September 19, 2019

Millinocket’s potential

Reference to the article, “Millinocket still divided on MAGIC” (BDN, Jan. 8), struggle in Millinocket is not new, but is apparently again news.

The noisiest factions emerging are only teams choosing up sides at recess and the real discussion is yet to come. In the regional approach, the managers of Medway, East Millinocket and Millinocket will hire people on a contract basis to help with economic development, including MAGIC, a small, effective organization bearing too much economic development burden and often misinterpreted by its detractors as a job bank.

I find it hard to trust any council member’s input on economic development who voted for spending $1.4 million to rebuild a pool when we have a pond right here in town that would cost much less to clean and maintain. Bruce McLean voted against the pool for that very reason.

I can’t support councilors who want an industrial park built when a good part of the commercial buildings in Millinocket lie empty and unrestored. I can’t support councilors who don’t think an area’s culture is an important investment for future growth.

Citizens’ groups stepping up to help are democracy in action, and I hope we will all be working toward some of the same goals in the future, goals like accountability of funds and frugal spending, restoration of the facilities we already have and recognition of our cultural assets.

Once a one-industry area, we must now struggle to come to grips with the real world where diversification is the key to survival where we may be required to listen to voices from outside the area that have more experience with the global economy and the revitalization of communities.

This is a tough and determined population with obvious resource assets. You may see our struggles now, but what we build together will amaze you.

Marsha Donahue


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