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Kathy Gagnon

Shadow of Hate
By Kathy Gagnon
Oct 12, 2005 - 7:50:00 PM

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A town divided is a town without a heart. Millinocket has become a town of fear, hatred, and no common civility amongst the people. Why is it that everyone is expected to choose one side and automatically hate the other? Over the years, we have had many voices with differing opinions in our town, but never has it turned into the situation we are now facing. The difference is hatred and intimidation. It has cast a dark shadow over this town larger than Mt. Katahdin.

The town is divided, families are divided, and friendships have been broken. The idea that citizens need to stop speaking to or be rude to anyone with the audacity to voice a differing opinion is the cause.

The local paper every week prints stories and letters that only serve to throw fuel on the fire. Nice words from the council table seem hollow and empty alongside the hatred displayed on the front page of the local paper. Why canít people allow each to his own opinion and the right to voice that opinion? We do not need to agree with someoneís opinion to be able to treat them with common courtesy.

The refusal of some MAGIC supporters to allow opposing opinions has caused hatred and animosity that this town has never seen before. How can something that is the catalyst for such things be good for a town? The supporters seem to think that it is those opposed who must compromise. Compromise means both sides give mutual concessions, not one side becoming silent and allowing themselves to be intimidated. People who stop speaking to others because they donít agree about MAGIC, whether it is intentional or not, are actively practicing MAGICís prescribed method of intimidation.

We all want to see Millinocket revitalized. We just have different ideas of how to go about it. MAGIC has had five years and over a million dollars worth of trying. Why not try a different strategy to achieve results that are successful?

We should not need to be dealing with petitions to fight for a voice in matters that concern us. The councilors we elected can and should listen to the 846 citizens who signed petitions and allow a legitimately worded vote on whether to continue funding MAGIC or hire our own economic developer so we may end the turmoil and allow the town to start healing and develop opportunities for all of us.

If our elected councilors do not want to make a move to end the division in our town by allowing a voice and a vote, we need to elect councilors who will. Issues of conflict of interest, whether real or perceived, have hurt this town bad enough already. We need councilors with no connections to MAGIC who have the townís interests at heart and no conflict of interest casting shadows on them.

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