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This week’s edition!

Politics

Enough is Enough: Citizens, not politicians, will decide whether to merge L-A

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

This coming Tuesday, June 10, is Primary Election Day. Hopefully, Maine residents will flock to the polls to fulfill their number-one duty at American citizens: voting.

This is your turn to show your pleasure or displeasure with those running our state and country. Every vote counts, even if you’re on the losing end. Close votes tend to put the winning party on notice that their position could be overturned or rejected in the next election.

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Enough is Enough: We will not forget the meaning of Memorial Day

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

This Friday, May 30, 2014, is Memorial Day. It’s a day set aside to both remember and honor our country’s war dead, patriotic women and men who made the ultimate sacrifice in order to insure a continuation of the freedoms we enjoy. But over the years it has slowly been losing its meaning.

Several years ago, Congress exhibited their solemnity of this day by changing it from its original date to the last Monday in May, so that federal workers could enjoy a three-day weekend. With the stroke of a pen, it was transformed from a day from remembering and honoring our war dead to the kickoff of the summer vacation season. It has gone from a day of solemnity to just another long weekend.

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Enough is Enough: Look beyond school grades to see the real story

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Whew! Thank goodness Lewiston’s school budget was approved before the Maine Department of Education released its school grades.

I would speculate that if the public had gone to the polls knowing how poorly Lewiston’s school system had scored, voter turnout would have been high, resulting in an overwhelming defeat of Lewiston school budget.

But, like life, someone has to finish last. Unsurprisingly and living up to its reputation as a welfare destination, Lewiston to the surprise of no one won the race to the bottom, thus reprising our all-too-familiar role of Cinderella. Immediately our evil stepsisters (the media and the affluent progressives of Southern Maine) began to focus on and publically dissect the composition of Lewiston’s population.

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Enough is Enough: Working to protect the over-taxes middle class

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

He refuses to compromise. It’s his way or the highway. Well, boo-hoo.

For years the Democratic Party, along with Maine’s editorial writers, have shoved their vision of a socially just society, where people live in harmony and the government provides for everyone’s needs, down the throats of our over-taxed middle class. This wonderful idea, however, fails to recognize two major factors: money and human nature.

But this is what self-imposed guilt does to you. You were born white into a nuclear family, a family that provided you with food, clothing, shelter and love. Your home was warm in the winter and comfortably air conditioned in the summer. Your world consisted of manicured lawns, swimming pools, spacious neighborhoods and extended summer vacations at the lake or seashore. You enjoyed all this while the least of our society suffered extreme hardships. It’s just not fair.

Balderdash!

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston must take a long, hard look at its budget

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Today in Lewiston we stand at a crossroad. Over the past several years prior city councils, our city administrator, our finance director, our development director and the many entrepreneurs located in the area of upper Lisbon and Main Streets have worked hard to create a vibrant downtown—a downtown that has become a destination.

We have listened to our young professionals; these young professionals represent Lewiston’s future. We have added bike lanes to our streets, nature trails and parks in neighborhoods throughout the city. We are slowly, but steadily, putting into place our Riverfront Plan. The Balloon Festival and the Dempsey Challenge bring thousands of people to Lewiston each year. These visitors spend large amounts of money at local businesses.

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Enough is Enough: Concerns voiced in coffee shops can create city policies

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I ran for Mayor of Lewiston not for fame or notoriety, but because I was an irate taxpayer, sick of special interests and the liberal progressive policies put forth by academic and trust-fund elitists. Policies that ran counter to what the average person experienced every day. Policies embraced by spineless politicians that were opposite of the will of the middle class taxpayers that elected them.

I am a “coffee shop mayor.” I am not going to plant myself in my desk chair, which looks more like a throne, compared to the average executive’s chair, and hold court in an office to create an illusion that citizens who visit the mayor are in the presence of greatness, not their equal.

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Enough is Enough: Welfare fraud, waste and abuse cannot be excused

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

I like former mayor Larry Gilbert as a person. I simply dislike much of what he says and does.

His op-ed last week took TCT readers down a nostalgic trail of columns past, similar to airings of TV shows of the past.

It was classic —15 paragraphs long, eight of which were used to retell and remind us of the French kid who left Lewiston at an early age, moved to California and like the Prodigal Son made his way back to Lewiston becoming a renowned public figure. Upon concluding reading the column, like Clara of the Wendy’s TV commercials, I asked: “Where’s the beef?”

Upon reading the first two paragraphs, I came thought the former mayor was going to discuss students’ ability to learn when the distraction of spring arrives. Imagine my surprise upon reading the next paragraph, which began criticizing Governor Paul R. LePage and me for our “overly obsessive attitude towards welfare.”

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Enough is Enough: Taxpayers, children will suffer without welfare reform

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

Well, it’s official! The silver-spoon trust-funder, Senate President Justin Alfond, and his co-conspirator, Speaker of the House Mark Eves, have again won a battle in their war against Maine’s middle class. They successfully killed legislation that would have tightened up the rules of several state welfare programs in order to reduce fraud.

A collective sigh of relief by the Maine People’s Alliance, Maine Equal Justice and a host of other advocacy groups was heard reverberating throughout the halls of the State House. Their interests once again had trumped those of the state’s middle-class taxpayers. Yes, happiness reigned, thanks to the leadership of the progressive Democrats and their Lewiston-Auburn allies, our local Democratic legislative delegation (a.k.a. The Portland Puppets).

The aforementioned groups will now be allowed, for at least another year, unfettered access to picking the pockets of Maine’s middle class.

I must note at this time that three of L-A’s Democratic legislators may have broken rank and voted with Republicans to institute Governor LePage’s tightening of the General Assistance laws. Next week, if true, I will let you know their identities.

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Enough is Enough: Lewiston faces budget pressure; politicians deny welfare problems

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

It is time for a no-holds-barred venting on welfare reform. It is time for an accounting from our Lewiston state legislative delegation as to what they have done to help alleviate our current welfare crisis.

Over the next eight weeks, seven Lewiston residents elected to our city council will debate, ponder and come up with a city budget that places minimum fiscal distress on local property taxpayers while providing services needed to make sure we function and grow as a community. This is Lewiston, not Lourdes—there will be no forthcoming miracles. Property taxes will increase. The only question is: How much?

Lewiston has one of the lowest property value rates in the state. This is why a house is Southern Maine is valued three times or more than a similar one in Lewiston. This undervalue is reflected in our mil rate. At the end of the day, that similar house in Southern Maine is paying about the same or slightly more in taxes than you do in your undervalued home.

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Enough is Enough: Mother Nature wreaks havoc on education system

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

School daze: A condition that will soon be coming to a school near you. No school will be immune. It will spread throughout the entire Maine school system faster than students being dismissed for the day.

There is no known cure for it. In some cases it can be limited, although this year it is on track to reach epic proportions. This year’s students will be infected by the most powerful strain of this scourge: Mother Nature.

Over the past school year, Mother Nature has wreaked havoc on the steady, consistently measured flow of educational knowledge imparted on our students by their teachers. This educational flow is only successful if it is allowed to continue with few interruptions. However, this academic year Mother Nature has been exceptionally cruel to our educational system. There is still a chance Mother Nature may rain down another catastrophe upon us. As I write, a major Nor’easter is forming with the potential of hitting Maine hard.

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