NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by xmashen on Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:23 pm

well, i sorta know how the dance goes. lift arms out, pull them back, then over and clap on each side.... then ... fall down? (I missed the last class).

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Dave on Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:50 pm

YES - you got it! more here

Not to be confused with this. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8NhJNpQlsY

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by xmashen on Tue Nov 25, 2008 9:52 pm

ok, i will admit i am sucker for b-52's

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Tue Nov 25, 2008 10:25 pm

KevinNSaisi wrote:Losing wood-fiber jobs and replacing them with call center jobs would not be an effective decision. Economic Development looks different when you are in survival mode as opposed to growth mode.

This is the most important point I get out of Kevin's post and I agree wholeheartedly. Part of Diane Ray's work with the Growth Council was to assess the work force...no one really seemed to understand this last year when she talked about it but it is essential. It's nice to say we want a casino or we want a call center...are we matching existing skills to new jobs? Are we replacing higher wages with a lower end pay scale?

I have to say that I think the only thing that will make area people grasp economic development may be having to struggle and suffer through it.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:17 pm

Dave wrote:Kevin - think about basic Algebra. The key to solving an algebraic problem is resolving variables.
This isn't algebra, this is economics. In disaster planning we run drills and have general plans based upon established procedures (if this, then that). In Rumford, we havn't thought out those procedures.

There are too many variables in the situation now.
Like What?

Much as I admire your Boy Scout ideals, it's too early to chart an alternative course without additional information.
That sounds condesending to me.

Thanks for caring about the community. I truly do appreciate it. And I do try to live by the 6 P's. (proper planning prevents piss poor performance) But the scope of planning is still too broad, in my humble opinion.

Well, I expressed my opinion and was told I was wrong. You are entitled to your opinion, but please don't negate my right to my opinion. I stand by my position that we should be looking at the situation now, not in January when New Page (probably) announces that the 250 jobs are gone for good.

Regards.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Dave on Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:23 pm

Kevin - I wasn't attempting to be condescending.

I just disagree with you regarding the importance of "planning" for a disaster at this stage.

Guess we have to agree to disagree, ok?

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Tue Nov 25, 2008 11:52 pm

Thank You. Smile Have a good night.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:05 am

I'm watching this whole discussion and I appreciate it greatly. I see three primary perspectives - some common threads and very different approaches.

Please don't be offended by my analysis - just trying to make sense of the discussion...feel free to amend if you think I've misrepresented your view.

It is natural for people to come at things from their own personal strengths. Phil has said over and over that his is sales and persistence. Kevin has a focus on emergency preparedness. Dave, well I don't know Dave but he seems to have a more laissez-faire attitude.

My thought is that each of these perspectives is important to an extremely challenging situation.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Nov 26, 2008 8:27 am

Dave,
What are the factors that are so great that they preclude us from looking at this?

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:13 am

Dave wrote: Regardless of what happens, Rumford doesn't have a lot of actions to do, except to cut services should tax revenues decline.

Beyond that, it would be to beg to the state and federal government for a bailout.

My point, Kevin, is that it's too early for a plan. Too many scenarios are possible. And nothing is going to happen quickly, no matter what you have on a piece of paper.

Let's hope the fellows get back to work in early January and stay there so this discussion is moot.

I think Dave answers some of your question, if briefly. He is talking in terms of mill closure and that we can't know when or if that will happen.

I think a good question might be where does economic development wants to steer itself. The black and white choices of "life with mill" or "life without mill" are out of our control. I still do and always have thought that speculation and contingency planning around mill closure has potential to create far more problems that it might solve. It might not boost our local economy if people are talking and worrying about it constantly. It may cause people to look into leaving the area, etc., etc. If Rumford is truly for her people, how does this serve the citizens that are here today?

Sustainable planning has to consider human resources, natural resources and financial resources...it can't leave one aspect out, and I think the tendency is to ignore human need other than at the very basic level of survival (food, shelter and clothing).

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Wed Nov 26, 2008 10:41 am

Another thing not to lose sight of is that layoffs, etc. are happening everywhere. I have a friend who is a manager/engineer at Fairchild Semi-Conductor who just got laid off along with 60 other people in his building. There was no planning ahead for this type of economy other than his own personal planning, such as personal finances and keeping his resume out there. Answering phones in a call center or working as a waiter at 99's, although I'm sure he will do whatever it takes to provide for his family, won't put his boys through college.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by C on Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:03 am

