At last Thursdayís council meeting, four members of the council voted not to rezone an area for condos.
They listened to the area residents and voted for them and not for special interest. It is an area that for fifty years has been a residential area with single homes and the people did not want condos in their backyard.
All over the country, elected officials are voting for special interestes in the name of economic development and not for the people that elected them. They say they are doing it for new tax base, but the result is that people are losing their homes, their businesses, and their voices are not being heard.
When the first meeting was held regarding the condos in front of the planning board, the new taxes would be about $70,000 dollars. Last Thursday, the amount went to $90,000 dollars, and it was called economic development, and if it was voted down, a signal would be sent to the rest of the state that Millinocket does not want economic development.
We the people of Millinocket do want economic development, and we want jobs to go with it; condos will not bring jobs to this area, and the question should be asked does Millinocket need condos?
Also the question should be asked, were these condos for the people of Millinocket or were the going to be built to bring in more outsiders that donít care what the people of Millinocket think or about our way of life.
"Not in my back yard." said the people whose area was involved and four councilors heard their voices. Good job Councilors Paul, Cyr, Gonya, and Busque.
On the other side we have two councilors that heard the voices of outrage when Millinocket Area Growth Investment Council (MAGIC) brought in the Wilderness Society, but those voices are being ignored.
A big block of voters do not the Wilderness Society and The Nature Conversancy making big changes in their backyard. No roads, no lumbering, no motorized vehicles, and that is what the Backcountry Projects is all about.
Secret meetings, donít let the people of the area know what is going on is their method. Two Millinocket council members are part of that project, and they do not care what the people of Millinocket think. Nor do they care about hearing their opinion as they have had it and are ignoring what the people have said.
They say they want the publicís opinion, but if it is against what they are trying to do, they call that public negative and kooks.
Councilors Polstein and McLean should listen to the people and use their seats on the council to benefit the people of this area, not themselves. They should tell the public what the Backcountry Project is all about and their part in that project.
The people involved in Augusta should also come forward. For any government agency to hold meetings in secret and use taxpayers' money the public has a right to know what they are planning for the area of the woods of northern Maine.
Four councilors who heard the peopleís voices; two that are ignoring their voices. Millinocket deserves better from the two that are ignoring the people of this town.
We had one victory for the people but we have to wonder what next? The special interests are here, and they have the money and unfortunately for Millinocket and the Woods of Northern Maine; politicians can be bought.
The Woods of Northern Maine is also our backyard and we are losing it thanks to the Nature Conservancy and all their friends. They have two voices on our council.
Our fight must go on to keep our heritage and not let the special interest win.