2018-10-19 / Letters

Writers share views on upcoming vote

To the editor,

I am writing from a unique perspective in that I cannot legally vote yet. However, this election means a lot to me. As the president of the senior class and as a leader of the #WeStandwithCreech student movement, I am in touch with the mood of the high school.

I am not writing this letter in any official capacity as president of the senior class but to demonstrate my understanding of the climate.

I am well aware of the impact of this election and I urge everyone to consider supporting two candidates for the school board.

First, I support Sarah Leighton, who is running to fill a three-year term. Sarah is a Scarborough High graduate but just moved back to Scarborough after launching her career in Boston and London.

She has a passion for this town and wants to make a long-term commitment to it. Sarah is a leader and a problem solver. She is young and will bring a diverse perspective to a school board that needs fresh blood and change. She is independent and will make decisions after a hard look at the facts and data.

Second, I support Amy Glidden, who is running for a one-year term. Amy has proven her leadership and commitment to the school board and our town through the last six months.

She has long term roots; she is a 20-plus year educator and has extensive legal and bargaining knowledge. Amy has done her homework and will be prepared to hit the ground running when she is elected on Nov. 6.

I urge everyone to vote in our Nov. 6 election and thank you in advance for doing so.

Claire Merrill

To the editor,

I am proud to say that I am a supporter of Amy Glidden as a member of Scarborough’s board of education. Amy brings with her 26 years of experience in education. Amy will bring much needed new direction and strong leadership to our board.

My experience with Amy is that she has great energy and great perspective. She is honest, positive and has an open mind. Her perspective and knowledge is exactly the change we need for our board. Amy is someone who will listen, ask questions, and gather information before rushing to decisions.

She will create an environment where staff and teachers will have a voice in decisions and she will advocate for our students. Amy will work tirelessly to restore our community’s trust in our Board of Education.

Please join me in voting for Amy Glidden for Scarborough Board of Education.

Kimberley Fiorillo

To the editor,

For the past three years, I have worked with Robert W. (Will) Rowan on the Historic Preservation Implementation Committee. It was evident from our first meeting that, as town council liaison to the committee, Will was dedicated to historic preservation in Scarborough. He brought energy, enthusiasm and valuable knowledge from which to further our goals of protecting Scarborough’s history.

Will is keenly aware of the importance of our historic landmarks to everyone in the community, especially our children.

A vote for Robert W. Rowan will ensure that Scarborough’s historic past and future will be in good hands.

Sharman Kivatisky

To the editor,

The town of Scarborough is in the midst of tremendous growth, development and change on many fronts. Passions are running high over the direction of Scarborough schools, and our town has been presented with a large pool of candidates for the rebuilding of the school board.

We want school board members that can look at all facts without preset agenda, take input from all stakeholders, and make decisions thoughtfully. We want members who can help drive Scarborough even higher in state school rankings by embracing progress and innovation in our kids’ education.

Stacey Neumann is just the woman for the job. She is a mom of three who has tirelessly advocated for and volunteered in our schools for years.

Her experience as an attorney has instilled the skill of listening, and working with people on all sides of an issue to reach a fair and positive outcome. She has extensive experience with contracts and education law. In her daily personal and professional life, Stacey demonstrates warmth, compassion, humor and lives by the Golden Rule.

We are proud to support Stacey Neumann for Scarborough School Board. Please join us.

Amelia and Stephen Sponseller

To the editor,

I am writing a letter in support of Senator Amy Volk who is running for a third term as senator from Scarborough.

As co-founder of Dentists Who Care for ME (DWC4ME), I have seen a group of caring dentists, auxiliary staff, and dental students, work together to provide free dental services of over $1.2 million dollars for those in need over the last nine years with our tenth year around the corner, Nov. 2.

Senator Volk has been quite passionate about DWC4ME and regularly attends our yearly event as well as champions for her Scarborough constituents in Augusta. She pursues for the betterment of Maine Citizens and can’t think of a candidate better suited for the position.

From serving as state representative for two terms, to state senator for two terms and now holding the distinguished position of assistant majority leader in the State Senate. Senator Volk is a seasoned state professional that cares about Maine and its people.

Please join me in supporting Amy Volk for Maine Senate, the right person for our state.

Barry Saltz

To the editor,

One of the dangers that even the best fiction writers encounter is the tendency to get carried away with their subject. As a result, their prose may stray into the territory of the unbelievable and improbable.

This was exactly the trap town council chair Donovan fell into with a recent letter to the editor about the fiscal 2019 tax rate.

In that letter, Mr. Donovan tried to put lipstick on a sty full of pigs.

