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Kathy Gagnon

Kooks, Idiots, & Dissidents
By Kathy Gagnon
Sep 23, 2005 - 8:10:00 PM

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Kooks, idiots, dissidents ... the name calling needs to stop. The one thing both sides of the issues agree upon is that we must put our differences aside and unite for the sake of the town and each other. In order for this to happen, the name calling needs to end. Having a town councilor, town attorney and local newspaper name call and label at town meetings is not productive. Stopping the use of the local paper to print the views of only one side with the name calling included in articles would be a good place to start. Either side trying to place blame is not going to end any animosity. Thankfully, we have KAT-TV recording the meetings so that citizens interested in the truth can watch for themselves and form their own opinion without other’s bias injected.

Putting differences aside, however, means both sides must compromise. This doesn’t mean that those not in support of MAGIC need to concede and go with the MAGIC program. There are many problems and issues with MAGIC that need to be addressed.

Another consideration for compromise could be to develop a fresh program for economic development with an equal number of people from both sides of the issue being involved to come to a compromise on how to make economic development work for us.

A more intelligent use of TIF funds and holding accountable those with town revolving loans that are in arrears are something that should be pursued. It is a shame for others deserving of these means of funding to be denied or set back from use of them because of misuse by others before them.

Accountability.

This whole problem could be put to rest and could have been avoided in the first place if our town council had listened to the citizens’ requests for the right to vote on this important issue. While it may be the councilors job to decide dollar amounts on town matters, they also need to remember that they are elected officials who were elected to represent the will of the people, not dictate. Over eight hundred citizens have indicated to the council that they would like to vote on this issue. The MAGIC supportive councilors say they are going to allow a vote, finally, but they refuse to allow a fair and valid question to address this. Why are they so afraid of what the people will say? If councilors are going to ignore citizens’ will and overrule petitions that shouldn’t even have to be necessary, maybe we need to look into a selectman form of government.

One councilor complains bitterly about being the focus of cameras at meetings, but the fact is, he does the majority of the speaking from the council table at meetings. Maybe if he would stick to the issues instead of using the town meetings to refute alleged rumors, to advertise personal business ventures, and to campaign for reelection, he would be speaking less and in turn would be taped less.

Councilors and citizens using town meetings to make personal points and campaign for election is not appropriate and should not be allowed. This particular councilor has no problem with being taped for TV when he wants publicity or to “show and tell”. He has no problem with having a Bangor Daily News reporter in attendance during meetings typing furiously every word uttered by MAGIC supporters, while not typing a single word spoken by anyone not supporting MAGIC. His stories reflect this, and anyone in attendance can plainly see this.

It was brought to my attention following the last meeting, that the Magic City Morning Star is being blamed for letters that were allegedly received by the wife of a town councilor. The letters shown to me came from California and other parts of the country. The reason I was given for the blame being placed on MCMS is because they have a national reach via the Internet and, supposedly, articles and letters on the site have incited the alleged threats and obnoxious letters. Since MCMS has never published any articles or letters about the person involved, I am at a loss to understand how they could have been the catalyst. Considering that the person involved has a business website and business dealings with people from all over herself, maybe they should be looking in their own dealings for a person to blame. Since the letters are of a racist nature, I guess they prefer to point the finger at those they wish to discredit anyways for the blame of every wrong. Other misinformation that I have been made aware of include alleged boycotts of local businesses, groups labeled as “anti-MAGIC” or “CREED”, people unsupportive of MAGIC are against economic development or against tourism, and claims that my article about economic development was taken from MAGIC.There is no boycott of any local business. There are already too few businesses left in town, boycotting the ones we have would be unproductive and only further hurt the town. Persons spreading this rumor are hurting the town.

One town councilor and the local paper continually labels people as belonging to CREED or anti-MAGIC groups. CREED existed for a short time only for the purpose of mailing out information to citizens with regard to the petitions. They disbanded as soon as the information was posted. There never was any group I am aware of that is “anti” MAGIC. Citizens that do not support MAGIC are just that, not “anti” anything. There is a difference between not supporting something and being against it.

We all want economic development; we just have different ideas of how to go about it. Tourism is something we accepted long, long ago. We do not wish to see it be the ONLY thing in development for our town, but know without a doubt that it is necessary.

Lastly, I understand that my previous article about economic development has some claiming that I took it from MAGIC. I researched this issue for weeks and have a file an inch thick with facts and information I have amassed to support my article. If it is in agreement with MAGIC, that is fine, but it is work I have studied and researched for myself as a suggestion for economic development based on what I have found to work for other towns facing the need for economic recovery. Even if I see the same type of plan for development as MAGIC, I do not support MAGIC’s continued control of economic development for Millinocket. I believe we need our own developer or committee free from the strings of MAGIC if we are ever going to succeed and give equal opportunity to all the citizens.


Editor's Note: My wife and I would like to ask anyone who has been told, shown, or given any materials that might suggest racism or antisemitism on our part, to please contact us with information as to who told you this, including as many details as possible. This is a particularly cruel and vicious lie, and we would like to get to the bottom of it. Thank you.

Ken Anderson
146 Katahdin Avenue
Millinocket, Maine
207-723-4456
info@magic-city-news.com


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