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Politics

Enough is Enough: Revenue sharing: cut state programs or punish businesses?

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I write this week’s column pleading to the governor and the Democratic and Republican Legislative leaderships to find common ground and restore revenue sharing to Maine cities and towns.

For the benefit of our readers, the revenues distributed to the cities and towns are derived from a formula in which a portion of the state’s sales tax receipts are distributed to the cities and towns. Cities and towns then use this money to keep property taxes down.

This is not some form of municipal welfare. Sales tax revenues are the result of cities and towns investing local taxes in infrastructure, municipal services and providing an attractive place to live and do business. The more businesses and people we attract to our area, the greater the sales tax receipts.

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Enough is Enough: Changing DHHS rule would provide fiscal relief

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last Friday, a hearing was held at the Department of Health and Human Services, a meeting whose outcome will have a fiscal and economic impact on City of Lewiston taxpayers.

At issue is making several changes in the rules governing DHHS in order to bring them into compliance with federal and state programs.

Simply put, Maine cities and towns will no longer be forced by DHHS rules to help those who do not qualify for federal or state assistance. This change would allow Lewiston to save a considerable amount of money.

These savings could allow us to temporarily aid long-time Lewiston residents that might need temporary help to get over the bump in the road and back on their feet.

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston must provide benefits for asylum seekers

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

New Year. New City Council. Many old problems left over from the prior council. On the horizon await new problems that pose a serious financial threat to our city.

We face the loss of $1 million-plus in revenue sharing because a committee of self-serving politicians who owe their elections to a variety of special interest groups failed in their task to find $40 million in cuts in the state’s budget. So much for the trait of intestinal fortitude.

Soon the political leaders of Lewiston will be asked to make a decision that has the potential of igniting a firestorm.

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Enough is Enough: Spreading goodwill and tending to the truly needy

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Last week, I was unexpectedly out of commission for a few days. Politics and this column was the last thing on my mind.

However, I did learn the value of expanded cable, a DVD player and a VCR. Passing the time with basic cable makes for a long day.

I felt that I had been placed in a re-education camp. News and editorial opinions were being constantly thrown at me. As tedious as this became, in the end, I was able to take time and reflect about what had been reported.

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Enough is Enough: City councilors, your lives are about to change

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

In a few weeks a new city council will take the helm of Lewiston government. Councilors John Butler (Ward 1), Craig Saddlemire (Ward 5) and Richard Desjardins (Ward 7) will be replaced by Councilors-elect Leslie Dubois, Kristen Cloutier and Michael Lachance.

Our new councilors will find that their best day as a member of the Lewiston City Council will be Monday, January 6, 2014, Inauguration Day at the Franco-American Heritage Center. The inauguration gives them one day to bask in the sun, enjoying what they were able to achieve with family and friends.

The following day, reality will hit. City councilors, you are no longer part of the complaining public. Your days of complaining and criticizing policy makers have now gone the way of the dinosaurs. You are now part of the policy-making team. Your decisions will be applauded by some and loathed by others.

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Enough is Enough: A love affair with technology has invaded our schools

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Every week several hours are put into writing this column. A lot of trees are sacrificed.  Money is freely spent at Staples buying packages of 8×11 yellow-lined legal pads. The ink from a multitude of pens, courtesy of a local bank, is used in order to produce this column.

Once written, it is dictated to my wife who types the long hand on the pages into a word processor.  It is then visually checked for grammar, punctuation and spelling. It is then reread several times over several hours, portions occasionally being changed or deleted until satisfaction with the final product is attained.  It is then sent to the editor of the TCT.

My wife and I, like many others in this community, would never submit or sign our names to a document full of spelling, punctuation and grammatical errors. In school it was drilled into us that your writing went a long way in defining who you were to the public.

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Enough is Enough: Step up and show L-A still has the best hockey fans

By Robert Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

When I moved to Lewiston in 1977, the city was on the decline as a mill town. Foot traffic on Lisbon Street had declined dramatically. Businesses were leaving for the malls, a place where there was no shortage of retail businesses or parking. The city was on life support.

But on Friday and Saturday nights back then, lower Lisbon Street came alive. Bars and social clubs were filled with workers, eager to unwind after a week of tedious labor. This led to many incidents involving them letting off steam, much of which required a police response.

This weekend interaction drew many who jockeyed for parking spaces, refreshments at the ready, to get the best possible view of the upcoming night’s action (fights).

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Lewiston/Auburn Mayors Re-Elected

Mayor Robert E. Macdonald defeated his opponent Laurent F. Gilbert in the race for mayor of Lewiston, Maine with 4123 votes to Gilbert's 2610 votes.

Mayor Robert E. Macdonald defeated Laurent F. Gilbert in the race for mayor of Lewiston with 4,123 votes to Gilbert’s 2,610 votes.

 

Mayor Jonathan P. Labonte was re-elected mayor of Auburn, Maine. Labonte ran unopposed.

Mayor Jonathan P. Labonte was re-elected mayor of Auburn. Labonte ran unopposed.

 

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Collins meets with reps from Auburn Tambrands plant

 

Site Human Resources Manager Rick Malinowski and Plant Manager Felica Coney of the Auburn Tambrands plant meet with Sen. Susan Collins in her Washington, D.C. office.

Site Human Resources Manager Rick Malinowski and Plant Manager Felica Coney of the Auburn Tambrands plant meet with Sen. Susan Collins in her Washington, D.C. office.

U.S. Senator Susan Collins recently met with representatives of Procter & Gamble in her Washington, D.C. office to discuss various economic issues. The meeting included two representatives from Procter & Gamble’s Tambrands subsidiary in Auburn, Plant Manager Felicia Coney and Site Human Resources Manager Rick Malinowski.
Employing 450 people, the Auburn plant is the city’s second-largest employer and supplies feminine care products for the entire North American market. Parent company Procter & Gamble recently bestowed its best North American Plant Award to the facility in recognition of its outstanding safety record, successful quality audits, and sustained production levels.

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Enough is Enough: This weekend, honor and thank veterans for their service

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

This weekend we will be asked to stop and reflect upon the sacrifices endured by those who donned our country’s uniform.

For many who never served, Veteran’s Day is a holiday. Many have the day off to catch up on work around the house, to relax or recreate. Others are compensated handsomely for being required to come to work.

Many area veterans’ posts throughout Lewiston-Auburn and the surrounding area will be providing breakfasts and lunches at their posts, which will be open to all veterans and their families. These are not held as a “Welcome home, thanks for your service.”

They are held to give veterans a chance to meet and mingle with other veterans. They can talk openly about their experiences with other veterans who have similar experiences—without judgment from the listener.

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