October 27, 2017

On the ballot: the questions both state and local by Lorraine Glowczak

Sometimes voting day can be overwhelming and confusing. Making decisions that matter can be difficult due to complicated initiatives and bond issues. With this year’s election just around the corner, taking place on Tuesday, November 7, the following is a synopsis of this year’s state and local ballot issues; as well as the names of individuals who are running for local offices. The intention is to calm voting day jitters and increase understanding with the following prepared voting information:

 Town of Raymond

The Raymond municipal ballot has one vote for consideration. Louise Douglas is running uncontested for the Office of Portland Water District Board of Trustees which is a five-year term.

Voting will take place at the Jordan Small Middle School, 423 Webbs Mills Road from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Town of Windham

The Windham municipal ballot will include the election of town council members, School Board Director, Town Clerk and Portland Water District Trustee.

The town council has two contested seats. Clayton W. Haskell, Bretta A. Jones and David M. Lydon are campaigning for the at-large seat. Rebecca Cummings and David Nadeau are both running for the east district seat. Both town council seats are three-year terms.

The Windham ballot also includes a vote for School Board Director, of which Kathryn L. Brix and Pete Heanssler are competing for the position. This position will be held for a three-year term.

Linda S. Morrill is running unchallenged for the town clerk position which is a two-year term.

Louise G. Douglas is also running uncontested for the position of Portland Water District Trustee. This is a five-year term.

Windham voters will also vote yes or no on a referendum question, asking for an amount not to exceed a $9.3 million bond to replace the Public Works and School Transportation and Maintenance Facility located on Windham Center Road. The town council recommends a yes vote.
Voting will take place the Windham High School Auxiliary Gym, 406 Gray Road. Voting polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.
State of Maine

The State of Maine ballot includes two citizen initiatives, one bond issue and one constitutional amendment. The following is an excerpt from the non-partisan Easy-To-Read Voters Guide compiled by the League of Women Voters of Maine:

http://www.downeastsharpening.com/Ballot question one is the first citizen initiative and is an act to allow slot machines or a casino in York County with a portion of the proceeds to benefit certain state programs. The specific ballot question is, “Do you want to allow a certain company to operate table games and/or slot machines in York County, subject to state and local approval, with part of the profits going to the specific programs described in the initiative?”

Ballot question two is the second citizen initiative which is an act to enhance access to affordable health care. This initiative means that the law would expand Medicaid services for low-income adults and most of the costs will be paid by the federal government. The specific ballot question is, “Do you want Maine to expand Medicaid to provide healthcare coverage for qualified adults under age 65 with incomes at or below 138% of the federal poverty level, which in 2017 means $16,643 for a single person and $22,412 for a family of two?”

Ballot question three is a bond issue. It is an act to authorize a general fund bond issue to improve highways, bridges and multimodal facilities and upgrade municipal culverts. This question means the state would borrow money to pay for construction of transportation projects. More money would come from the federal government and other sources. The specific question is, “Do you favor a $105,000,000 bond issue for construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways and bridges and for facilities or equipment related to ports, harbors, marine transportation, freight and passenger railroads, aviation, transit and bicycle and pedestrian trails, to be used to match an estimated $137,000,000 in federal and other funds, and for the upgrade of municipal culverts at stream crossings?”

Ballot question four is a constitutional amendment that would make changes to the state pension system. This would allow investment losses to be spread out over a longer period. The specific ballot questions is, “Do you favor amending the Constitution of Maine to reduce volatility in state pension funding requirements caused by the financial markets by increasing the length of time over which experience losses are amortized from 10 years to 20 years, in line with pension industry standards?”

For more information on citizen initiatives, bonds and constitutional amendments as well as the arguments for and against the four state issues, please refer to the non-partisan Easy-To-Read Voter Guide compiled by the League of Women Voters of Maine at www.lwvme.org/guide.

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