Franklin County Commissioner Terry Brann is quoted (Jan. 17) as saying “I don’t think we should mandate taxpayers to pay for something they may not believe in.”

What, exactly, is the function of government, if not to identify community needs and mandate that community members share equitably in seeing to them? If I don’t go out much, should I be forced to pay for road upkeep? Well, actually, yes. Same goes for schools, police and fire protection. And, because we all grow old (if we are lucky), hospice care makes the list. Sexual assault can happen to anyone, and far more often than many people would like to believe (see #metoo), so sexual assault prevention and response serves everyone. Ditto, adult basic education — the first step for anyone trying to get a leg up.

People who are a part of the community cannot opt out and just pay for what they “believe in.” People have to compromise — a word I don’t hear much these days.

Brann says he told a caller who wanted these services funded “if they really believed in it to write a check to the organization.”

I think Franklin County residents need to ask themselves if they “really believe in” their County Commission. Why does a community band together and form a governing body, if not to safeguard the welfare of that community and all its members?

Seri Lowell, Buckfield

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