite. Your claims of 'easy' cuts has never passed the smell test with me and I think that we are seeing that play out with the budget battles. So, if you want to scale back your hyperventilation and insults....I am all for it. Let's stick to the facts. (and see if you can get 'the HIT MAN' to play along!! - 'name calling intended)

Jack Kaubris's picture

Shame, Shame, Shame Phil

Maybe it is the initial infantile posting that gets the dirt flying around here. I think people are tired of the misinformation that your group is spreading and your point man (hit man) Frank is usually the instigator for the feedback. But, of course he happens to be one of your good 'ol boys (oops, sorry...name calling) and you choose to look the other way. Let's look at some of the issues that you raise. 'The mill is teetering'...so true, has been for 20 years. It seems more dire today due to the Bush Recession of the past 8 yrs that we are slowly coming out of and a couple of unfortunate decisions made by mill management/Gov Lepage (see the Electric Rebate scam that the mill was fined millions for and the suspension of the BETR rebates by the guv). With competent management, the mill should see a financial rebound as the economy improves. If the mill cannot survive during this (albeit slow) recovery - it will not be due to local taxes..'.Population is plummeting'...it has been since hitting it's peak in 1930 (according to the Census)...though since 1960 it has been a steady decrease. When I grew up in the 60's/70's most of my friends came from large families - 6 to 8 children seemed to be the norm ( I blame it on Roman Catholicism...obviously the rhythm method did NOT work too well) but, regardless of the reasons, the local breeding stock has taken a hit. 0-3 children seems to be the norm today. But, though I came from a family of 10 - there weren't 10 taxpayers in the family back then(only one house - not 10). There was only one taxpayer. The same with today...the family size might be 4, but there is still only one taxpayer...therefore, despite a hypothetical decrease of 60% in population the taxpayer base is the same. So your 'shrinking tax base' claim should not be confused with a 'population is plummeting' argument. For instance, according to the Census, in 2000 there were 6472 residents in Rumford and in 2010 there were 5841 residents. If you were to infer that we lost 631 taxpayers in those 10 yrs, you would be wrong. According to the Census we actually gained 7 Housing units in that time...from 3280 in 2000 to 3287 in 2010. So if a Housing unit is taxed, then one could infer that the taxpayer base is increasing. Personally, I do think it is shrinking, but not nearly at the rate that your group is suggesting. 'Young people leave the area after graduation'...no kidding. This has been going on since at least 1960 (if not forever) and it is directly due to automation at the mill and the size of it's workforce. There is absolutely no correlation to the local tax rate.
If your group were more honest in your actions/statements it would go a long way toward alleviating your perceived name-calling. But if you put out misinformation, you will be called on it. If it is a lie, then it will be called that. If it is hypocritical that some of your members reaped the benefits that this town offered but are now attempting to 'stop the gravy train' as your inflammatory remarks suggest, then they may be a hypocrite. Your claims of 'easy' cuts has never passed the smell test with me and I think that we are seeing that play out with the budget battles. So, if you want to scale back your hyperventilation and insults....I am all for it. Let's stick to the facts. (and see if you can get 'the HIT MAN' to play along!! - 'name calling intended)

Phil Blampied's picture

Okay, still ad hominem but a little better

You should read the proposed comprehensive plan. Your description of population decline and tax base deterioration isn't correct. I'll see if I can dig up a link or a way to show it to you.

1. The tax base is shrinking, period. We lost about 15 plus percent in valuation a couple of years ago with a shift in ownership between Brookfield Power and New Page. Went from (don't quote me) about $700 million to $550 million. New Page is about to ask for a further reduction in its assessment. Add to that abandoned properties, tax acquired properties, unpaid tax bills.

2. New Page never never never came to the town government to admit that it might have trouble until this Spring. The fact that the top mill management all got themselves together and came as a body to town hall to ask for help is a huge red flag. Your denial of the situation at New Page is interesting. It explains why folks like you think there shouldn 't be any limit to the town budget. Why, New Page will pay! Hey, Jack, Hugh Chisholm is dead.

3. The reduction in population isn't just a reflection of fewer children. The town is being gutted. Abandoned buildings are increasing at a rate that threatens the stability of neighborhoods.

You are one of those free with the accusation of "liar". What's a lie? That the town employees should chip in 20 percent toward health insurance instead of having a fully paid policy that pays for everything up to massages? That overtime should be controlled so that a police sergeant doesn't make more money than the Governor of Maine? That having two dispatch towers in town may be a duplication and one could be eliminated? That public works employees should be required to clock out when done instead of running out at the clock standing around at the time clock at the end of the day? Well, take a look. We've got fifty suggestions. Tell me which you think are "lies".

Jack Kaubris's picture

Liar...

