Voters want a secret ballot

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Overall, the Sun Journal is an excellent paper. Of all the more renowned sources of information, I choose the Sun Journal to be my main resource of daily news. While I commend the grasp of happenings in the major parts of the state, country and beyond, judging by its editorial history, I believe it to be consistently off when speaking for my area of Rumford and Mexico.

When this area is included, it is in the form of an off-base editorial expressing cozy nostalgia for the traditional town meetings which have been abandoned by the vast majority of the United States. (April 25). The expressed disdain for the secret ballot exposes the fact that the writer is out of touch with forgotten parts of the state.

The bottom line is that changing the vote from a show of hands to voting at the polls would solve a great deal of the misallocation of funds.

What has the idealistic town meeting gotten us over my lifetime in Rumford? A town where only 100 people show up to the town meeting and the majority of those people have something to gain financially for showing up.

Our town is looked upon widely as a joke, with our highest-in-the-state-per-capita municipal budgets. A town of 6,000 with $1,000,000 budgets each for fire, police and public works. We are a blighted and run-down town. We are a haven for welfare and Section-8. We attract derelicts, criminals and druggies from out of town and state.

We should be spending our resources on revitalizing the town, purchasing and tearing those dilapidated buildings down and fixing our image, instead of overpaying town departments.

A volunteer selectman or budget committee member doesn’t have the courage to cut any money from the powerful unions and special interests of the town. Can anyone blame them? Why should they throw themselves in the middle of a tough issue where emotions run high? The town employees that have the most to lose intimidate, pressure and threaten those volunteers until they break.

The fact is that in a short period of time, Rumford and Mexico citizens gathered 1,500 signatures to a petition stating they wanted to vote by secret ballot, and 95 percent of citizens who were asked signed. The other 5 percent work in some capacity for the town or their family members do.

Should we listen to the 5 percent interested in personal gain, or the 95 percent majority that want more say in how the tax dollars are spent?

I think the latter sounds more akin to democracy to me.

Seth Carey, Rumford

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