Local Debate Transcript

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Local Debate Transcript

Post by KevinNSaisi on Mon Nov 03, 2008 3:59 pm

MEET THE CANDIDATES FORUM
Bangor Savings Bank
October 29, 2008
Moderator: Joe Roberts, Chamber Pres.
Reported by: Seth Carey, Citizen

Candidates:
County Commissioner: Dave Duguay (I), John Patrick (D)
House District 92: Matt Peterson (D),Rob Cameron (R)
House District 93: Trevis Knapp (I], Sheryl Briggs (D), Bill Hine (I]
House District (Bethel): Jerrod Crockett
Judge of Probate: Note, due to state judicial canons, the candidates were not able to answer most questions Paul Dumas (D), Dana Hanley (R)
Register of Probate: Tom Windsor (R)

ďThank you to all who were able to participate in tonightís Forum. Our goal is to allow ALL Candidates to voice their stand and influence a knowledgably vote on November 4th

The following 5 questions were submitted by Ďvoting citizens of the River Valleyí:

1) Do you support the Casino Referendum? Why or why not?
Peterson- Iíve had discussions with Seth. He admits there are some things that the Legislature will change. I have been out going door to door for this campaign and I have noticed support is really picking up in the last 6 weeks.
Knapp- I would be a hypocrite if I didnít support this. I am for change. For every job at a casino, three more will be created.
Cameron: When I was in the Legislature I always supported every casino issue. We are desperate for jobs. As a selectman I didnít support it- I didnít know enough about it at the time. Now I I support it.
Duguay- I support it. A few issues I have though are some of the problems. Slots arenít great but it is the economic engine. The county will be benefit $1 million and town $2 million. Iíll be 100% behind it if the voters pass it.
Patrick- Iíve supported every gaming referendum ever before me. Maine is a gambling state. The Bangor bill was very flawed. The problems all will be taken care of in this bill. We already have the blueprint for Bangor. We always change the citizen referendums no matter what it is. We will have no issues with police, etc.- those are all just scare tactics.
Briggs- I support it in general. We need jobs. The Governor vetoed it. People should be able to vote on t. I hope it will pass and weíll work out the issues.

2) What measures did you take to support the Casino effort in the River Valley?
Patrick- We willed it in committee because it was flawed and we didnít want to have it go through as written. The commercial I did did good. It opened the minds of people. We changed one of the worst referendums with the Bangor Slots bill, and we will do the same here.
Briggs- I kept an open mind. Iíve been asked this many times. There are opportunities to fix this. We need to fix the economic problems in this area.
Hanley- I did nothing.
Hine- Seth came to the River Valley Growth Council. We decided not to take a position. We had a forum to get the public better informed.
Duguay- Iím glad this is going to the people to decide. The people are the boss of us. Iíve kept an open ear and created good dialog on this subject.
Knapp- This is the most asked question I get on the campaign trail. I say I support it to people.
Crockett- I talk direct. I talked to my constituents and educated them on what this would mean to the state.
Cameron- My only connection to this is being a selectman. At those meetings I wanted to get all he information I could for the people. You canít do anything up front- wait until it passes. Just be there to inform the people.
Windsor- Iím just a bureaucrat. Itís an ongoing process. We have to be part of it.

3) What steps are you going to take to boost economic development in the River Valley?
Knapp- We need a pro-business atmosphere. We are discouraging small business. The tax burden makes it hard for businesses to stay around. Also health care is too expensive. If we promote business we will have more tax revenues and more jobs.
Crockett- You cant change everything over night. Instead we should streamline government to make things more affordable.
Peterson- Tax reform is huge. We need to build relationships with businesses. The energy crisis is critical. We have a lot of opportunities for clean alternatives.
Duguay- I went to college. Iím a member of the RVGC. Also the hospital board and rotary club. Iím also on the Western Maine Economic Development Board- which has more of a regional approach to economic development. We need to support Oxford Airport since it is owned by the County.
Cameron- One person alone canít do it. We are spending too much money on bike trails. Roads are where the money should be going. Businesses rely on them. My #1 priority if elected is to improve infrastructure.
Hine- 9 years ago I joined the RVGC. Derouche influenced that. Over these years it has been very hard to attract business here. Thatís why I want to go to the state level.
Hanley- Through my practice I can provide representation to small business.
Briggs- Iím working with a man who wants to develop wood pellets. We need to support the Tech Center to create jobs. With health insurance that is very important. We are going forward with Dirigo. Affordable health insurance is important.
Patrick- I support the VGC- that itís as good as it can be. Two years ago we had a chance to make a change in the tax structure. I voted for every reform. Itís hard to make big changes in taxes. If we wouldíve passed reform we could have had positive change.[/size]

