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Kathy Gagnon

Alternative to MAGIC Suggestion
By Kathy Gagnon
Dec 22, 2006 - 5:32:36 PM

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The controversy surrounding Millinocket Area Growth & Investment Council (MAGIC) has cast a large shadow on the organization itself and successful economic development in the Katahdin Region. It has divided the people of Millinocket and to some degree, the three towns of Millinocket, East Millinocket & Medway. Maybe it is time to re-organize and try something different that can unite those that MAGIC has divided.

Rather than simply finding fault and pointing fingers, I would like to offer a suggestion to the area towns.

There is a definite need for the towns in this region to work together for the good of the entire area. With that in mind, I would like to propose the consideration of a “Katahdin Area Economic & Community Development Council“.

Rather than a self-appointed organization, perhaps a newly formed organization could allow the citizens of the towns involved to elect the representatives of their choice to represent them within the organization.

In this way, each participating town could have their chosen representatives working for their town along with representatives of neighboring towns so that the interests of the individual towns have representation and the entire area has a strong team working together. A grant writer could then be chosen and hired by the organization.

This organization could include any other town in the area that is interested. The number of representatives and the amount of funding from each town could be determined by the town’s populations so that each town pays their fair share and has adequate representation.

At the same time, each town could form their own citizens committees to work with their representatives and town governments to improve their towns by working together with community spirit and citizenship. There are many things that we, as citizens, can do to improve our individual communities through volunteerism.

Many people strongly believe, and I am one of them, that politics does not belong in economic development. I feel the conflict of interest issues, actual or perceived, that have plagued the town of Millinocket with MAGIC controlling the majority on our town council is a large factor in the division in Millinocket. In order to keep the organization free from political conflict, town councilors or selectmen could be ineligible for a position as representative to the organization.

A new year will soon be upon us, maybe we should consider beginning it with a fresh start so that we can have unity with equal, fair, and chosen representation for successful economic development for the Katahdin Region.

Best wishes to all for this holiday season.

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