“If one person comes in and says, this is the way life should be, I think you’re asking for chaos. I think you gotta let different people live different ways. It’s a big world.”
Ice T, musician, rapper, songwriter and actor.
OK, to set the story straight I was having a problem deciding what to write about for this column because I am being overwhelmed by medical appointments. As always, this really isn’t a problem since just about every other news item I read about the state wasn’t exactly gratifying about Maine’s quality of life. Of course I am stretching it a little bit (more or less) but when one lives a state where they no longer trust their electricity provider then it’s high time to wonder what else can go wrong. I began writing this column a week ago Wednesday when the news broke the Maine was on the proverbial, let’s just say list, of being one of the least affordable places to rent. I just wonder why it took so long for somebody to figure that problem out. I just hope it’s not the same people that are going to count the ranked choice ballots that Mainers cast on this last Election Day.
I have to digest the news about renting in Maine, so I will first skip to the ranked choice ballots, which hopefully will be counted and calculated before Thanksgiving. Please remember I submitted this column last Sunday so I have no clue when the results will be finalized. I remember a ballot scandal of the past (two or three decades ago now?) in which many Mainers still question the results of the investigation. So what I find really interesting is that the ranked choice ballots were delivered to Augusta (did I read they were taken to the old Augusta Mental Health Institute building?) by private courier because the state could not afford to pay state police troopers to pick them up and deliver them. Either our state police officers are really expensive, the state treasury is empty or we have a bigger problem in Augusta than anyone knows. I swear sometimes that I have to dream this stuff up.
I asked a Realtor last week if it was my imagination (not quite controllable by me) that more and more “For Sale” signs were popping up in Windham and elsewhere, and he agreed. I don’t know how many people know that there’s another group who succeeded in getting a petition drive on the ballot to increase taxes by something like 3.8 percent on those making more than $128,000 or so. If that succeeds then I am sure that another petition drive will come along for anyone making more than $100,000, then $80,000 and so forth. I believe that the Legislature should be the only entity in Maine that can either raise or create taxes. Heck, Maine only has something like 260 already.
Now I will find the article on the high cost of renting in Maine, which maybe is because of the skyrocketing electricity bills (wink, wink). The study was done by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which I presume is a nonprofit with its own agenda and that’s fine. Now if one has ever seen the results of a survey conducted by a nonprofit one would find that all the survey results conclude exactly what they wanted them to conclude in the first place. And what is very noticeable about this nonprofit’s study is that Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders wrote the preface for it. After seeing that, I stopped reading. I know fully well government will be asked to solve the problem it more than likely created.
Then I read the Forecaster article on how Portland’s Downtown Improvement District could grow, cost more. Shouldn’t Windham establish such a plan and tax the businesses more in North Windham’s downtown whatever plan? Rather than residential taxpayers once again paying increased taxes, shouldn’t businesses in that zone pay for all the costs, including a sewer system?
Lane Hiltunen of Windham believes we need more pizza joints to pave potholes to protect our pizzas.