4) Where do you stand on the issue of School Consolidation?
Peterson- Not many people know about this subject. We need to educate our citizens on the subject.
Patrick- Iím for school consolidation. The three districts here would have been great for consolidation. We are one of the highest costing states, but itís also a large state. Passing the future legislation may cause more problems but I am in favor generally.
Briggs- I agree with John. We work with Dixfield to buy fuel together. In that way things could work out good with consolidation. The issue was rushed into and not done properly. Because we are so rural itís tough to consolidate. Buckfield is like a world away.
Hine- I will vote for repeal if elected. However well-intentioned, these top down mandates donít work. Iím in favor of an expanded school district for the River Valley.
Duguay- I agree with Mr. Hine. We shouldnít have a top-down mandate. People like local control. This program however has been put together very well. I do feel qualified to answer this. I was on the school board when we merged and people were skeptical- look how well it worked out.
Knapp- In concept it is a great idea. However, we are setting ourselves up for disaster. To force schools to do this is causing a lot of headaches.
Crockett- This was a poorly crafted bill. The people in Kingfield and Rangeley are outraged. They will pay a penalty that will go to wealthy southern Maine schools.
Cameron- I was mildly in favor of it until I went to a workshop last week. If we vote against this we will be fined $300,000. Thatís awful. Iím absolutely opposed to it. Wonít even save us money. Forcing us to do something we donít want to do.
Windsor- Itís not a problem in Oxford. We donít need to do it. In Buckfield they have to. In concept, a good idea. But as in government, doesnít always pay out.

5) Where do you stand on the Peopleís Veto?
Cameron- Iím voting yes. Dirigo is an absolute failure. Weíve spent $164 million. Only 16,000 people are insured. Was supposed to be in the 100s of thousands.
Crockett- I disagree with the beverage tax. Canít throw good money after bad. I could get insured in NH for the same price. I disagree with getting sick and being taxed for it.
Knapp- We were promised no new taxes. People are sick of taxes. We need to deregulated health care. This concept doesnít work in a state with a small number of people.
Duguay- Dirigo was supposed to be a good thing. Now itís a money pit. We are talking about adding more tax and fees.
Hine- I think a beverage tax is the wrong way.
Cheryl- We need to do whatever we can to provide health insurance. I know there are issues with it.Patrick- I voted no in the Legislature. I support it now because the affects of beer and soda.
Peterson- Itís a concept that is near and dear to me. Without health care Iíd be in deep water. I donít have a problem paying a few cents more to keep those people insured.

6) What do you think of the ďBail OutĒ and the investment firms turning around and issuing thousands of dollars in bonuses?
Peterson- Not an easy issue. Many people I have spoken with agreed that something needed to be done. Tough times economically. We need to work on these problems together. I support Congressman Michaud voting against the bailout.
Patrick- I think in the long run itís going to come out bad. People in Congress didnít do their due diligence to make sure we corrected the problems that got us into this mess.
Briggs- I support Michaudís vote. People messed up but we have to go on.
Hine- The bailout only makes sense if we are going back two years. It was a terrible idea.
Duguay- There was a lot of pork barreling in that bill. I know they spent a lot of time on it. Itís not going to help you and I. Pork should be outlawed. Bailout hasnít seemed to help the market.
Knapp- We were in a crisis. We went the wrong way. We rewarded the people who messed up. We should have given the money to the people in the form of a stimulus check to boost the economy.
Crockett- I agree with Michaud too. We need to have better oversight in the Legislature and more personal restraint.
Cameron- Michaud was right. Bailout was irresponsible. These people made bad decisions. They should stand up and pay for it. These are big national banks.
Windsor- If people sold derivative in this manner to profit form peopleís losses they should be put in jail.

7) Judge Candidates Speak
Dumas- Iíve been asked why Iím running. Iím not as young as I used to be. I have been a lawyer for 35 years but never did any community service other than pro bono work. I really want to go out doing some community service. People donít understand how many years Judge Hanley has given Oxford County. I think it is my turn to give to the County.
Hanley- Iíve run a lot of campaigns. Paul and I have run a gentlemanly campaign. In Maine the only judges that can practice law are probate judges. There is nothing better than overseeing an adoption. I almost tear up. Itís tough though seeing people in the 60s and 70s with dementia. In their later years not making good decision. It goes to the extreme of good and bad.

KevinNSaisi

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