I think everyone "looks at this" on a daily basis. I don't think any of the mill employees feel secure in their job. Doing studies, accruing data and numbers doesn't change things does it? We know that the mill closure would have a domino effect- from the workers themselves, to the outside contractors, to the truckers, the loggers and the local businesses. There is nothing we can do as far as stabilizing the mill. We have to look elsewhere which means not factoring in the mill, working aside from it. It's here and running now and may be for the next 10 years. Everything we do in the meantime as far as drawing in new industry will make us more prosperous and offer employment alternatives should the mill not make it. All I'm saying is we shouldn't make the mill a basis or factor for any plans or actions.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Nov 26, 2008 11:12 am

Just ignore the 800 lb gorilla, good choice Rolling Eyes

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by C on Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:53 pm

Can you talk to the gorilla? Maybe. Is the gorilla going to make
decisions based on our opinions? No. Can you change the behavior of the
gorilla? No. This particular gorilla only answers to money. If this gorilla
isn't making the money it needs to satisfy it's shareholders and earn
profits- the gorilla will cease operations here. What we do and say
will have no bearing on any decision New Page makes.

I suppose if we offered them exemption from paying property taxes that
might be a bargaining chip but I suspect that amount of money is a drop
in the bucket compared to their other expenses. That also might be an
option to draw other industry. Make them exempt from property taxes
until they are showing a certain percentage of profits....

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Wed Nov 26, 2008 3:03 pm

[note to self: don't use common metaphores with people who aren't familiar with them] duh

The gorilla in this case is the problem, not the mill. We are facing some major economic problems in the next ten years. We will be losing 3 million dollars in revenue from the mill due to actions by the state (eliminating tax on equipment). This may, or may not be complicated by a series of shut downs or a closure. We may not know what the future holds, but we can assess our situation with the available data, make projections, and develop a plan on how to best handle the situation. At present, our town is being operated from meeting-to-meeting with no strategic plan.

Now for the comparison (not a metaphore) grin

President Elect Obama takes office in January. As with any president-elect, he is assembling his cabinet and key advisors. Because of the situation, he is working daily to assess the situation and develop a long term plan. A month ago, he probably didn't know that the automobile industry would be needing assistance. He may not have known that Citigroup would require a bailout, but he didn't sit on his hands and say "I'll wait until January". He and his staff are developing startegies as we speak. Will some of them need to be changed? Certainly, because we don't know what industry GWB's economic policy will threaten next. Mr. Obama's advisors are likely assessing the status of all industries to attempt to stay ahead of the game.

Our town has the authority to act. They have no greater insight into the future fo the paper industry than Mr. Obama has in global industries. The problems exist, and Mr. Obama is working on the solution, our town leaders are not.

The question arises: "Why would someone be advocating "doing nothing" in the face of a financial crisis?"
Well, some people may be apathetic, others may feel they don't have the background/education to address the issue. Others may be attempting to keep the town from being prepared because they see the value of this community without the mill, and are hoping to scoop up a bunch of property at low cost as a long term investment. Still others may work for the mill and be toting the line by making sure Rumford remains reliant upon the paper industry. I would be curious as to what the real reasons are for the naysayers. Of course, some will never tell, so we will never know.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by C on Wed Nov 26, 2008 6:26 pm

Who is advocating doing nothing? I simply think we can't plan on the mill. It may stay open for years, it may fold next week. Revolving the plans around the mill doesn't make sense to me, our economic needs are the same regardless of the status of the paper industry. We are reliant on one major industry and that needs to change.

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What to do when the mill closes...

Post by Mark_Henry on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:06 am

I can't recall (accurately at least) just how many times I've participated in discussions on this topic. Last year, right around this time, Phil Blampied started a thread like this, and even put together a site to host the discussion (http://www.freewebs.com/rumfordcitizens/index.htm) and we couldn't get anyone's attention for more than a minute or two. Seems that it's easier to remind everyone that this discussion has been going on for years (I remember talks like this when I was in high school back in the early 80's and my dad worked in the mill) than it is to actually think about it as any kind of pending reality.

Many of you know that I just moved back to the area last December. We came up from Concord, North Carolina just down the road from Lowe's Motor Speedway. Concord's sister city, Kannapolis, is located just across I-85 - much like Rumford/Mexico only with populations around 60k each. When the Cannon Textile mill in Kannapolis closed it devastated the region. The plant had been around for over a hundred years and the local economy was firmly rooted and based on the jobs and cash flow it created. In the short term, 12k people lost their jobs immediately, thousands more were laid off over the next several months as support businesses (machine shops, electricians, contract laborers) were closed or moved. Within 6 months almost every business within a 4 mile radius of the mill closed. Housing prices plummeted - homes that were valued for $120k one day were on the market for $50k the next.

Today the town is considered an up-and-coming location in North Carolina. A huge influx of State, Federal, and private funding has located a biomedical research facility there. This has brought in higher paying jobs, high-end retailers, and older mill row houses are being torn down for modern housing. Yes, it has taken several years, but it looks like the area has bounced back.

