Public enemy No. 1
In response to the news item declaring Gov. Paul LePage the second worst governor in the United States, it could be worse: He could be No. 1.
With that said, I cannot understand how anyone can read and listen to this person without being appalled by this attitude, language and philosophy. I hope voters think seriously about this person when election time arrives.
We deserve better than a governor who is second in a list of 50 governors. He will blame most of his problems on a biased media. He cannot look at himself and realize he is his own worst enemy.
In response to Michael Heath’s July 23 BDN OpEd piece “on sexual morality,” I am a law student at the University of Maine School of Law from which I hope to graduate and become an attorney in less than a year. I have voted in every single election I have had the right to vote in, I have worked in political campaigns and sat on multiple nonprofit boards. I also have a wonderful partner of more than seven years and a little niece and nephew whom I adore and love more than anything in this world.
I am also transgender.
When Heath talks of those that practice “sexual immorality,” he is talking about living, breathing people like me. They are students, professionals, the barista who made your coffee, or for that matter the neighbor down the street. They are people who face an enormous amount of abuse and rejection in our society than most – an abuse he contributed to when he wrote the column.
He also misses, as a Christian, the words of St. John’s first epistle: “Whosoever does not know love, does not know God, for God is love.” That is to me what God means – to fight for the disfavored and the marginalized, to fight injustice. As a Mainer, I am disappointed to see someone who uses the pulpit to perpetuate hate.
Michael Heath continues to be preoccupied with what he imagines other people do for sex. Imagine is the key word here, because his characterizations of LGBT people bear no resemblance to the actual LGBT people I know. It’s time for Heath to take up another hobby.
His most recent commentary focuses on transgender people and attempts to scare people into thinking they are dangerous in some way. So, a person born male who is living as a woman uses a ladies room. What does Heath imagine is going to happen there aside from that person going into a stall and doing the normal things that other people do in bathroom stalls? There are not any problems aside from what Heath creates in his fevered imagination. Nobody is harming anyone.
Heath, however, is doing harm to some young people who are wrestling with their identities, knowing that they are LGBT in a society where some still condemn them. Unless they have positive love and support from their families and others, they are put at risk. What is “Christian” about that?
Town services, taxes
I almost always renew my vehicle registration late. I’m still used to the idea that the DMV will send me a notice well in advance of the expiration date, and then I can mail a check (or do it all online) to renew vehicle registrations. Why can’t we do it that way in Maine instead of having a DMV in addition to 425 local town DMV registration clerks? The money getting to the towns correctly is a matter of accounting backed up by the proper legislation. Further, why can’t the counties handle property tax assessments and related accounting?
Once again we have towns each with their own assessor’s office to handle this when a county assessor’s office could do a more uniform and, perhaps, a more professional job and achieve economies of scale on the paperwork (assessments, billing, receipts, foreclosures). Once again it’s a matter of accounting and proper legislation to enable this process and ensure that the funds are given to the appropriate towns. Some towns already share assessors; this idea simply is another step in this direction. These changes in the way towns operate could be implemented on a voluntary basis to simply give towns the option of using such a system. But in the longer run, by reducing operating costs in the towns, it would help insure the long-term viability of some towns and reduce the tax burden on their citizens.