Letters to the editor, Week of March 16, 2017

Need to keep government accountable

To the editor:

On March 7, I attended a public hearing on L.D. 430 – “An Act To Amend the Exemption for Highway Contractors and Subcontractors under the Arborist Licensing Laws”. The bill is sponsored by District #79 Representative Tim Theriault and was submitted at the request of a licensed arborist who owns a tree pruning and removal business in China.

The purpose of the bill is to force the state of Maine to have or hire an arborist for any highway related tree removal that requires the use of an aerial lift. This bill would put money into the pockets of licensed arborists at an added expense to taxpayers.

At the public hearing on the bill, Representative Theriault had nothing to say about it, good, bad or indifferent. The constituent who requested the bill had no information about it, appeared not to know what it says, and did not even have a copy of it while giving his oral testimony. Neither proponent gave any written or verbal explanation of the bill or stated why it was needed. The bill was opposed by the Maine Dept. of Transportation and the Associated General Contractors of Maine.

L.D. 55, Representative Theriault’s bill for taxing the customers of the Kennebec Water District $650,000 over a period of 15 years, was killed unanimously by the legislative committee. It was named “An Act To Provide Funding for the Restoration of China Lake,” but this ill-conceived and poorly written bill contained no explanation for how the money would be spent, who would spend it, who would be held accountable, how success would be measured, or why the customers of KWD should have to pay for a problem that they did not create. Our government should not be in the business of taking money and then giving it away without any provision for accountability.

OUR government is only as good as the people in it. If we fail to hold OUR government accountable, we unfortunately get what we deserve.

John M. Glowa, Sr.
South China


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