Question 6 no deal for taxpayers

Question 6 on the November ballot — to authorize a bond to improve highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure — has all the appearances of more crony capitalism. The expenditures need to be articulated geographically. Who gets what for the big spend?

Also, most disgusting is the notion that borrowing that much money at 6 percent interest over 10 years is outrageous. Now that is a deal for someone other than the Maine taxpayer.

That is a bond expenditure that needs to be watched closely. Also, that much money really needs to be bid on by the lending institutions and given to the lowest interest institution, if there is such a thing.

Tim James


I-395 connector unnecessary

Rep. Andrew McLean, House chair of the Legislature’s Transportation Committee, states in his Sept. 5 BDN OpEd that we are consistently short $168 million every year just to fund basic road and bridge maintenance. He goes on to say our infrastructure is aged and dilapidated, and he is trying to make improvements. He is working with the Maine Department of Transportation to find cost savings wherever possible. He also states that voters have overwhelmingly and repeatedly approved transportation bond measures, but he says, and I agree, that we shouldn’t rely on borrowing money for basic road maintenance.

I can’t help wondering, if we can’t maintain our existing roads why are we building new ones? Take for instance, the proposed I-395/Route 9 connector in Brewer and Eddington. This project is costing an estimated $61 million. Some money comes from federal sources but not all. Maine’s share is 20 percent. But think about it. That’s $61 million (and, of course, there likely will be overages) for a 6.1-mile road from where I-395 ends in Brewer to Route 9 in Eddington.

What is the point of this road? This is to allow Canadian traffic a quicker route to the Interstate system. Why should we build a road for Canada? That’s what we have been asking for years.

Vinal S. Smith


Support ranked-choice voting

Ranked-choice voting is an easy non-partisan election reform that increases the power of voters. With ranked-choice voting, when there are more than two candidates running for an office, ballots are set up so that voters can rank the candidates in order of preference. If a candidate wins a majority when the votes are counted, it’s over. If not, the last-place finisher is dropped, and the second-choice votes on the ballots for that candidate are distributed to the remaining candidates in an instant runoff. This continues until there is a majority winner.

The process makes sure that the winner gets a majority of votes from everyone who participates in ranking the candidates. Therefore, we will be confident that the results of multi-candidate races will most closely reflect the actual will of the voters.

I think elections will become more civil because candidates will have to campaign to a broader electorate. And democracy will be increased because voters will be given more voice and more choice when they vote. Ranked-choice voting has been used in several U.S. cities for school board, city council and mayoral races and in Australia and Ireland with great success. We should increase the power of Maine voters by supporting ranked-choice voting and voting yes on Question 5 in November.

Ron Bilancia


Get out and vote, Christians

In less than a month, American voters will go to the polls and select their choice for who will

become the 45th president of the United States, the most powerful office in the world.

Our founders recognized early on that the perfect foundation for a good government could only come through the blessings of God.

But it is obvious that we have allowed our government, courts, churches and ourselves to succumb to a cancerous deterioration of our founding principles. We see the constant continual moral decay that will eventually bring us to a course that knows no redemption every day through the TV lens.

America, our complacency is destroying us. Why aren’t professing Christians speaking up? Isn’t it time for the body of Christ to awaken from its apathy and act responsibly?

If we fail to express our opinions, others will be more than happy to make decisions for us.

Let us never forget that we are a government, “Of the People, by the People and for the People.”

It says in 2 Tim. 4:3 that “For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.”

Less than 60 percent of eligible Christians actually vote in presidential elections. Christians, we need to get involved.

Gene V. Graves


Send a message to GOP

The Republican Party has long prided itself on being the party of family values, and I am old enough to remember when Republican leaders and legislators spoke with civility and reached compromise in order to best serve the interests of the majority of American who elected them to office.

And over the years I have been independent enough to judge a candidate on his or her merits and vote for whomever I thought was the best, regardless of party affiliation. Sadly, this year is very different.

The Republican Party has abandoned its conservative family values in favor of far right ideologies (need I bring up the multitude of examples of disrespect for women to which too many right wing political and religious leaders have turned a blind eye, hypocritically excusing themselves because a more agreeable Supreme Court nominee might be offered by someone who brags about assaulting women).

Republicans have also abandoned even the pretense of civility in favor of divisive diatribe and xenophobia (need I be reminded once again of the Republican nominee for president and, to Maine’s shame, our governor). And Republicans have shown no interest in compromise.

This year I will vote for family values, civility and compromise from top of the ticket to the bottom: Hillary Clinton for president, Emily Cain for Congress, Jonathan Fulford for Maine Senate and Erin Herbig for the Maine House of Representatives. I urge others to consider the kind of government under which we want to live. Please vote with me.

Sidney R. Block