Caribou should return to old fashioned country town

10 years ago

To the editor:
The concern I have is that our Mayor seems to be making fun of a situation that is serious! My husband and I are both on disability and every penny we have is to survive. When taxes go up it sure does affect how we eat and what bills are paid and which ones have to wait. His way of thinking that he would like to name a street after his granddaughter and label that a town, was a ridiculous statement.
We, the people of this “city,” should have a say where our money goes. A “city” of 8,000-plus people shouldn’t have so much “fat.” Things need to be cut just like we have a budget, this “city” should have a budget that is a lot thinner than it is now. We have 17 full-time police officers and eight part-time police officers and 22 public works workers and 82 paid “city” employees. All our monies are going to salaries and not to actual work that needs to be done in our “city.”
We, the people, that live on the outskirts of Caribou don’t have all the luxuries of the “city” folks. But we pay the same taxes. It is time we either change the mil rate of the people that live outside of the main “city” because we don’t get all the services such as leaf removal, sidewalks, street lighting, fire hydrants, police patrols, hot topped roads instead of liquid tar and pebbles which damage the undercarriage of our vehicles. Why should we pay the same rate as the in “city” residents? We have pot holes and our roads need more care than they are receiving now.
I don’t mind paying taxes at all but I do mind when our mil rate is 22.3 and the average mil rate for towns our size in the state of Maine is 17 so why is Caribou, a small city which I believe should actually be a town, because 8,000 people don’t need a mayor or a town manager to manage our budget. It should be a town for the people, by the people like an old fashioned country town. Have town meetings and the people decide where the monies should be spent without the frills and the fat.
Raising taxes is hurting the little guy that lives paycheck to paycheck. Living on a fixed income is very difficult and even worse when taxes our “city” is imposing are beyond our means. It’s time we take back our “Town” and use the money we collect for taxes wisely.

Monica Sprague