The Ati-thesis , Marxism


"By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[3] Friedrich Engels, in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, argues that state capitalism would be the final stage of capitalism consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state.[4]"

Quoted from Wikepedia

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Unspoken Transformations in State & Local Government

In 2015, the Boothbay selectmen decided it was time for a new comprehensive plan. To introduce this idea the planners wrote:
The Town’s current comprehensive plan was adopted in 1989 following a period of somewhat rapid development and change in the community. The Town has used the 1989 plan as the basis for its zoning for almost 25 years. The passage of time and changes in the Town and the Boothbay region have made much of the plan out-of-date and a less than useful guide in managing the future of Boothbay. Therefore the Town has prepared this update of the Comprehensive Plan to serve as a guide for the decisions the Town must make about growth, development, redevelopment, and change over the coming decade. The 2015 Plan is a complete review of the issues facing our community and addresses emerging issues as well as providing a fresh look at ongoing issue
Our family moved to East Boothbay since 1958. The number of businesses on Ocean Point Road have remained relatively the same In recent years. Several well financed institutions have since located in Boothbay.

Tiff increment financing is incorporated in the 2015 comprehensive plan. Tiff financing was voted in by a close margin in 2014. Tiff financing borrows on projected future property tax revenues of a property to finance the development of the same property. If projections fail to materialize, the expenditures must be paid for by increasing existing property taxes.
Tax increment financing (TIF)is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects in many countries, including the United States. Similar or related value capture strategies are used around the world. Through the use of TIF, municipalities typically divert future property tax revenue increases from a defined area or district toward an economic development project or public improvement project in the community. The first TIF was used in California in 1952. By 2004, all 50 American States had authorized the use of TIF. The first TIF in Canada was used in 2007. As the use of TIFs increases elsewhere, in California, where they were first conceived, in 2011 Governor Jerry Brown enacted legislation which led to elimination of California’s nearly 400 redevelopment agencies that implemented TIFs, in response to California's Fiscal 2010 Emergency Proclamation thereby stopping the diversion of property tax revenues from public funding. The RDAs are appealing this decision.TIF subsidies are not appropriated directly from a city's budget, but the city incurs loss through foregone tax revenue.
Tax Increment Financing Wikipedia

Boothbay voted for its first tiff financing project in 2016, a project to create a round about with an exit for the road leading to the Botanical Gardens and a grand entrance to the Boothbay Harbor Country Club (located in Boothbay). One of the videos promoting the project is narrated by a transportation consultant for Maine DOT. The narrator says that the coastal villages have become increasingly attractive. Since coastal villages have always been attractive, the statement implies an unspoken intended demographic which is becoming increasingly interested in coastal villages. The narrator says that problems identified by DOT needs a multi-agent/mutli-party co-operative agreement, which is exactly what is written into state law in MaineDOT’s Business Partnership Initiative, codifying the distribution of Maine transportation funds as a public-private relationship in which there is no central planning for state needs. Instead funds are distributed on a first- come, first-serve basis to the public-private relationships with the most cash in hand. Connecting the dots, a group to whom coastal villages are becoming increasingly attractive is the public-private hegemony.

An analysis of the state law for distribution of transportation funds shows that it advantages communities with private developers over communities with the most need. Any community can be portrayed as having serious problem such as the occasional pedestrian crossing the road or intersections of any type. The video does this well through its choice of narrator.

Under MaineDOT’s Business Partnership Initiative  there is no function for prioritizing the greatest needs in our state until it involves repeat distributions to the same community. Traditionally, making state-wide assessments is the role of state government. Since the seventies, government by and for the people has been incrementally replaced with government by and for public private relationships. The justification used in  The Governor’s Task Force report of 1976 for instituting government by public-private relationships was the need for capital. Period. Capital accumulation through any means continues to be the dominating factor to this day. Rhetoric in the DOT code, pertaining to other factors has little standing by virtue of fact that the funds are distributed on a first come fist serve basis and communities bringing the greatest percentage of local funds are the most likely to receive funding,
Project Selection/Eligibility MaineDOT will continuously accept project applications and eligible projects will be selected on a first come first serve basis. Additional project selection/eligibility factors
include the following:
Additional project selection/eligibility factors include the following:
  • Economic Development & Job Creation: Preference will be given to projects that increase roadway capacity and allow for job growth and facilitate economic development.
  • Safety: The improvement will impact a direct safety need such as infrastructure improvements that address an area with a high crash history or potential for hazardous conditions.
  • Customer Benefit: Preference will be given to projects based on the amount and degree of benefit that travelers will realize from the benefit. 
  •  Degree of Betterment: Projects that provide a greater infrastructure benefit than others such as increasing capacity/mobility and reducing maintenance costs will be given a higher priority. 
  • Percentage of Local Match: The greater the percentage of non-MaineDOT funding, the greater the likelihood the project will be selected. 
  • Prior BPI Awards: MaineDOT will seek to fund eligible projects in all interested municipalities prior to issuing multiple grants to the same one. (emphasis added)
The media consistently reports on projects financed by public-private relationships as if the private partners are the benefactors of the public sector. The public is encouraged to vote for a project because of the private money which can be accessed for the project- or the state money- or the federal money, as if all government money is free money, when in fact it all comes from taxpayers somewhere in the state or the nation. In this case every community in Maine, even those with greater needs than Boothbay, will be pitching in their fair share to finance the Boothbay Round About, because Boothbay is lucky enough to have Mr Coulombe putting us at the head of the line in the states first-come-with-the-highest-amount-of-money-in-hand, first-serve, transportation funds distribution process. As typical with most of our economic development laws codified since the Longley administration, it benefits the wealthiest among us. We will probably never know to what degree the deal benefits Mr Coulombe because state economic code is written as separate but interlinking parts. We will not know if or how Mr Coulombes tax accountant takes advantage of the Seed Capital Refundable Tax Credit worth up to 60% of an investment.That information is protected by tax privacy laws.

