A few weeks ago, regionalization was the subject of an article in the Bangor Daily News with interplay between Bangor and Brewer management as the story.
In reality, regionalization in this area has been in play almost forever, with some working in an area but paying property taxes and spending their hard-earned money in another. It was the accepted way of life.
Expanding this principle to city and town operations is where we run into trouble. We are an independent-minded people and it is hard to change, with personal survival coming into play.
However, world competition came to Maine 20 or 30 years ago and our industries have been slowly drifting away. We have got to put personalities aside and find a way to work together.
Why? Walk into a major chain store and look at the labels on goods they’re offering – made in China, Korea, Central and South America, not in the United States. This is where our jobs have gone. That is where the money is going.
Then, drive through the Hogan Road-Stillwater Avenue area in Bangor and you get a feeling of prosperity and of a booming economy. Next, look at the towns surrounding the city, up in the County and Down East, where small businesses have closed for lack of customers who have gone to Bangor.
Are we, in the Bangor-Brewer area, aware of the importance of our surroundings?
We need regionalization or something similar to become more efficient, and therefore, real competition with the outside world.
How do we get started on the right approach? Gather information on the operating costs of all cities and towns within a radius of 50 miles of Bangor-Brewer. Have it summarized in a report, make it available to everyone, and go from there.
Arthur Tilley Sr.