This, however, was not an accident. It was accomplished because the town council paid attention to the marketplace, they spoke with the mill's management team, and they planned for any and every eventuality. Even when everyone said the mill would never close, the town fathers still worked day and night to recruit support for their town within state government. They used the money raised from the mill's taxes to market their location, they wrote letters, brought people in for a walk-around, and sold the benefits of their town to everyone that would listen. Even when they didn't need to. Yes, they were criticized for wasting money. Yes, they were told they were nuts and that no one would ever bring another big business to their small mill town. Yes, they questioned if their actions were wise. And yes, when the mill closed - suddenly and without warning - their town was already known as a location that welcomed new business, that worked with state planners and developers. It was a location that was comfortable and familiar to people from far away - people who would one day put more than $5 BILLION DOLLARS of investment capital into a biomedical research facility.

If you're seriously concerned for the future welfare of our area then I strongly urge you to attend the next meeting of the Rumford Economic Development Committee. It doesn't matter where you live (I live in Roxbury, and they welcomed me), or how much time you can offer, just come to the meeting and listen to what's going on. Provide what suggestions or support you can (or you're comfortable with). This really is a no-pressure group. No idea is too outlandish, and no question is ever considered stupid.

Regards,

Mark Henry

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:18 am

I was told yesterday that Mexico has a contingency plan.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Mark_Henry on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:27 am

KevinNSaisi wrote:I was told yesterday that Mexico has a contingency plan.

And..... ? Any chance they could share that with the rest of the region? Or maybe solicit input from the other towns that would also be affected? Or are they just well enough off to stand on their own?

Mark H

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:29 am

Thank you Mark for your perspective. A well-written, hospitable post.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:38 am

Mark_Henry wrote:
KevinNSaisi wrote:I was told yesterday that Mexico has a contingency plan.

And..... ? Any chance they could share that with the rest of the region? Or maybe solicit input from the other towns that would also be affected? Or are they just well enough off to stand on their own?

Mark H

I don't know... I just found out about it yesterday.

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:42 am

Mark, in your post you say the town council actively worked to market their town. In your opinion, is it advisable for our board to focus strictly on paring down budget? I see DiConzo wanting to join the Med-Care board...someone said it's probably to renegotiate the inter-local agreement. Are we wise to have two of five board members working on the same project that has more to do with budget paring than development?

Are there any members of the board on the economic development committee or do they attend meetings?

Finally, do we have the right people in place in our town government to make these things happen? If not, is there another way to successfully market the town as you describe? My own view on the answer to this last question is what makes me feel somewhat less than optimistic. We have two fairly volatile board members...how do they represent us well in the marketing department?

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:49 am

My view comes from the dogged, publically persistent focus on what's wrong with Rumford from some of the board members. You can't just give lip service to saying what a great place this is and talk about apple pie and America, meanwhile continuing to beat up the townspeople, both publically and behind the scenes. I would love this board so much better if I could hear and SEE anything positive coming from it.

If they are doing something positive, they surely don't market themselves very well...isn't that critical to making Rumford more attractive?

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by Timeout on Thu Nov 27, 2008 11:52 am

The main reason we flounder here, in my opinion, is because we don't have well-defined, respected leadership. Period. The board and town manager need look no further than themselves to wonder why we have blogs to allow for public opinion. For instance, they beat up Eileen Adams and the Sun Journal to the point where it may be next to impossible to get good publicity, DiConzo in particular. They had better start marketing themselves.

It is classic to see this type of scrambling when there is no well-defined leadership. They cannot blame the blogs for discrediting them, they do it to themselves. Let's see if they achieve anything more than token gains this year...if they do I'll throw them a party! Picture DiConzo and Dean Milligan on the same board...oh yeah, that'll be productive...lol...bring the fire extinguishers...'cause it will be hot and it will be personal.


Last edited by Timeout on Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:22 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : just kept thinking of one more thing...off to dinner now!)

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

Post by KevinNSaisi on Thu Nov 27, 2008 12:49 pm

Timeout,
I agree that there is a lack of leadership on the board. The problems of the past are not the fault of any one party or group. It was a case of everyone reacting to everyone else's negative behavior. Just for clarification, Mr. Milligan is not a board member, he is an employee. While he probably attends the meetings, just as does our town manager, he is not on par in the organizational structure. Based upon a couple of previous incidents, I can understand your concern over Mr. DiConzo being on the board, but pre-judging him is unfair. I understand that he interacted better when he was on the school board. If there is any place where money is protected by a good ol' boy's club, it is SAD #43 (right Mark H.?).

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Re: NewPage To Curtail Output Of Lightweight Coated Groundwood

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