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Selected Editorials from the Editor

Suns & Shields Christian Inspirational Writings by Rachelle Hamlin

Selected editorials from Dr. Katherine Albrecht, Ed. D.


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


Fort Fairfield Town Council Still Considering Status of Town-Sponsored “Spring Cleanup”


By:  David Deschesne

Fort Fairfield Journal, July 8, 2015


   The Fort Fairfield town council is still deliberating on whether or not to continue the recently resurrected town wide “Spring-Cleanup” project by the Fort Fairfield Public Works Department.

   “Several years ago the community stopped having this annual project because the Highway department was at that time spending up to three weeks to carry it out.  This year's event, the crew completed the project in three and a half days in part thanks to Tim Goff speaking to homeowners on what items could and couldn't be hauled off,” town manager, Jim Risner told the council during their June meeting.  “No projects were placed on hold as a result of this clean-up.  Other projects that the crews could be working on at that time of year are limited.  That would have to do with current ground conditions as well as posted roadways, so during May we're limited to such work as cleaning and removal of snow equipment, street sweeping and patching.”   

Mr. Risner told the council that this year the Public Works crews completed the removal of plows and sanders and that both of the town's street sweepers were broken down waiting for parts.  “Our patching crews have been out three times and placed about 20 tons of patching around town.  Regarding any direct costs to the town, most items were hauled to Tri-Community with no direct cost to the town.  White goods and other metals were taken to the junk pile located at the old town garage and they'll be sold as junk at a later date.  With regards to motor fuels, we tracked it at about 140 gallons of diesel at $315.00, 30 gallons of gas at a cost of about $66.00.” 

   Town councilor, Sue Levasseur continues to be an outspoken critic of the Spring Clean-up service and its cost to the taxpayers in Fort Fairfield.  “What I would have liked to have seen in the report is the wages that were paid and the rental of the trucks used, because they weren't used for town work on the roads or anything, they were used to pick up garbage.  I want it right down to the last cent, what we paid, just so citizens can see what it does cost and why if we vote on it we don't have it another year because it is too costly to the town.”

   LeVasseur reminded her fellow councilors that the Spring Cleanup was not a budgeted item.  “The cost of it was not a budgeted item. We worked on the budget for how long so that we would not have to raise our mil rate?  I just think that everybody should pay for their own discards.   We are keeping our mil rate the same and there are not many towns in this area that can say they are doing that this year, so we're very fortunate.  I think that one thing that has to be cut out is this Spring cleanup.”

   LeVasseur has noted in the past that there are already two trash haulers in Fort Fairfield whose business it is to haul off garbage and other unwanted items and that the town of Fort Fairfield's Public Works department should not be in that business.   “I don't think it's fair for the crew, either, to be working and doing that sort of thing.  I think it's kind of demeaning when you hire someone to work on the roads, to work on the machinery and then [have them] go pick up a hundred people's garbage.  I don't think that's what they're hired to do. 

   Town councilor, David McCrea made a motion to table any action on the Spring Cleanup until the August town council meeting when the council can have access to more information about the total overall costs of the service.  The motion passed unanimously.


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