The way the system is designed is found in a nutshell in the  The Governor’s Task Force report of 1976, which paired a 100% tax exemption for all investment companies investing in Maine small businesses with a 50% tax credit, This was the era when refundable tax credits were first coming into use in the USA and the Longley board was quick to jump on the band wagon. A refundable tax credit means if no taxes are owed, the people owe the holder a cash payment. The pairing of a 100% tax exemption with a refundable tax credit is the equivalency of the taxpayers underwriting 50% of an investors investment, while all of the profit is retained by the investor. The statute for the Maine Capital Corporation, a private investment company chartered by the Maine Legislature has been repealed but the 100% tax exemption remains in place.

The Governor’s Task Force report of 1976, had only two recommendations, one being to create the Maine Capital Corporation and the other was this:

2, eliminate the requirement for a local referendum on municipal bond issues. -Governor’s Task Force for Economic Redevelopment-1976

There are a number of ways in which the second goal has been achieved in the years since but the primary means of doing so is to organize municipalities into regions and to institute a regional board in place of an elected government. The JECD is one such example. It was not voted into being by the inhabitants of the two municipalities. Instead it was decided upon by the town selectmen of both towns. Throughout my conversation with Wendy Wolf as the spokesperson for the JECD, she denied that the JECD had any authority and that it was working under the selectmen. She never mentioned that she is Chairwoman of the Boothbay Harbor Selectmen, portraying herself as a volunteer.

The worst example in the state of municipalities losing their right to a public referendum is the Kennebec Regional Development Authority chartered in 1997, (Angus King Administration) as a regional development corporation under Private and Special Law section of Maine statutes.
Sec. 1 Kennebec Regional Development Authority established; incorporation; purposes The territory, cities, towns and plantations that on the effective date of this Act comprise the so-called Kennebec Valley Economic Development District, or any combination of such cities, towns and plantations, constitute a body politic and corporate to be known as the Kennebec Regional Development Authority, referred to in this Act as the "authority," for the benefit and welfare of the inhabitants thereof and to:…. 
This is the most shocking story that I uncovered in my research. I covered it in Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of the Means of Production in the chapter titled To Be or Not to Be Sovereign.

This brings us to reason #2 for establishing a charter for the Town of Boothbay. Currently with no charter. the town selectmen define their own parameters of power. A town charter can establish those parameters



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Should Boothbay have a Town Charter?


I have been trying to determine when Boothbay ordinances governing businesses in the home were changed. Unlike state statutes, adaptations in Boothbay town ordinances do not have dates. I believe significant changes were made between 2007 and 2014. This  speculation is based on the discrepancy between the introductory paragraphs describing the governing philosophy of the ordinances, and the actual zoning ordinances, lending the impression that they were written at different historical times.

The introductory description expresses a reasonable and pro-economic approach to policy which is not consistent the governing ordinances which prohibit the growth of home occupations by limiting non-family "employees or subcontractors" to two or three. I cannot find the words stating that the ordinances are intended for home occupations having little effect on the neighbor hood.

