2015-08-21 / Letters

Representative let constituents down

To the editor:

One of the things I value most about Maine is the fact that its citizens value natural areas and understand how important conservation lands are to our quality of life and economy. The Land for Maine’s Future is Maine’s most successful land conservation program, helping to set aside farms, trails, mountains, forests, water access, wildlife habitat and working waterfronts.

As most readers know, Gov. Paul LePage refused to release more than $10 million in voter-approved funding for Land for Maine’s Future projects this legislative session, in an attempt to force changes in separate forest management policies. This was a misuse of power by the governor. Thankfully, a bill, LD 1378, was proposed to address this power grab. If passed, LD 1378 would have ensured that voter-approved bonds could not be used by any governor for political leverage. LD 1378 would have ensured good governance and that the will of Maine voters is honored. Unfortunately, the bill fell five votes short of passage in the Maine House of Representatives. Now, more than $10 million in Land for Maine’s Future funding has been lost.

How disappointed I was to learn that my own state representative, Kevin Battle (R-South Portland) voted against LD 1378. As a representative of South Portland, Rep. Battle certainly would have known that 70 percent of South Portland voters supported the last Land for Maine’s Future bond in 2012. Rep. Battle let his constituents down, and as a result, some opportunities for conservation have been lost forever.

Bethany Woodworth South Portland

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