...is a person who does not tell the truth. But, let's not get into name calling. I got my figures from a link to the US Census...if you can dig up a link to support your facts, please share. Now to respond...
1. I agree that the tax base is shrinking. I believe I stated that. What I don't agree with is your extreme solutions to this problem

2. I am not sure when the first bankruptcy filings were for the mill, (too lazy to look it up) but I am quite sure that it was before this spring. So I'm not sure when you moved to this town, but if you think that the mill's problems started this spring...then I don't know what to tell you, Phil. As I have pointed out several times before, what I believe precipitated the mill visit was the coupling of 2 costly charges to the mill's bottom line this spring...namely the monetary fine and back payment on the Electricity program that mill management mishandled and the loss of BETR rebates from the state - resulting in several million$$ in lost revenue, which the mill managers then tried to recoup from the local taxpayer. I don't blame the mill for this request - they are in the business to maximize profits.(Hey, Phil, Hugh Chisholm may be dead, but the mill isn't. Let's not pretend that it is.) When the mill does stop operating (all things must pass) then we will need to 'gut' town services, but until then I choose to live in a living, vibrant town.

3.You will need to provide some figures and define your shrill statement that the town is being 'gutted'. #3 is pure opinion on your part...but if you can provide a link ...I'm all ears. My Housing Unit figures for 2000 to 2010 came from a link to the US Census.

Your last paragraph contains nothing that I would call a lie.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Sorry for the double posting...

...my fingers were cramping from all the keystrokes. Oi vey!

Richard Greene's picture

I'm all for efficiencies in a planned, thoughtful way,

not a knee jerk reaction the way "scare Rumford" has operated. Forgive me calling your group that but that is exactly what you have done to support your own ideology. Your groups "say no to everything because the sky is falling" message has created the consequences to our citizens that we are seeing here. Whether you choose to believe it or not, those consequences are only starting. The potential closing of the Senior Center will significantly decrease the health and happiness of seniors in our area. Closing of the GRCC will significantly decrease the health and quality of life for most everyone that uses that facility. Forgive me Phil for pointing out those inconvenient facts that I'm sure you would rather I be quiet about. They are facts though.

This group has been scaring Rumford for the last 10 years with "the mill is closing and the sky is falling" scare tactics. Will it close someday? Who knows but regardless, we need to be talking about and planning for what kind of a town do we want and what needs to happen to get there.

While we are on the subject of people's behavior, what have the folks of "Scare Rumford" done to make the town a better place to live? Seems all we get from this group is a constant barrage of complaining and inaccurate characterizations of what is wrong with this town. Nothing positive ever.

Do members of this group volunteer at the GRCC to make this a better place for our kids and families? What about volunteer at the Senior Center, Black Mountain, Envision Rumford, Chamber of Commerce, etc, etc. There are a million things people could be doing to make this a better place to live and all we get from this group is a constant message of negativity.

Your group is the first to criticize the efforts of others and spread misinformation about those trying to make this town a better place and your group seems to be the last build anything positive here. You guys are working hard to tear down this town, IMHO. I'd love it if you showed me otherwise.

Phil Blampied's picture

Love it

Boy, better stop nibbling on those mushrooms in the back yard, Rick.

The group was formed last Spring. I don't know who was annoying you ten years ago, but it wasn't us.

What have I done to help this town?

How about writing grants that brought a half million dollars in CDBG housing rehabilitation money into the community?

The first quarter million dollar grant in 2009 I did as a volunteer. Do you volunteer your time at Pennacook?

The second time, seeing how everybody had their fingers in the pot around here, I insisted on compensation to make a point. I charged $8 an hour, and got $600 to bring $300,000 in housing rehab money into the town. $8 an hour.

I was the prime mover in resuming restoration efforts in Strathglass park, which included raising $10,000 to begin the rehabilitation of Strathglass Park. The gates are lit at night thanks to that, and we did much more. That effort stopped due to the deliberate resistance of the current town manager and the selectboard, which is much of why I am involved here. These guys got to go.

I have personally purchased and restored to habilitability and the tax rolls with my own sweat, money and callouses, three abandoned houses in Rumford. (And one in Mexico).

I started the economic development efforts in town which, while they have faltered, at least got the town to set up TIF districts and try, at least, to do something about Cumberland/Waldo. And there's a lot of smaller stuff, won't go into.

Okay, so now let's talk about Len Greaney. Veterans. Cemetery rehab. Town manager. WVAC. School district consolidation committee. And much, much more. He can speak for himself on that.

Mark Belanger, former selectboard member. Frank Diconzo, finance committee, school board, selectboard member.

Just a bunch of selfish layabouts I guess. So, Rick, other than cashing your paycheck from the school district, what do you do?

Richard Greene's picture

Your comment about the mushrooms...

I guess is your way of showing everyone how your on the moral high ground. You can chastise people for pointing out the facts and name calling but then you make comments like that?

