DEAR SUN SPOTS: Angus King has been on TV recently promoting windmills. We have heard once he was no longer governor he changed his residency to another state, Florida, where they have no state income taxes. Is this really the case or is this just a rumor? Thank you. — P.W., Auburn
ANSWER: It is just a rumor. Sun Spots e-mailed with former Gov. King, who teaches a course at Bowdoin College. Here is his response: “I am and have been since 1981 a resident of Brunswick. I live here, pay taxes here, vote here, and my daughter goes to Brunswick High School. I think I may have visited Florida once or twice in the last 10 years but have never lived there and don’t intend to.”
DEAR SUN SPOTS: How would someone go about being a notary public? — No Name, Lewiston
ANSWER: The following description of the rights and responsibilities of a notary public appears on www.maine.gov:
“Notary public is an ancient office with many citations throughout Maine statute. The primary duty is to formally witness transactions involving paper documents. Maine notaries, like those in Florida and South Carolina, can officiate at weddings. But there is no reciprocity with other states — this means that out-of-state notaries or justices of the peace cannot obtain permission to officiate at marriages in Maine.”
The application for becoming a notary is available at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notapp-me.pdf
The form includes all your basic information, such as name, address, age, etc., along with 19 questions you must answer about the rights and responsibilities of being a notary. Your application must also include a recommendation from another Maine voter recommending you as a notary, as well as certification by your town clerk or registrar that you are a registered voter in that municipality.
Your notarized application and $50 application fee should be mailed to the Secretary of State, Division of Corporations, UCC and Commissions, 101 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333-0101. If you have questions, you can phone them at 624-7752, or e-mail [email protected]
A booklet explaining the duties of a notary, which provides the answers to the 19 questions, is also available online at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaryguide.pdf.
Once your appointment is approved, you’ll receive a certificate of qualification (oath of office form) and a notice describing the process of being sworn into office. The applicant must take the oath of office before a dedimus justice (a position unique to Maine) within 30 days. After administering the oath of office, the dedimus justice will complete the certificate of qualification.
The applicant must then return the completed certificate of qualification to the department of the Secretary of State within 45 days of the date of the applicant’s appointment. It is the responsibility of the applicant, not the dedimus justice, to ensure that the certificate of qualification physically arrives on time with the Secretary of State. It is recommended that the use of “return receipt requested” mail or hand delivery be used to ensure the timely recording of the oath of office.
Everything you need to know can be accessed from links at www.maine.gov/sos/cec/notary/notaries.html
Here’s an interesting historical note on notaries: “Notaries public predate the Roman empire; their development coincides with that of written and recorded communication. As the ability to read and write was rare, the earliest notaries public served primarily as scriveners to assist the illiterate. … Over the centuries, many a great author, poet and historian supplemented their incomes with fees collected from the provision of literacy services.”
This column is for you, our readers. It is for your questions and comments. There are only two rules: You must write to the column and sign your name (we won’t use it if you ask us not to). Please include your phone number. Letters will not be returned or answered by mail, and telephone calls will not be accepted. Your letters will appear as quickly as space allows. Address them to Sun Spots, P.O. Box 4400, Lewiston, ME 04243-4400. Inquiries can also be e-mailed to [email protected]