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Alyce Maragus

Brown's Cabinets, Ron Preo and MAGIC
By Alyce Maragus
Jun 16, 2009 - 7:31:38 AM

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Yes, I have included MAGIC into the equation.  If you thought the organization was dead; well, think again, and read, to see the connection.

This past Wednesday (6/10), while conducting business with Portland Glass (who rents from Brown/Preo), I was hailed down by Ron Preo.  At first it seemed all he wanted to know was the scuttlebutt going on around town, and perhaps if I knew his chances of receiving $20,000 from our Revolving Loan Fund.

I did not have any information for him. He then proceeded to attempt to engage me into an argument.  In pursuing the conversation, he made mention of the time he spent in the military just to ensure "our" right to speak our minds.  At the same time, he insulted the people (myself included) who don't agree with the direction our town has been taking over the past several years.  I came away knowing that his position was that I could speak my mind, but only if it agreed with his ideas.

From there, everything went downhill.  It seems Mr. Preo was not happy with an article I published on the Magic City Morning Star, and which was subsequently read by Jim  Talbott on WSYY.  The article pertained to Preo's request for $20,000 from our town's revolving loan fund.

Preo then informed me that anyone who believed "anything" Mr. Talbott broadcasted was "stupid".  Well excuse me!  I don't consider myself to be "stupid".  I have indeed submitted articles to Mr. Talbott, and he has graciously put them on the air.

Now for MAGIC's connection.  MAGIC has been instrumental in closing down any media coverage we might have used to educate the public.  It is no longer possible to write a "Letter to the Editor" to our local newspaper since we no longer have a local paper, thanks largely to MAGIC.

If Mr. Preo wishes to put it out there that you are "stupid" if you believe anything Mr. Talbott has to say, then I would ask that you judge any airing of MY articles on their own merit, since what "I" have to say can usually be backed up with facts; and if not, I make it clear that it is conjecture.  If Mr. Preo wishes to confront me further, I will consider it to be harassment on his part, and take whatever steps necessary to prevent it from happening again. 

Moving forward, Mr. Preo came into town a number of years age and attended a meeting put on by David Cyr.  At that time Preo was disenchanted and unhappy with the MAGIC faction.  However, that all changed when MAGIC was instrumental in acquiring a $275,000 Maine Rural Development Authority "loan" which enabled Preo to acquire another $285,000 from Key Bank and Coastal Enterprises in "loan" monies, and when they subsequently moved the town's Pine Tree Zone to give Preo and Brown favored tax status. Gee, I wonder why he changed sides?

I'm hoping by now that you all see the connection with the MAGIC bloc.  First the black-out of the media; then MAGIC's influence in obtaining the MRDA "loan" for Preo's business; and lastly Brown's contract for cabinets at Matt Polstein's (the founder and past president of MAGIC for 3 years) Twin Pines expansion.

Brown's Cabinet Makers, LLC has had the advantage of $560,000 in "loan" money, with MAGIC's assistance.  They receive rent from Pine Tree Treausres and Portland Glass.  They were awarded a contract for Twin Pines cabinets (MAGIC).  They enjoy the tax benefits from Pine Tree Zone status, thanks to MAGIC, to whom a MAGIC-dominated town council had given over the administration.  And yet, after all this, their business is in need of an additional $20,000 from the town's revolving loan fund - and the collateral being offered will be of no use to Millinocket, should the loan be defaulted.

I'm not buying this, and I sincerely hope our council doesn't buy it either.

Ron Preo is trying to ride on the reputation of Mike Brown being a home-town boy!  He's hoping that will impress the council and they will look favorably on this request.

Loans, especially of town money, should never be given because of previous or current friendships, as one councilor alluded to me, in connection with Mike Brown.  Rather they should be given, if at all, on financial responsibility.

Has this company made timely payments on their current loans? Have they paid their employees? Do they have any outstanding liens against their business?  These are questions the council should be asking, rather than basing their decisions on personal friendships.

And in the end, isn't that what banks are for? Or do they too, loan money on friendships rather than on financial viability?


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