Democracy lost

To the Editor:

We all are falling short of our civic duty, yours truly included. We do not vote on the local issues which greatly impact our lives and our wallets.

Case in point: The Mount Desert Island Regional School System recently held a vote on the school system’s budget, which was approved by a vote of 40-9. Any registered voter from the eight towns that comprise the district could have participated in that vote.

Only 49 people voted out of 10,218 registered voters. That equates to a turnout of .48 percent – dismal.

Now consider that 33 of the 49 people who voted for this budget are either members of the MDIRSS board or are administrators in the MDIRSS. Not good.

The MDIRSS budget has just raised the school portion of our property taxes by 12.73 percent. In the town of Mount Desert, the school portion of our property taxes is 40.1 percent. That means our total property tax bill just went up by 3.15 percent. And we’ll probably add to that in May when we vote on the town’s portion of our tax bill. Ouch.

I would like to vote on the school budget, but I’m always out of town when they hold their meeting. The MDIRSS superintendent must find a way to increase voter participation. I suggest a mail-in ballot so the snowbirds and others not in town at the time can have their voices heard.


Tom Walker

Mount Desert

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