Member Strathglass Park Preservation Society
What I didn't point out above is how the town manager's connecting the budget reduction to the lowered assessment of the mill is a logical fallacy. The mill would have had its value lowered no matter how the budget came out. The only difference would have been, if the town officials' initial proposals had passed, is that the entire town would have had a $27 to $28 mil rate. This is an example of what I referred to as "upside down thinking" among our current leadership.
Further, voters supported a lower budget in part to try to reduce at least one of the financial stresses on the mill in the hopes that it might stay open somewhat longer, so yes, the mill did "benefit". But so will the people who keep their jobs a little longer and businesses that get at least a little more business from the mill before it does finally go down.
How does Sunday River, bringing a half million people into the area, fit into a small town like Newry?
That's the question in a segment in the most recent program of Today River Valley, viewable at: http://www.todayrivervalley.com
Today River Valley is the video news magazine covering Newry and nearby towns in the upper Androscoggin River Valley.
Perhaps Terry caught Carlo at an inopportune moment, but if this story is right, the town manager is spinning the facts in an unacceptable and questionable way.
Had the town manager, the finance committee and the selectboard had their way, we would have had a budget about 14 percent higher than the one that finally passed.
Given the current circumstances, that would have created a substantial tax increase for every taxpayer in Rumford. It would have accelerated the rate at which properties are being abandoned due to non-payment of taxes, and lowered the quality of life for people living on fixed incomes who own property in Rumford. So saying New Page is the only beneficiary of the recent budget reduction is just downright bizarre.
SAVE RUMFORD battled town officials down to a reduction of their initial proposals of something less than $1 million, or about 14 percent. Town officials responded with anger, insults and abuse, yet, given this turn of events, it is now obvious that the only responsible thing to do all along was to make the reduction SAVE RUMFORD was fighting for.
It probably should have been greater than the 14 percent.
The problems with state funding and the reduction in the value of the mill were the :"handwriting on the wall" even last Spring, and the visit by the mill brass - the first ever in recent history - underlined that fact. It is amazing that, in light of the obvious, town officials were able to convince themselves that the town was a big cheese wheel from which they could cut an ever increasing slice.
Well, these guys need to go. Carlo is on the way out and everyone likes Carlo so they have mixed feelings, but how much do you want to pay the guy you like for these errors? In June, two of these perpetrators (can't think of a better word) are up for election. They must be replaced, unless you want to live in a ghost town.