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Sally Bouchard

A Town Meeting In Millinocket
By Sally Bouchard
Jan 28, 2006 - 4:34:00 PM

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At last Thursdayís night town meeting; the public was asked to speak on a new swimming pool.

That Millinocket needs a new pool has been known for a number of years but instead of looking at the issue before, and putting money aside for it when the time came to have a new pool, they ignored the problem and wasted money and time trying to fix the pool.

The citizens of Millinocket do want a new pool, but how to pay for it will have to be worked out. Like too many things in Millinocket, planning ahead is not something that is done here and now the town has to come up with money for the pool.

Like the sidewalks and the Iron Bridge road, the swimming pool has been put on hold. We elect council members to do their job but too many times, they are more concerned with their own special interests and the many items that need to be done are not.

One item that will be going into the budget is $60,000 for MAGIC. Two of our council members decided that was the amount that will be paid for MAGIC this year.

If the question went before the full council for a vote, it would be a three-three tie, as one member cannot vote on MAGIC issues, as he is the director of MAGIC and it would be a big conflict of interest.

Underhanded, yes - but that is no surprise to the voters of Millinocket, as that has been the way business has been done in the past. The question of how much money MAGIC gets should go to the voters, not to just two members of the council and one of them being the director of MAGIC

Asking the publicís opinion on a new pool but not allowing a public discussion on MAGIC or how much money the town should give to them is business as usual in Millinocket.

How has MAGIC helped the economy of Millinocket? That is a question that should be asked. It is past time that a public discussion on MAGIC is held.

That there will be a public hearing held on the issues of a loan to Bob Moscone is something that also should have been addressed long before this time. It took a item in the Bangor Daily News to finally bring this issue before our council; not MAGIC. They passed it by many times over the past several years.

Many citizens of Millinocket have been saying all along that we need more than tourism to keep our town alive. When you have someone from Millinocket with a good product and he has a market for his boilers, why hasnít anything been done to have his product made here before now?

Jobs are needed here and if Millinocket becomes a just a tourist town and a home for retirees, we will lose our schools. We will not need a swimming pool, nor will there be enough children to use the playground.

We are getting so that we need volunteers for many things - our churches, firemen and all the organizations in town. We need jobs and we need to keep our younger generation here.

So we all are wishing Bob Moscone good luck, but also Carla and Chris, and any other person in town that has ideas to keep Millinocket alive and growing.

We also hope that any person that has a business that will depend on tourism well but, as this winter has showed, Mother Nature has not been good for the Millinocket area for the snowmobile trade. Depending on the weather for money is at best a gamble; no snow in January but maybe snow on the mountain in July.

As far as the people voting to put the director of MAGIC on the council showing that the people support MAGIC is not something that is easy to answer.

Conflict of Interest has never been a big issue with too many of the voters of Millinocket, and why people vote for certain candidates is not something that will ever be understood.

The truth is Huey Long would have liked Millinocket and too many of the voters of Millinocket would have loved Huey Long.

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