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Archive for February 2011

Weekly Review: “Can’t you find the budget cuts elsewhere?”

By Glenn E. Aho

Auburn City Manager

“Can’t you find the budget cuts elsewhere?” That’s a question I hear in response to any budget cuts the city has made in effort to reduce the property tax burden.

The problem is that no matter what is cut—or is proposed to be cut—the same question is asked. No one wants their service cut: they just want to cut the other person’s service. But to reduce the size of local government, we need to change one service at a time until it’s affordable.

There are three ways to reduce the size of government: Reduce convenience, such as reducing city hours or programs—like Christmas tree pickup; increase risk, such as reducing street lights; or manage government resources better. The City of Auburn has focused upon all three. But most of its efforts have been to manage its resources better because no one likes to see governmental inefficiencies, even during the best of times.

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LETTER: Early intervention needed for English Language Learners

To the Editor:

In Lewiston’s Longley School, nearly two-thirds of the students don’t speak English. Still, and although it will be difficult, we have a responsibility to provide them with a public K-to-12 education. To do this, we must teach them spoken English.

However, the way we have chosen is puzzling: we meld them into classrooms with native, English-speaking children. When we attempt to teach classroom lessons, we must at the same time teach English to the non-native speakers and require them to simultaneously learn both the language and their lessons.

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LETTER: Vietnam vets object to Vietnam Veterans Day

To the Editor:

On Monday, January 31, the following letter was delivered by Rep. Mike Lajoie (D-Lewiston) to the State and Local Government Committee in Augusta with a request that it be read into the public record.

Subject: Adoption of a Vietnam Veteran’s Day

Dear Committee Members,

It is with deep heartfelt thanks we applaud State Representative Cheryl Briggs for her attempt to right the disgraceful treatment perpetrated on returning Vietnam veterans 40-plus years ago.

In our country’s 235-year history, only one war was lost. Though the intentions of this bill are appreciated, its passage for many will reopen old wounds, reminding us that our sacrifices went for naught.

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