If school consolidation is repealed, what will happen?
The only thing that needed to be done was to eliminate most of the school superintendents. Each school has a principal who should be more than capable of taking care of the individual schools needs.
In Washington County there are about a dozen school superintendents along with their secretaries. Each represents a fair amount of money for the residents that could be better implemented in education programs that have been cut to save money in past budget parings. I think we need to put more money into educating and less into administrating.
The projected savings are not being realized by consolidation because it was never a well thought-out and implemented plan. It was a coercive measure focused on finances and the erroneous assumption that there is an excessive amount of spending in administration.
Increased administrative costs have been fueled by unfunded state and federal mandates that require more and more foolish paperwork. If the repeal is successful, some units will splinter and a few that have a natural fit will continue to move forward.
Regardless of how we feel about consolidation, most realize that things do need to change and units will find the correct answers for the future, working together with a strong focus on education. We just need time to do it right without the foolish mandates that were imposed two years ago .
Consolidation should be voluntary, and based on the individual towns’ needs.
Should tough decisions go to referendum?
We here in Maine don’t seem to trust those who we elected to make good decisions! My guess is that we don’t trust ourselves when we vote. This continual out-guessing the people we elect to represent us is just plain wrong.
People complain about the number of representatives in the Legislature and it seems that some of us don’t think there are enough and want to take their place. It is a very expensive way to do things, all of these petitions and special elections, printing the ballots, and paying people to staff the polls cost us all a bundle.
This is a practice that needs to be stopped; either that or disband the Legislature and let the people vote on every simple thing.
Yes, it should be allowed. Though we have legislatures to represent the people, we need to have a way for the people to let their disapproval be known when they do not. People keep voting in the same people over and over because they have short memories and they would rather have the known in office than the unknown.
We do have a way for the people to let their disapproval known; it’s called voting them out of office. But we keep buying into the same old song and dance. If the people do not like the decisions their elected representatives make, vote someone else in.
Should Maine’s tax structure be revamped?
Most definitely. A broader sales tax, another percent or two on the sales tax and increase in lodging and meals taxes would all be helpful.
A 6 percent sales tax certainly didn’t change my spending when we had it before and it wouldn’t be a deal breaker for me now. This bill is a first step in the right direction. If you coupled this with real reductions of true waste in government spending, it wouldn’t take long to ease the monetary crunch. If you want to know where the real waste is, talk to the front line workers about the overabundance of management and the bureaucratic culture that envelopes it.
Legalize, regulate, and tax Maine-grown marijuana!
Regulate the production and consumption like alcohol, and tax it higher than cigarettes. The marijuana sales tax, permits and fees would balance the state budget in no time, and Mainers and the tourists would have no squabbles paying the sales tax for it.