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Sally Bouchard

Citizens and their Town
By Sally Bouchard
Dec 27, 2006 - 2:34:10 PM

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For any community to grow, the citizens of that community need to have a voice in their future. Without the citizens input, their community will be taken over by special interest groups.

It was a group of citizens that saved the Millinocket Golf Course by organizing and working to keep the golf course a big part of Millinocket; without their hard work, the golf course would have been lost to their community.

It was citizens that got together to save their neighborhood from having condos in their back yard.

Over fifty years of having their neighborhood being only single family homes, a developer came to Millinocket and wanted to build sixteen units of condos in their backyards.

These citizens were lucky that their voices were heard by the majority of the planning board and the majority of the town council. That could of changed with only two more votes on both of those bodies and condos would have been build in their backyards.

The golf course and a neighborhood staying the same as it has for fifty years got some of the citizens involved but with their problems solved, too many of them will not be involved with any new economical development for their town.

Annexation is coming up again and the majority of the citizens didnít bother to read the report that came out last year. Five plans were giving and how it would effect Millinocket were all written out but the majority of the citizens didnít bother to read the report.

The Allagash Wilderness didnít affect the citizens of Millinocket, so they thought. Now a group of citizens in the northern part of the state are fighting to keep the heritage and culture; it is our fight in Millinocket also.

Secret meeting in Augusta regarding the Back Country Project is another plan that will have great affect on the economy of Millinocket but most of the citizens have no idea what the Back Country Project is all about and some donít care.

Grant money for economical development has been coming into our region without any accountability. That is an issue that some of the citizens have been fighting for and only now have some of the people that have been giving the grants decided that we need accountability.

Too much money has been wasted due to no accountability and the citizens didnít ask where the money was going or to whom.

If the citizens donít care and only care about what decision will affect them so they think; their government will continue to have secret meeting, waste money, the fraud and abuse will continue.

Millinocket need diversity in the jobs that come to Millinocket, they need a bigger tax base and the citizens need to finally get involved, it will be a hard battle but it is a battle that must be won for Millinocket to continue to be a community with growing families, to keep our town viable.

We were a mill town and now the hospital employs more workers than the mill. We need more businesses in Millinocket and we also need something else besides the Millinocket Area Growth and Investment Council to bring more economy to our community.

We need the citizens to get involved, stay informed, ask questions and to work to making Millinocket a community that will grow and not to put all our eggs in one basket, the mill nor Millinocket Area Growth Investment Council.

Special interest groups have money and they are taking over our towns, our state government and our country and you the people are letting them get away with it.

They are in our backyard and if it continues, we the people of Northern Maine will not have a backyard to hunt, log or snowmobile. No motorized vehicles, no roads.

Save the animals, save the woods but make the people go. That is the Back Country Project.

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