This is a direct response to Bruce Fleming’s letter in the Morning Star.
So, Mr. Fleming, you believe we should be happy and content to provide service to wealthy tourists? Be pleased to clean the toilets and showers of those who can afford health insurance, while we cannot? The failed thinking that envisions a state full of contented sheep that will be thankful to wait tables at the local greasy-spoon, is about to get a wake up call.
This town is about to give the Green Bloc the heave-ho. The citizens have figured it out, 1.21 million dollars gone, five years of lies, no jobs, and you’re out of here!
Last fall in the local election, 1400 voters against 926, voted to give The Wilderness Society the ax. On November 8th, our informed majority will elect three honest men and that infusion of honesty and integrity, will likely be the beginning of economic prosperity for this small community.
Next job is to remove the worlds largest cancer from our community, The Nature Conservancy. Once removed, jobs and prosperity can return to Millinocket. Take a ride to Lincoln, look around and you will see construction, additions, and new businesses. The stuff that cannot exist here, but does there. Why? They have no MAGIC or Nature Conservancy in Lincoln, they used common sense and never let a Green Group take control of their Town Council as we did.
At our last Council meeting Councilor Polstein stated that almost all of the reasons that we have no development here stem from the constant discord coming from the petitioners and those who want their constitutional rights back.
How is that even remotely possible? The Green Bloc has exercised complete control over our council for six years now. They have also constructed and controlled MAGIC for the past five years, which has been the only economic development entity in town. So how is it possible to believe that anyone but MAGIC and the Green Bloc, has killed our small town’s economy?
So, Mr. Fleming, if you desire to clean up after the masses, do it. I will not stop you. But the rest of us will not be content until the jobs come back and the MAGIC/Nature Conservancy tag-team have left.
Back in 1970, my Father built a 17-unit hotel at Black Cat Mountain. At that time, I was 15 years old. We did well with a dining room, daytime cafeteria and rooms were $34.00 a night. When the oil embargo hit in 1972, we were wiped out. Our rooms went down to $14.00, we had to have bands four nights a week, all because people stopped traveling due to the uncertain gas availability. In short, we were 90% dependant upon tourism for our living.
Today we have gasoline topping $3.00 a gallon with our Governor asking us to conserve. Automobiles, snowmobiles, boats, ATV’s and even motorcycles require gasoline. How intelligent is it to base our economy on something as undependable as tourism? It has been my experience that no good can come from being 100% tourism dependant.
I have brought to the Council and before the public, plans to implement a three-part strategy for home-town based growth, within the borders of Millinocket. The Green Bloc killed them dead before they could spread.
When the Bloc becomes a memory, (and it’s not a good one), Millinocket can once again build upon it’s assets and hire an Economic Director that would be under the control of our elected officials. An In-House Director can report directly to the Manager and provide to the council and the public a bi-weekly progress report. It will also not require $150,000 just for salaries. Economic Directors from other towns receive from $25,000 - $35.000, reducing the cost dramatically for our town.
Since that progress will not include secret trips to sign Millinocket up as a Gateway Community, or anything else, our new direction will include providing direct financial and business planning help for people who live in this community. The previous direction of our failed economic development, has steered completely clear of providing large-scale assistance to local citizens who have an invested interest and an investment in this community.
Second, in degree of importance, is the need for a revolving loan fund provided by our surplus that will provide an integral part of our ability to build home town based businesses. We are currently liable for a $300,000 loss, due to unwise dealings with Brimns Ness. We may also be on the hook for another $250,000, if Allagash Valve doesn’t make it’s 25 job requirements. That is a total of more than a half million dollars, coming out of surplus, to pay for MAGIC’s mistakes.
If we had placed $550,000 in a revolving loan fund, and lent it out to eleven perspective new businesses at $50,000 each, at least half of those business start-ups would have succeeded. We would then be left with 5 or 6 new businesses providing some form of employment here in Millinocket. Instead, we will be left with a large hole in our surplus and still NO jobs.
The third most important piece of an economic plan is the construction of an Industrial Park within the borders of our own town. Water, power and sewer, are the three most important parts required to make construction affordable.
Because the East Mil park was built on a Billy-goat trail and the Huber park has no frontage and no services, we have been searching for and have recently found land that would serve all our needs. But, it is a long process and too early to get too excited. There is every indication that it is going to happen.
The most important thing you can do as citizens is get out and vote, help us end all the squabbling within our town government. Elect three honest men, men with no Magical Green Agenda. Vote your conscience for the benefit of our town.
David P. Cyr