In 2006, the people of Poland were led to believe that all was well regarding the management of the TIF districts in town. Things were not well, and the town is still paying off its debt to Poland Spring Bottling. The people obviously were not to blame as the mismanagement had little to do with them.

At this year’s town meeting, residents were asked to allow money “captured” from TIF1 and TIF2 to be used toward other projects in town, at the discretion of the board of selectman and town manager. This time, people voted to approve the same actions that got thetown into trouble in the first place. I spoke out against the action, though I will benefit from it the most. But it’s bad for my town.

I was met with curious stares from those in attendance.

During discussion on a different article, one man said he would only support the article if his road were paved as well. He received thunderous cheers.

Lois Snowe Mello, who faithfully served the district for 12 years while living in Poland, was not acknowledged in any way. No dedication, no plaque, no thank-you.

What lessons did I learn at the town meeting that I could pass on to my children? Watch out for yourself only — it’s what people expect; mismanagement is acceptible if you have an excuse; and dedicating ones’ self to the greater good, as Snowe Mello did, will only break your heart in the end.

Mark Ferguson, Poland Spring

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