Geographically, the secession territory is separated from the town of Gray. These residents have to travel through the town of Raymond to get to Gray. Raymond has provided emergency services for their area for around fifty years and the mail has been delivered through a Raymond mailing address. A serious identity crisis exists for many of these residents who do not feel connected to the town of Gray but do feel connected to Raymond.
They feel that the town of Gray’s current mil rate of 18.3 is a reflection of a municipality that favors undue spending at the expense of its residents. Many feel that the continuous increase in tax rates are out of line with the lack of services provided. On top of that, many citizens feel that some of the current municipal town councilors are their adversaries, not public servants working for the people. The disconnect with Gray, the lack of services provided, along with an ever increasing tax mil rate of 18.3 has caused residents to seek out a secession from the town and join the Town of Raymond.
The legal authority for the act of secession of a territory from a municipality is found in Article I Section 2 of the Maine State Constitution and the Maine Revised Statutes at Title 30-A, Sections 2171 & 2172. As required by law, the Secession Committee has appointed five individuals who will serve as the official representatives of the territory. These individuals are Jennifer White, David Getchell, Margo Fournier, Scott Mildrum and Debora Luce. White also serves as the spokesperson and chair for the committee.
The secession committee is creating a proposed map of the secession territory and volunteers will begin circulating a petition within the territory seeking the support of all registered voters. If 51 percent of registered voters within the territory sign the petition, it will then be presented to the Gray Town Council and a public hearing will be held on the matter. State law mandates that the secession committee must get the permission of the legislature in Augusta to proceed before a referendum vote can be held. If the legislature gives permission to move forward a bill of secession will be submitted to the legislature at the appropriate time.
This is a citizens’ initiative effort that welcomes volunteers. Visit their Facebook page, Gray Secession Committee, for updates and information.