2017-10-27 / Letters

Writers weigh in on election

To the editor:

I am writing in support of Jean-Marie Caterina for Scarborough Town Council. I am a widowed senior citizen and know how much Jean-Marie has done for the elderly in our community. She has served on the town council in the past and worked to develop and pass the senior tax rebate program. She continues to serve on the senior advisory committee.

Jean-Marie understands the needs of the elderly and knows what programs and policies are in place and what needs to be done to continue to move forward on senior issues. She is a senior citizen herself and runs her own real estate business. She understands the pressure property taxes puts on the elderly and she will work to find fair tax solutions for all citizens. Please vote for Jean-Marie Caterina for town council.

Patricia Jones

To the editor:

I’ve known Peter Hayes for over 10 years and have the utmost confidence in his abilities to serve on the town council. When I think of Peter’s qualifications, I think first of his intelligence (which is off the charts) then a close second is his collaborative and open-minded approach to decision making.

I have watched him bring groups together and bring them to a common goal, even when they were at first on opposite sides. I believe this is a critical skill in any leadership role, and essential to our Scarborough Town Council.

Other signature traits of Peter’s include a creative approach to thinking through issues, the ability to listen and understand, and the determination to do the right thing no matter how hard it is.

As a citizen of Scarborough, I have considered Peter’s service on the town council a gift to myself and my children, as well as our broader community. I was thrilled to learn of his interest in running for re-election. I hope you will also extend your support and your vote to him.

Heather Paquette

To the editor:

I am urging voters to return Jean-Marie Caterina to the town council. In addition to having previous experience on the board itself, she is well versed in the challenges that we as a community face especially when it comes to the concerns of senior citizens and those parents who have children in the school district. Again on Election Day please consider Jean Marie Caterina.

Tom DiPasqua

To the editor:

I endorse Jean-Marie Caterina for Scarborough Town Council. Jean-Marie was previously on town council for three years and listened to the people.

She is knowledgeable in many areas and has a background in teaching and real estate. Caterina works hard to make sure everyone is fairly represented. She was the regional representative to the Maine Municipal Association during her last term where she advocated in Augusta against reductions in programs that negatively impact property taxation. She has the energy and experience we need. Please vote for Jean-Marie Caterina.

Marjorie DeSanctis

To the editor:

As a member of the Scarborough Town Council I want to inform our citizens of the importance of voting for the proposed public safety building. Why vote for this proposal?

 The present facilities are severely undersized. Every inch of space is used with excessive crowding everywhere.

 Service calls have tripled since the last addition in 1989. Community needs have added more than a dozen significant new services in the last two decades (drug trafficking, identity theft, cyber crime, human trafficking, and many more).

 The need for this project was identified in 2006 but repeatedly delayed by the lengthy recession.

 From the present location emergency access on to Route 1 is dangerously restricted by heavy traffic at Oak Hill.

 The proposal is the result of a nearly year-long study process with a focus on building a cost effective facility.

 Delays will surely lead to dramatic cost increases. Bond rates are rising. Construction costs are rising.

 The land is free. The town owns the property next to town hall. The sale of the present facility will further reduce costs.

 Upkeep of the building has been deferred far too long to avoid investing further in a building that needs replacing.

This is a critical issue that deserves your support.

Bill Donovan
Scarborough Town Councilor

To the editor:

I would like to encourage the voters of Scarborough to support and vote for Peter Hayes for town council.

Peter brings a mind for business to the council. Because of his business background he is an excellent resource as we move forward with long range financial planning associated with the new comprehensive town plan.

He is fair and rational in his decision-making. He has a keen eye for the big picture as well as looking out for the little guy.

Peter also has a voice of encouragement for us to be more inclusive and transparent as he governs our towns business.

I love his passion to do the right thing for our town and citizens.

Robert Lynch

To the editor:

Municipal and state policies intersect and impact each other regularly. In my role representing Scarborough, Gorham and Buxton in the State Senate, I welcome interaction with locally elected municipal officials.

More than any other member of the town council, Peter Hayes has reached out to ask me about state policies impacting Scarborough. In particular, I know he has spent hours developing a better understanding of school funding in Maine in order to comprehend its effect on Scarborough’s budget. I was able to link him with the leading expert on school funding in Maine and I know they had many conversations.

Peter approaches issues with an open mind and seeks quality, reliable information before formulating an opinion. My sense is that he does not reach out to any one entity, but genuinely tries to understand issues from a multitude of perspectives. Peter is extremely intelligent, but he is also very caring and empathetic, always trying to do what is right and not necessarily what may be popular. Additionally, I respect that he seeks and enjoys collaboration. Government at all levels needs more people willing to sit down and talk through differences of opinion in order to reach consensus.

I urge my fellow Scarborough residents to support Peter Hayes for town council.

Amy F. Volk, Maine State
Senator – District 30

To the editor:

At the polls, we face the question of whether to expand Medicaid or what we call MaineCare to a greater population. This is a very polarizing issue and like many policy questions divides us dramatically.

The opponents have a simple sound bite stating simply that Maine can’t afford the expansion. This position is reinforced by the argument that the future of Medicaid funds are questionable and that the state could be required to pay more in the future.

The proponents suggest that through the expansion Maine will reap over $500 million annually in new federal funds, acquire a significant number of well-paying health care positions, and experience far less in unreimbursed emergency room and hospital services.