Pig 1: Mr. Donovan stated that voters defeated a property tax revaluation at the polls in 2013. Not true. Voters defeated a bond issue to pay for a revaluation – believing the revaluation was an operating expense and not something that should add to our highest-in-the-state debt burden. (As pointed out later in Mr. Donovan’s letter, the current revaluation has been conservatively treated as an operating budget item.)

Pig 2: Mr. Donovan referred to what the fiscal 2019 tax rate might have been without the benefit of the commercial property revaluation. But he failed to mention exactly what the tax rate change would have been. In fact, instead of a flat tax rate this year, our taxes would actually have gone down by about 1.5 percent this year if the Council had adhered to their original goal of a less than 3 percent rate increase before considering the impact of the commercial property revaluation.

Pig 3: Mr. Donovan alluded to past problems with the town’s assessing department. Indeed, the town has experienced several years of serious management issues in the department, including one assessor who has cost the town nearly one million dollars so far in tax rebates and le- gal fees because of an illegal property valuation discount scheme. And the assessor position has seen unfortunate turnover and vacancy for the past several years. The assessing department’s history is not one of effective management oversight. Yet Mr. Donovan characterizes the town manager as “alert, savvy.”

Mr. Donovan ended his letter with the dramatic flourish: “thanks be to all.”

He should understand that not all Scarborough residents are feeling particularly thankful these days for the town’s financial management practices.

Steve Hanly

To the editor,

I’m proud to have the opportunity to write a letter in support of Don Hamill’s candidacy for town council; a voice of change from the status quo. He and his wife Susan have deep roots in our community, having raised four children who attended Scarborough High School.

Don graduated from Colgate University and the Cornell University School of Labor Relations. Don is a self-employed businessman and has skills as a mediator in public and private sectors. He has also served on the Portland school board. His concerns include financial responsibility and sustainability.

He is concerned about the town’s heavy debt load, one of the highest in the state. He also wants to stop the practice of borrowing money to pay for things that should be paid for out of the annual budget, and to ensure we are living within our means. Just like you and me.

He supports maintaining our outstanding schools and wants Scarborough’s quality of life to continue to be available to young families and seniors.

Please consider voting for Don Hamill for town council – a responsible leader and a change from the status quo.

Larry Hartwell

To the editor,

Openness, accountability, and honesty define transparency. It is at the heart of how citizens hold their public officials accountable.

For several years we have heard candidates and elected representatives speak about transparency, yet it never seems to materialize in any meaningful way when they are given the opportunity to live up to the meaning of the word.

There is a large group of candidates vying for the open seats on the board of education, but I can say with certainty that April, Amy and Alicia are candidates that demonstrate true transparency.

I have watched each of them study the issues and then be a clear voice of reason in outlining a solution. I then watched as they responded with great insight on these issues and welcomed every question.

Transparency is just a word. It’s the deeds that matter. April, Amy, Alicia, Nick and Betsy strive to display transparency. Their commitment to this core value is evident.

Please vote April Sither, Amy Glidden, Alicia Giftos, Nick Gill and Betsy Gleysteen for board of education

Sarah Sandler

To the editor,

I am writing to endorse Leroy Crockett for Scarborough School Board. Leroy is a lifelong resident of Scarborough who from a very young age has had a strong sense of community.

Leroy’s family had him actively involved in volunteering at the Veterans Administration and children’s centers and with this sense of community instilled in him early in life, Leroy has continued to give back.

Leroy recognized the value of a Scarborough school system education and has been actively involved in both his children’s educations.

I have known Leroy to be that person who jumps in and asks, ‘what can I do to help?’ His volunteerism extends from school boosters to Scarborough Rotary to Buy Local to name just a few.

Leroy has served on the committees through the school to help institute the internship/community services program that is now part of the graduation process for our students.

Please join me in voting for Leroy Crockett for Scarborough School Board. He is someone with over 25 years of leadership and management experience working hard and fighting for all of our students to realize and achieve their goals.

Troy Dennen

To the editor,

I would like to offer my support and recommendation to re-elect Robert “Will” Ronan for town council.

Over the past three years I have been able to talk with Will on a variety of topics, in person and via email. I have found him to be thoughtful and deliberate in his decision-making, open to hearing others thoughts, taking them all into consideration.

Will is of like mind in thinking (knowing) Scarborough is a great place to live, raise a family, work, visit and hopefully to retire. Will takes this position seriously, dives into information gathering, can see the potential of a given situation or proposal, and is not afraid to ask questions, or attend extra meetings or presentations.

Will (Robert W. Ronan) has worked on our behalf as a town councilor, has three years of experience and has earned my vote for another three-year term.

I hope you will consider voting for him as well.

Art Dillon

To the editor,

I am an Independent who is sick of partisan politics. I believe that partisanship has gotten in the way of addressing many of the state’s challenges. Two that are important to me are Maine’s lack of quality, affordable housing as well as child lead poisoning that is still occurring after being banned 40 years ago.

