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The Roberts Trap is Sprung

By:  Bill Dunne
One of the most overlooked aspects of the year just ended is the vindication of Chief Justice John Roberts -- a vindication that showed up as the national catastrophe known as ObamaCare got rolling.  Roberts may have also doomed Hillary Clinton's chance to live in the White House again... click here to read whole editorial


Group Forms Committee to

Secede from the City of Caribou


July 15, 2014

GRIMES MILL After 10 or more frustrating and unsuccessful years of citizens attempting to control the rapidly escalating property taxes in Caribou, Maine, a group of 20 individuals have formed an exploratory committee to study the feasibility of forming a new town government in the rural sections of the city of Caribou by seceding from the city. The legal authority for the act of secession of a territory from a municipality is found in Article I Section 2 of the Maine State Constitution and the Maine Revised Statutes at Title 30-A, Sections 2171 & 2172.

   As required by law the Secession Committee has appointed 5 individuals who will serve as the official representatives of the territory until new municipal officers can be elected.

The representatives have been identified as Maynard St. Peter, Doug Morrell, Milo Haney, Freeman Cote and Paul Camping, all from Caribou. Camping also serves as the spokesman for the Committee and Monday night he appeared before the Caribou City Council to formally announce the secession effort.

   The new town will be named Lyndon, just as it was 1859 when Caribou was just a village in the town of Lyndon. Then, in 1869 Lyndon grew in size when residents of the nearby Plantations of Eaton, Forestville and Sheridan petitioned the State Legislature to allow their settlements to be annexed to the town of Lyndon. Finally, in 1877, the name of the town of Lyndon was changed to Caribou. After 145 years, much of the rural land in the secession territory remains unchanged. Farms and woodlots dot the landscape. Original lot lines still exist and a good deal of the land is owned by descendants of the very first settlers. The Secession Committee is attempting to reverse the 1869 annexation to regain the rural town character and lower taxes of the original town of Lyndon.

   The Secession Committee has also delineated the boundaries of the secession territory and created a proposed map. The new town of Lyndon is expected to be about 80 per cent of present day Caribou’s rural land mass. The territory excludes everything in the city’s Urban Compact Zone.

   “Last year in December, when it became abundantly clear that the city council was going to raise our property taxes, yet again, we formed an Exploratory Committee to study the issue of excessive taxation here in our once prosperous city. Many citizens have tried in vain to persuade this Council, and previous Councils, that the size and cost of city government is too great; and that increasing taxes year after year is substantially contributing to our local economic recession and a reduction in our population. Instead of giving our children and senior citizens a reason to stay, their policy on taxation has given them ample reason to leave,” said Paul R. Camping, committee spokesman.

  “It’s no secret that the city faces many challenges. With the closing of Loring Air Force base 20 years ago, the glory days of Caribou are now gone and may never return. We believe that the economic health and vitality of Caribou is in serious jeopardy. The warning signs are everywhere but the city council refuses to read them. Predictably, their only response to the problems we face is to raise our taxes.”

   “The city council's failure to recognize the harmful effects of higher taxes is reprehensible. they have turned their backs on the poor, the economically less fortunate, the unemployed, the disabled and the elderly; while they have catered to every special interest group in the city; from the Chamber of Commerce to the Snowmobile Club, to general aviation interests. And while we’re at it, let’s not forget the city employees and their unions! On average, nearly 70% of the Expense Budget is spent on employee compensation. Salary and benefits for city workers are far better than most taxpayers can ever hope to achieve for themselves, yet the concept of taxpayer fairness is impossible for our council members to grasp. The mere existence of the $600,000.00 unfunded liability, which is owed to current employees for unused sick and vacation time, is proof of their recklessness with our tax dollars.”

   A task force of volunteer residents from the secession territory will begin circulating a petition within the territory seeking the support of all 2063 registered voters. If more than 50 percent sign the petition, it will then be presented to the City Council with a demand to hold a public hearing on the matter.

   Article 1 of the Maine Constitution is the formal declaration of the people’s rights as citizens of this state. Section 2 reads as follows:


All Power inherent in people. Power is inherent in the people; all free governments are founded in their authority and instituted for their benefit; they have therefore an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government, and to alter, reform, or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it.


   “State law mandates that the Secession Committee must get the permission of the Legislature in Augusta to proceed before a referendum vote can be held. If the Legislature gives us permission to move forward we will be submitting a Bill of Secession and Incorporation to the Legislature at the appropriate time.”

   Camping says early indications are that the Committee has received strong support from the affected residents, many of whom did not know that secession was even possible. Details are still being worked out but it appears that the property tax mil rate for the new town of Lyndon could be as much as 28% lower than Caribou’s new mil rate of 22.3. The combined savings for all Lyndon taxpayers could easily exceed $900,000 annually.  The reason for such a drastic reduction in property taxes is directly attributable to a smaller, more efficient town government providing only basic, essential services and making extensive use of shared services and contractors to provide them.

   News about the committee’s progress will be posted on their Facebook Community Page at Caribou Secession Committee and updated weekly.







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