Support ranked-choice voting
The mayor and Belfast City Council unanimously support ranked-choice voting: Question 5 on the November ballot. It is a common-sense reform we believe will empower voters and restore majority rule. It would eliminate the need for strategic voting and prevent concerns about the “spoiler” effect. Cities that have already implemented ranked-choice voting have reported less negativity in their elections.
Our current system hasn’t been working for voters. In nine of the last 11 races for Maine’s governor, candidates were elected by less than half of voters. In five of those races, candidates were elected by less than 40 percent of voters. Races with more than two candidates are common in Maine. As a result, winners are elected without a majority in races defined by spoiler candidates. Winners also can be opposed by a majority of voters.
That’s not the case with ranked-choice voting, which captures truer voter preferences and results in winners who are supported by a majority of voters. Ranked-choice voting is a better ballot. It is time for a change.
Seventy-three thousand Republicans, Democrats, independents, Greens and Libertarians came together by signing petitions to place this nonpartisan initiative on the November ballot. We encourage voters to join us in supporting Question 5 and vote yes for ranked-choice voting.
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Mayor and city councilor
Uhlenhake for Brewer City Council
I grew up in Brewer and have chosen to remain here as a resident. I’m supporting Bev Uhlenhake for Brewer City Council, and I urge my fellow Brewer residents to do the same.
Uhlenhake has surpassed my expectations in her first term as a council member in Brewer. She has helped keep the tax rate steady this year, resulting in a drop in property taxes for most homeowners because of an increase in the Homestead Exemption. She has served as mayor this past year and encouraged Brewer to join the Maine Mayors’ Coalition, helping increase Brewer’s ability to advocate to those making decisions that influence our city directly. She has handed out numerous keys to the city to new businesses proving that Brewer truly does mean business. She is smart, driven and sincerely wants to help the residents of Brewer.
In addition to her professional life, I’ve known Uhlenhake personally for 19 years. She is one of the most compassionate, understanding people I have ever met.
As a business owner in Brewer, I have confidence Uhlenhake is going to continue to help develop Brewer into a powerhouse city. I wholeheartedly support Uhlenhake for city council and encourage other residents to vote and support this amazing lady.
Monahan for House District 146
I am supporting Democrat Rosemary Monahan for House District 146. It’s time for a change and to send a representative to Augusta who will represent us with integrity and skill.
Monahan is a lifelong resident of our district, an accomplished, compassionate and hardworking professional with decades of experience in her career as a legal advocate. She understands the struggles and issues affecting our rural communities. As a successful product of local schools and a homeowner who raised a family here, she appreciates the need for listening to her neighbors and community.
She also understands the need for economic development that is possible in Aroostook County because she takes the time and effort to listen. She has spent hours discussing with my family the benefits and barriers to beef farming in Aroostook and has earned our community’s trust over the years as chair of the Woodland Zoning Board of Appeals.
Monahan is an independent thinker who will consider the issues and stand on the side of folks in District 146. Please vote for Monahan on Nov. 8. She will work hard for all district families. She will always answer your calls, and she will represent us with integrity.
Trump can’t be trusted with nukes
Given the strange, even absurd, turns this presidential race has taken, it’s all too easy to lose sight of the fact that the next president will have her or his finger on the nuclear button. Poor judgment, a hot temper and inexperience could lay waste to much of the world. While America is glued to long-ago beauty pageants and weight gains, the world is camped at the gates of Armageddon, wondering whether Americans have lost our collective mind.
President Harry S. Truman authorized the only use of atomic weapons. Could we do it again? Not likely, one could argue, but Donald Trump clearly thinks about it. Not that he favors such a calamity, but he does favor conditions in which nuclear weapons might be used. Consider that he has suggested that Japan and South Korea may need to develop their own nuclear weapons, with saving money as his main rationale. Can we trust them with such a lethal responsibility? Should we not instead establish a goal for all nations of no first use?
With Trump, America’s de facto stance is proliferation, not peace. We elect him at our peril.
Legislators stand up for older Bangoreans
I would like to thank Democratic Sen. Geoff Gratwick and Democratic Rep. Victoria Kornfield for their intervention that helped residents get information about renovations for their Husson Avenue apartment complex in Bangor.
For over five years, the residents have told their landlord they are not satisfied with the living conditions inside and outside their homes — drafty windows, rotting cold walls. They have waited patiently with no firm grasp of when these renovations are to take place.
Thanks to the efforts of Gratwick and Kornfield, the tenants had a meeting with the CEO of the complex owner. He told the tenants what has to happen before they can expect any changes to their homes.
Gratwick has made it clear he will keep on top of the situation. He will see that the renovations take place as soon as possible to upgrade the living conditions for the handicapped and aged in his district.