These issues affect Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike.

Senator Volk was one of the earliest and most vocal supporters of the recently passed senior housing bond, and her successful, ongoing work at the Legislature has made Maine a national leader in efforts to address childhood lead poisoning.

In an era of increasing partisan gridlock, she has shown time and time again that she can work effectively across the aisle to get things done for her constituents and all Mainers.

I want to commend Sen. Volk for her leadership and actions that she has taken to address these issues and I support her in this upcoming election.

Rip Patten

To the editor,

The time is now to try to bridge the divide and elect councilors who will end the status quo. The time is now to elect councilors who represent all the citizens of Scarborough.

I believe that Don Hamill and Paul Johnson will not only listen to the concerns of all Scarborough citizens but communicate and validate their concerns.

They are independent thinkers who would not only engage the public with their decisions, but validate and act on them.

Citizens should be treated like equal partners by those representing them. I believe Hamill and Johnson would build better trust and transparency within the community.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have your voice heard at public comments during a town council meeting without predetermined decisions by a majority of councilors? Wouldn’t it be nice when you send an email to get a response once in awhile from some you never hear from?

We need to put forth budgets that people feel comfortable with. I mean, really feel comfortable with. Not budgets that are unreasonable and get shot down time and again or pass by fewer than 100 votes.

We need to stop capitalizing operating expenses in our annual budgets. We are close to if not over $100 million in debt and I believe Hamill and Johnson will make fiscal responsibility and sustainability a priority that benefit not only the fine schools we currently have, but benefit all the citizens of Scarborough including the less affluent.

People of all ages live here and all ages must be taken into consideration when important decisions are made. And I’m not talking about just the budget.

Again, the time is now to elect councilors that represent all the citizens of Scarborough and I encourage you to vote for Don Hamill and Paul Johnson!

Paula Corbeau-O’Brien

To the editor,

I encourage all citizens in Senate District 30 (Gorham and parts of Scarborough and Buxton) to vote for Dr. Linda Sanborn this November.

With critical health care decisions at stake in the coming Legislature, her 25 years of experience as a family physician give her first-hand knowledge of how to be a champion for access to affordable, comprehensive health care for Mainers. She is thoughtful, respectful and willing to listen and work with all people.

Linda Sanborn will be a clear, level-headed, strong voice for citizens, and as a Clean Elections candidate, she is committed to bringing dignity, respect and integrity back to our very tarnished political process.

If you are a resident of Senate District 30 and are tired of the divisiveness and ugliness that has plagued politics, I encourage you to cast your vote for Democratic candidate Dr. Linda Sanborn.

Barbara Price

To the editor,

I have known Linda Sanborn since our boys were on a baseball team I coached some 20 years ago. What impressed me then is that Linda was much more concerned about the boys learning how to work together toward a common goal than in baseball skills.

Linda exhibited the same concerns while we served on a panel at Gorham High School. She always emphasizes the importance of the entire community and will bring those beliefs to the Maine Senate.

This same philosophy carries into the well being of all. As a physician she understands both the physical and long term financial costs of an uninsured population.

This is why she supports expanding the Medicaid program in Maine.

This leads me to the growing issue of housing our seniors. With two parents in their mid 90s I fully understand this dilemma facing the baby boom generation and our own children in a future which is closer than I would like.

Linda supports efforts to make living at home a viable option for our senior citizens.

I am supporting Linda Sanborn for state senate because I believe she will work tirelessly to return Maine to the way life should be for a majority of the residents of Maine.

Tom Patterson

To the editor,

I’d like to weigh in about the accusation against Amy Volk being a racist. I know Amy Volk personally and she is anything but.

In fact, she had an entire family from Burundi living with her for months when they came to America and then had another African living with her for six months trying to get enough money to save towards bringing a family member to the U.S.

She has served on the board of the Root Cellar, which is an inner city organization that serves primarily Muslims and Africans that have come to southern Maine. Her husband is Jewish and her own mother is half Jewish. Her opponents are really making a stretch when they tried to paint her as a racist. Thank you for letting me point out the facts.

Patty Whiting

To the editor,

I am writing to share my support of Alicia Giftos for Scarborough’s board of education. I have witnessed first-hand Alicia’s hard work, determination and perseverance in bringing people together during a difficult and divisive time for our community.

Alicia will have a meaningful impact and will work with our teachers, our students and our parents to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. I have always known Alicia to be an excellent listener who fully considers all the options before making important decisions.

As an assistant attorney general for the state of Maine she is a natural leader and is skilled in working collaboratively, making decisions and effecting change when needed.

Alicia is very passionate and committed to restoring the much-needed confi- dence in our board of education. For all of these reasons I hope you will join me in supporting Alicia Giftos.

Tracy McMahon

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