Having well planned economic development can revitalize a dying town. But, without the right person to conduct the development and utilize the plan for maximum benefit, a plan is just that. Rather than being lumped into a group waiting for development to “trickle down” to us, we need to hire our own economic developer to concentrate on the town of Millinocket only. We have patiently waited for five years while paying the bulk of the “group rate” and yet we find ourselves with nothing to show for our patience and tax dollars spent. While other towns around us rebound and grow, we slip deeper into becoming nothing but the shell of a town.
The money being paid for MAGIC’s director is twice what legitimate economic developers are receiving in other towns that are, not only are paying less, but seeing actual progress in their towns.
Thousands of dollars have been wasted on start-up funding for businesses belonging to people who have never paid taxes to this town, or ever lived here. There is something seriously wrong when priority is being given to unknown people coming here with nothing more than an idea and promises, and getting assistance that local residents are not receiving. It gets even more wrong when these businesses are not fulfilling their promises and are given moratoriums and extensions on payments. Investing tax dollars in buildings that the town doesn’t own, and leasing space to businesses that don’t make timely payments on loans or leases is beyond comprehension. This, and more debt for our efforts, is what we are getting for our tax dollars with MAGIC.
MAGIC supportive councilors want only to allow us a ridiculous ballot question saying whether we like MAGIC or not. That is a waste of the taxpayer's time and of whatever amount of money it would take to put this on the ballot. Let’s stop all this waste of time and money and make it easy. Let the taxpayers vote. We don’t need to vote on dollar amounts, we need to vote either “yes” or “no” whether we want MAGIC involved - at all - in our town’s economic development. Or maybe a better question would be, do you want your town to “live” or “die”?