Your statement that "Scare Rumford" is a new group is simply not accurate. Many of the core members have been involved in the tax cutting efforts and crying about the mill going to close for years now.

Here's my belief about your involvement in town affairs. I have previously admired and respected you for always taking the high road and always focussing on trying to improve things in town. You stayed positive and worked to try to be helpful and bring good things to the town and I believe that in the past you have done some really nice things here. What about now Phil? What are you doing now, besides making juvenile, condescending videos and cartoons and posting them on your site? Those things don't help and frankly, they are beneath you.

Your right about Len. I know he has done much for the veterans and I was impressed when he showed up at the GRCC and the meeting at Black Mtn.

I've been volunteering in this town pretty much since I've been here. From voluntarily coaching a swim team in 1984 to recently volunteering at Black Mtn, Relay for Life, town Finance board, etc. Although I've always tried to be a positive influence in the town, I don't volunteer nearly as much as some others. People that work tirelessly and unselfishly day in and day out for years to make this town a better place. People that you and your group spit in the face of when you spread your criticism and misinformation about the things they work to build. Things that make this town a better place to live. Things that make people and potentially businesses want to come to this area and stay in the area once here.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Selfish layabouts

Which brings to mind a question(or two) that has been nagging me for a while. I may be a bit fuzzy on the timeframe of Mr Greaney's term as town manager..but I do know that Belanger, Diconzo and Arthur Boivin held the majority vote,perhaps when Mr Greaney was town manager, but definitely at some point in the recent past. My question to all is this...why didn't you all 'fix' this perceived problem of town spending when you held the majority vote? If you think that the salaries/contracts are out of line, what did you do to solve this problem? The mill was struggling then, what did you do to 'save' it? Why didn't you close the GRCC at that time? Why now? I do know that these 3 selectmen had a problem with the All -volunteer Town Charter committee at the time and illegally tried to hire the town attorney, Mr Carey, to disband this group (i.e. they spent town $$ without holding a meeting or even notifying the other two selectmen - but that is a story for another day). I know that they failed then. Were you 2 former selectmen so short-sighted that you didn't see the apparent 'crisis' coming?
...and by the way Mr Prime-mover of Strathglass Park, in talking to some residents of the brick park, it appears that it was the residents decision not to support your great urban renewal plan. They objected to quite a few of your proposals and the use of taxpayer dollars to favor one neighborhood over another in town. No wonder the town manager and selectboard didn't support your vision, neither did your neighbors.

Phil Blampied's picture

Oh and spending

Ask Mr. Greene. The selectboard under Len Greaney with Boivin, Belanger and DiConzo cut spending quite substantially, getting the tax rate down under $20. Mr. Greene hates that and will tell you that the police had to drive cruisers without designer cup holders for over a year as a result. Chaos ensued!

Richard Greene's picture

Your sarcasm on this post is infantile

I'm glad to debate with you but that's the kind of post that is so riduculous, it really makes it impossible to take you serious.

Phil Blampied's picture

Voters did it

One more thing, the selectboard didn't vote to de-fund GRCC under Len Greaney and they didn't vote to de-fund GRCC under Carlo Puiia. The voters chose to de-fund GRCC.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Exactly

Yet, somehow when the voters don't vote the way your group wants them to it becomes the current town manager and the current selectboards fault (excepting Mr Diconzo of course) and you start your blame game. You can't have it both ways Phil.

Phil Blampied's picture

Oh, I thought you were reasonable ...

I used tax dollars to favor one neighborhood over another? "I"???? You are so ignorant of the way the federal and state governments work that I am stunned.

Boy, I am disappointed. I thought for a minute you might be a serious participant in this conversation.

You seem even to be ignorant of where I live. I don't live in Strathglass Park. I just thought that, as a concerned citizen of Rumford, that it was incumbent on all of us to try to preserve this historical asset.

You are, I guess, really just ignorant. That explains a lot.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Tax dollars?

What? Federal and State govt's don't use tax dollars. Hmmm. That's weird.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Got my info from residents of Strathglass Park

...guess they didn't like you telling them how to live in their own homes. Now I can see why...you don't even live there! What other town neighborhoods did you try to 'save'? Enlighten us, I am just an ignoramus.

Phil Blampied's picture

Make up stuff

Go ahead. You can do better than that. Forced people to paint their bathrooms purple! Forced people to vote for the Vegetarian Party!

Whoo. Can I get some of those mushrooms?

Okay, (Deep breath). Give me one example of how I told people to live in their own homes. I got a twenty dollar bill with your name on it, if you're man enough to post your own Jackson if you're wrong.

Jack Kaubris's picture

Lay off the 'shrooms, bud.

Looks like it's too late.. Purple bathrooms? Veggies Galore? Sign me up for a pinch! I'll talk to the folks on Erchles St and get back to you on why they thought your utopia wouldn't work.

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