While all of these arguments are perceived by some as persuasive, I believe that they obscure the real issue. I feel that the critical philosophical question before us is: Do you believe that healthcare is a right for all our citizens or do you believe that it is a commodity which, like most things, is something for which one must have the financial means to obtain? Clarifying first where you stand on that issue seems to me far more important than weighing the competing statistics presented by both sides.

If you believe, as I do that healthcare should be guaranteed for all regardless of their ability to pay, then you will vote for Medicaid expansion and have faith that we have the resolve and resourcefulness to fund it.

Supporting Medicaid expansion will ensure that healthcare is not an obstacle to employment, provide more options to deal with the opioid crisis, and enhance the opportunity to live healthully in a state with the slogan “The Way Life Should Be.”

While expanding Medicaid is not a total solution to the healthcare issue, it is the best route before us at this time. So, please join me and vote Yes on Question Two.

Jim Elkins, Career Planning Services

To the editor:

One of our greatest assets of Scarborough is our public safety and the joint efforts of our fire and police departments. As our town has grown, the expectation to maintain a top-level safety program has added many responsibilities to those departments.

The current public safety building is outdated and well past its life expectancy. The public safety we all expect is an essential fabric of what our local government is expected to provide for our residents and businesses and also helps our insurance rates stay lower than our neighboring communities.

Much like a good school system, this is at the top of the list when businesses and residents consider before moving to this wonderful community.

After completing our research, the Scarborough Community Chamber of Commerce board of directors support the bond issue for a new public safety building. The work the town, committees, and public safety departments have done in scouting locations, building design, comparing to other cities, and looking towards future growth and expansion has been exceptional. Moving forward with this project now is the right time to keep costs as low as possible and to replace the antiquated current structure.

We urge everyone come out to vote this Nov. 7 and strongly recommend support of this bond issue for the new facility to help our community.

Art Dillon, volunteer president, Scarborough Community Chamber of

To the editor:

I’d like to offer my support for Hillory Durgin, candidate for Scarborough school board. For years, Hillory has been a tireless supporter of the Scarborough schools and those served by our schools: the students, parents and residents of our town.

Hillory is considerate, determined, smart and level-headed and would be a voice of reason and fairness on a school board faced with a challenging path. She could use her experience as an educator and a parent to offer real value to the school board and the town. For this important election, I hope you will join me in voting for Hillory Durgin for school board on Nov. 7..

Mike Mason

To the editor:

While it is clear that the current police/fire station is cramped and past its prime, it is a huge leap from that point to approving a new $21.5 million facility. Before voting on this on Nov. 7, voters should consider the following key facts:

1. The new building is three times the size of the building being replaced. The existing fire/police station is about 17,000 square feet; the proposed new building is about 52,000 square feet. That’s triple the existing space.

2. The new building will result in a significant tax increase. The first-year mortgage payment on the new building (principal and interest) will be $1.4 million. That is on top of the “routine” expense increases we experience each year for school and municipal salaries, benefits, utilities and so on. If those routine expenses by themselves lead to a 3 percent tax increase, then the addition of the new mortgage payment will almost certainly cause a 5 percent or greater overall tax increase. Since the town refuses to estimate next year’s tax rate increase, mine is the only estimate there is for now.

3. Scarborough already has the distinction of having the highest debt per person of any municipality in Maine with a population greater than 10,000. Adding another $19.5 million to our current debt of more than $90 million will only increase our lead in that dubious distinction.

4. Town officials refuse to provide the often delayed long-range facilities plan. For at least two years now, the town has promised a report on the municipal and school building needs for the next 10 to 15 years. We know that report will include significant investments in the primary and middle schools.

Yet the long-range facilities plan that is critical to evaluating the relative need of the new police/fire station compared to other future building needs is not available for voters. This is another example of the lack of transparency that Scarborough residents frequently confront.

While we may need a new police/fire station, voters must decide whether we can afford this $21.5 million facility and whether now is the time. Please carefully consider all the facts when voting on Nov. 7.

Steve Hanly

To the editor:

This letter is to express my support for candidate Hillory Durgin for school board. She would do a fantastic job for our schools because of her unending commitment to the town schools.

She believes in providing the best education for the children of our town. She has a very practical and realistic attitude about the means and processes for the improvements for the schools.

Her early career was in teaching and throughout her life she has continued to be involved in the schools systems through the PTA. I hope that everyone will go and vote, and vote for Hillory Durgin. They will be voting for the betterment of the Scarborough schools.

Anna-Joy Bannon

To the editor:

I am writing to express my strong support for Shawn Babine and Jean-Marie Caterina for town council. They are both proven council members with track records that demonstrate their dedication to our town’s best interests.

I’m particularly concerned about the funding and staffing gaps our schools have faced since 2009 due to state funding cuts and I know that both Babine and Caterina share my focus on the health of our schools. Strong schools support students, families, society, property values and our future.

Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 7. Vote Babine and Caterina for town council.

Katie Fellows

To the editor:

Now that Jean-Marie Caterina is running once again for Scarborough Town Council, she has my vote because she consistently reaches out in our community to hear what’s on people’s minds and what they care about most.

Recognizing the importance of attracting young families to Scarborough, Jean-Marie is a strong supporter of local businesses as well as an advocate for the funding necessary for high standards in our schools.

As a member of Scarborough’s Seniors Program Advisory Board, she works to enrich programs and services our seniors need.

And, when protecting Scarborough’s natural environment is crucial for our quality of life and the health of our local economy, the solar panels powering her home attest to her standpoint on that vital issue.

Let’s return Jean-Marie Caterina to town council on Nov. 7.

Jane Palmer

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