During the past few weeks, I have sat home and watched the cities of Lewiston, Auburn, Lisbon and other surrounding communities struggle with their budgets. These are very trying times and I have watched the local councils and selectmen struggle with every dollar budgeted.

I have watched the budget process and I have noticed a very troubling trend. On the one side, there are property owners and businesspeople (of which many are elderly and on fixed incomes). On the other side, there are young families struggling to make ends meet and wanting the best education and services for their children.

As I have watched, the two sides have clashed and struggled over the limited dollars available. People need to remember that we are one community. We should be looking at the real problem — the state government.

The state dictates what residents must do, but never pays for its mandates. Elected officials promise that the more power the people allot them, the better things will be.

I must say that as I have watched my neighbors tear each other apart over property taxes and school budgets, I have asked myself, “Where is that 55 percent of the education money the state is supposed to provide? Where is the promised revenue-sharing money?”

Shame on those Augusta officials. Their day is coming.

Jeffrey Baril, Sabattus