To the Editor:

We are well aware that this is an election year, and what a memorable year it has been! Turmoil has abounded with the COVID 19 pandemic, the increase in violence across this nation, quarrels between and among people on the local level about health and safety measures, questions of corruption, including an impeachment trial on the national level, losses due to deaths from the virus all over the world, here in the U.S. A., loss of honored supreme court justices and a heroic civil rights leader. So, with all this, we now have the opportunity to make important choices for the future in this election.

Good leadership comes from grass roots values and movements. The office of County Commissioner is one of those offices that promote what are founding fathers established as a government of the people, by the people and for the people. People want their leaders to be knowledgeable, competent, ethical and to care about what matters to them. County government is the oldest form of government in Maine and it is especially important to rural areas in counties.

Here in Franklin County there are three County Commissioners that provide administrative functions as settling county money accounts, take care of property, they manage county business, convey real estate with a recorded order and appoint an agent to convey its’ real estate keep books and counts as designated by the State Auditors’ Office. They adopt ethics policies that govern conduct of elected and appointed county officials, as well as other required duties.

An essential component, of county government is budgeting county expenses. The County Commissioners along with nine selectmen from the area towns make up the County Budget Committee. The commissioners, each have equal authority and they drafts the annual budget covering all county departments. The Budget Committee has the final authority over the approved budget.

In summary, a Commissioner deals with different essential components of community service, allots monies to those departments to keep them running, as well as interacts with other county and state officials to provide for the well- being of the people in the county. In keeping with caring for the well- being of the people of Franklin County, the commissioners supported essential social programs that included fuel assistance, housing assistance to help the elderly stay in their homes as long as possible, early childhood development to benefit children, who might otherwise be disadvantaged, and other programs to help people.

Unfortunately, in recent years, those programs were not funded. Having learned about the defunding of those programs without any input from the people, and believing that this was an injustice, Fen Fowler decided to come out of retirement to help right that injustice, accept the present challenges and focus on what is needed to promote welfare of people, like technology, environmental considerations and funding for the needy at the grass roots level as county commissioner. Fen, has the attributes of a good friend and neighbor, and role model for youth. During this time of turmoil in the whole country, we are fortunate to have someone like Fen, as a candidate for County Commissioner. We need more people like him in leadership positions, at every level of government.

Sylvia Ingerson

Farmington


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