Archive for April 2012
By Lance Dutson, CEO
Maine Heritage Policy Center
Imagine if the State of Maine wrote you a check for $4,000.
That’s essentially what would happen if we eliminated Maine’s personal income tax. The average family of four would save nearly $4,000.
Think it’s impossible? Think again.
The personal income tax is a leash that pro-government forces have tied around the necks of Mainers for more than 30 years. Maine used to have a thriving economy and booming industries, but we all know that’s history.
The startling truth is that the decline of Maine’s economy started at nearly the exact time the state decided to implement the income tax. And it’s wreaked havoc on families and businesses ever since.
Maine consistently ranks among the worst states in the nation for business climate, and we have one of the highest tax burdens in the country. The income tax plays a major roll in this dynamic. Maine is well known as a big-government state that will squeeze every nickel out of its citizens, even to the detriment of the overall economy.
We can take a huge step toward ending this dynamic by eliminating the income tax.
Auburn Mayor Jonathan LaBonté and the City Council have chosen two finalists for the city manager position: Clinton Deschene, town manager in Hermon, Maine; and Benjamin Marchant, former city administrator in Jerome, Idaho.
Candidates, accompanied by their spouses have been invited to Auburn to meet with the city council, city staff, government agencies and the public. Benjamin Marchant will be in Auburn on Tuesday, May 1.
Clinton Deschene will be in Auburn on Tuesday, May 8.
The candidates will meet with city staff and various government agencies on their assigned day and plan to attend a public gathering during the evening to give citizens an opportunity to meet the candidates.
This public gathering will be held at the Auburn Public Library from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on both May 1 and May 8.
For the latest news and updates, see website: www.auburnmaine.org.
Angus King, Independent candidate for U.S. Senate and former Governor, will be a featured keynote speaker at the upcoming Chick-fil-A Leadercast.
The day-long leadership training event will be broadcast live on Friday, May 4 from Atlanta to hundreds of sites across the country. Nine internationally-acclaimed leaders will speak from the Atlanta site, including CNN anchor and special correspondent Soledad O’Brien, NFL quarterback and Heisman Trophy-winner Tim Tebow, and leadership expert and best-selling author John Maxwell.
Governor King will appear live at the Auburn site to address attendees during a special lunchtime session. The theme of this year’s Leadercast is the power of choice. King will share insights to help leaders empower and equip others at work, at home and in the community through the choices they make.
By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Over the past two weeks, in the spirit of transparent government, I have kept readers informed of my comings and goings in a sharply focused Mayors’ Coalition and the Halls of Confusion known as the Maine State House.
I owe my readers an apology. I was so wrapped up in the welfare issue that I incorrectly referred to it as “welfare reform.” The truth is that it was nothing more than a combination of a cost shift and enforcement of the rules governing TANF (Temporary Aid to Needy Families.)
To a person with average intelligence, the rules governing TANF are understandably simple. The program runs for up to five years, during which the participant is expected to participate in job training and academics, allowing them to obtain employment and become self-sufficient.
Seems simple, right? Apparently not, if you’re a boo-hoo progressive legislator whose definition of temporary equals infinity.
By Senator Mike Thibodeau
and Senator Ron Collins
Just last week, Governor LePage deployed a previously unused provision in Maine law: the line-item veto. Passed during the King administration and supported by voters in a statewide referendum, the line-item veto can be used by governors to object to portions of a budget without vetoing the entire document.
The two items Governor LePage chose to veto were: a portion of the additional funds needed to cover a projected shortfall in the FY 2013 General Assistance allocation; and $3 million in “disproportionate share” funding to hospitals and psychiatric facilities in order to offset losses in federal funding.
If the Legislature were in session, we would take up a governor’s veto within the prescribed time limit of five days. However, the Legislature is adjourned until May 15. That’s when we will return to finalize work on the FY 2013 supplemental budget.
U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Maine Commissioner of Education Stephen Bowen will join dozens of Montello Elementary students for the evening on Wednesday, May 2, as the Geiger/Montello Adopt-A-School Partnership celebrates its 24th annual “Night of the Stars” at Lewiston Middle School, 75 Central Ave.
The annual Geiger/Montello “Night of the Stars” celebration is an Oscar-style awards ceremony recognizing the most talented young writers from among Montello Elementary School’s more than 750 kindergarten-through-sixth-grade students. Honored writers will arrive in stretch limousines, provided by Crown Limousine Service, from 5 to 6 p.m., followed by a two-hour award ceremony in the middle school auditorium.
By Dave Griffiths
Hello again. Today’s topics: mindless disrespect for our mother tongue; a VA that’s come a long way; and American entrepreneurial spirit at its best (if a bit “adult”).
“Circle back when you find the bandwidth in your schedule, and we’ll discuss the synergies that can leverage our shovel-ready plan, because at the end of the day, it’s all about drilling down and creating robust solutions that achieve time-sensitive, client-oriented, transparent results, taking us to the next level.”
Then and only then, may I add, will we be well positioned for—wait for it—“going forward.”
On Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m., L/A Arts will host the hysterical improv musical comedy, “Broadway’s Next H!t Musical.” The show is being presented at the Franco American Heritage Center at 46 Cedar St., Lewiston. For tickets and information, contact L/A Arts at www.laarts.org; 782-7228; or email@example.com. (Photo by James Shubinski)
The Lewiston Riverfront Island Master Plan Committee and consultants Goody Clancy have released a draft of the master plan that outlines an ambitious agenda to make Lewiston-Auburn into Maine’s premier urban riverfront destination.
In the past two weeks Twin City TIMES published details of the first and second goals: to tap the power of the river; and to attract a vital mix of new uses. This week, TCT publishes excerpts about the third goal: make the district more walkable.
See the entire plan at
Make the district more walkable
Thriving downtowns benefit from strong walkable connections between destinations. When destinations aren’t clustered or well connected, downtowns generally lack the critical mass they need to remain lively places.
Riverfront Island is a compact place. Distances between destinations are short—you can walk almost any place within the district within 5 to 7 minutes. The biggest challenge is the quality of these connections for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The same can be said of connections to the district from surrounding areas: walking distances are short, but it’s hard to get from Lisbon Street to Riverfront Island and the River. Poor walking conditions along the canals and the need to travel around rather than through the 2.5-block-long Bates Mill Complex are particularly significant barriers.