New city councilors offer new hope

12 years ago

To the editor:

Well, hello there, new members of the Caribou City Council, and welcome!

The council held a public hearing and took a vote on both the Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and the city’s proposed budget for 2012, and after much debate and input from the citizens who attended the hearing, voted to table the passage of both until they had a chance to look over some of the suggestions made by those citizens. What a departure from the usual “rubber stamping,” which has been the normal procedure for years.

Kudos to our three new council members who were instrumental in making this happen. Five council members were present, and by roll call per the instruction of the mayor, four members voted in favor of tabling these items pending further discussion. The mayor, who publicly stated at the first meeting of the new year that he will exercise his right to vote at council meetings, decided to exercise his right not to vote at that particular time, which for me, spoke volumes.

The next evening, the council held another workshop to further discuss the proposed budget. Mayor Murchison made the opening statement: “We’ve joined the ranks of the likes of the state and federal governments in not being able to get our budget out at the prescribed date. The first time in 50 years.” I’m thinking that maybe if it’s the first time in 50 years, it’s about time. With all due respect, don’t you think, Mr. Mayor, that it would be better not to rush into this and take some extra time to look over some of the suggestions that may possibly help take some of the burden off the taxpayers’ backs? One councilor remarked that some of the suggestions weren’t fair. Well, recession isn’t fair, neither are wars, cancer, tornadoes, snowstorms on Easter and fat genes, but they are all a fact of life and we all have to live with unfairness in some way or another. The fact is, Caribou cannot continue on its path of increased taxes while businesses and population continue to decline.

So, again, welcome new councilors. With you comes a breath of fresh air and new hope for Caribou!

All are welcome to Citizens for Responsible City Management meetings which are held every 2nd and 4th Tuesday downstairs at the Caribou Public Library from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. Also, please check out CaribouWatch.com.

Joan Theriault
Caribou