In January 2014 I went to the town office to pick up a DBA form and learned about the restrictive ordinances governing businesses in the home. I reported my experience on this blog, and in the process recorded the language of the ordinance, as it was at that time. It is probable that the words used to identify activities done for pecuniary gain, in the privacy of one's home, "have minimal customer traffic and use no process or equipment that could alter the residential character of the property or adversely affect neighboring property owners", were removed during the May 2014 amendment process. The absence of these words in the current record is likely the result of the method used to change the town ordinances, which is to delete the language, leaving no record of what once existed.
  • This brings us to the first point in favor of creating a Town Charter. An argument for such a charter is that a charter could establish a method of revising the ordinances based on the method used for revising state statutes, which record the date of every change and strikes through deleted language so that one can see what was deleted. Accurate historical records provide future generations an understanding of what occurred and enable voters to identify the policies supported by politicians.
 In 2013, the Town of Boothbay shut down boatbuilder, David Simpson at considerable financial loss to the builder all because a couple of neighbors complained about noise. Ironically, or perhaps intentionally, Mr Simpson is pictured in the Boothbay Register working on his roof, which he was allowed to do while he was not allowed to build his boats. There is likely a similar level of noise associated with repairing a roof or mowing the lawn as there is in building a boat. It was the decision of the board of selectmen to give priority to a neighbor's complaint over Mr Simpson's livelihood. The decision didn't necessarily resolve the neighbors noise issue, but it did close down Mr Simpson's business. Mr Simpson had been building boats on his property for thirty years and should have been grandfathered in, but, as reported, there is an ordinance that says if the business is locally inactive for one year, it cancels the grandfathered status. Mr Simpson has spent one year away and so the town claimed his grandfathered status had been cancelled. I haven't read that ordinance. nor am I a lawyer. However it is general knowledge that there is a governing principal that says municipal ordinances cannot override state law. I quoted the state grandfathering law in a recent blog post. or you can read the complete statute here.

The story of the Boothbay town selectmen closing down Mr Simpson's boat building business is now a part of the internet record. Any one considering setting up a boat building enterprise in Maine will come across it. Boat building is one of a maritime village's year round occupations.

In 2015, the town started planning a new comprehensive plan for the area. Survey results produced this response:




“Non-residents were much more strongly in favor of protecting residential areas from nonresidential
development . . . .”
This defines a fundamental class conflict. Is Boothbay to be re-prioritized as a community for retirement and vacation homes, or will it be a community that welcomes and accommodates those seeking a year round residence allowing an individualistic life style- such as that of the designer craftsmen, including ship builders like Mr Simpson?

Current ordinance policies seem to be designed to limit the growth of the latter class of citizens. A contributing factor in such a direction may be Boothbay's close proximity to the taxpayer subsidized city state of MRRA. 'City state' is a shortened term I use to signify the municipality which serves as an instrument of the state- a new legal concoction invented by the Maine Legislature. As I wonder how any group can act as a legal representative of the town of Boothbay if the town is not a municipal corporation, I also wonder how a municipal corporation can be chartered by the Maine Legislature to serve as an instrument of the state. My understanding is that the reason for forming a municipal corporation is to authorize a legal entity which can represent the municipality.

A municipal corporation is a city, town, village, or 
borough that has governmental powers. 
A municipality is a city, town,village, or, in some states, a borough. A corporation is an entity capable of conducting business. Cities, towns, villages, and some boroughs are called municipal corporations because they have the power to conduct business with the private sector.
Generally, the authority to govern the affairs within a 
state rests with the state legislature, the governor, 
and the state judicial system. However, states give 
localities limited powers to govern their own areas. 
The origin of the municipal corporation varies from state to state. Municipal corporations are given the 
power to govern through either the state constitution or state statutes, or through the legislative grant of a 
charter.The Free Dictionary

A reason to form a municipality serving as an instrument of the state is so that the local community can be subsidized by state and federal tax payer dollars, all of which are invested in the municipal boundaries of the town of MRRA. If the town of MRRA is a regional development authority, so is every other town, since this attribution has no justification beyond the alleged trickle down effect. Statistics show that incomes in regions surrounding the town of MRRA are on par with the rest of the state, while incomes in the town of MRRA, a major target of Pine Tree Zone tax exemptions, soar above its neighbors. This is statistically documented in my book, Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of the Means of Production.

The term "economic development" has joined the club of other terms, such as "public benefit" and "job creation" to be used as a rubric under which all kinds of disparate activities can be collectively and uniformly classified. When considering the use of the term "economic development" it is important to distinguish if its meaning pertains to a development corporation, which can be in the form of government, public-private, or private,- or does "economic development" represent a service assisting the overall economy of a community - a good example of that being found on the website for the maritime town of Belfast, Maine

Discussion to be continued in next blog post- click Follow to keep updated,

UPDATE At the May 2014, the town voted to allow David Simpson to continue his business:

There were other questions about the zoning changes proposed by the planning board, including allowing mineral extraction from the Industrial Park district, building warehouses in the commercial district and extending structure height along Country Club Road. Article 28 also passed which changes the zoning ordinances in a residential district to allow local boat builder David Stimson to resume his business under the definitions of commercial fishing and maritime activities. Boothbay Register


UPDATE: Since writing the above, I found Boothbay ordinances from 2008, The restrictions on the number of employees to two or three is included- but does not include subcontractors. The language stating that any activity done for pecuniary gain  in the privacy of the home requires approval from the selectmen, and the language stating that the requirements apply to activities which have little effect on the neighborhood, are not found. The language states with specificity that "1.8.3.1 Home Occupations The Town should allow residents to operate small businesses and services in their homes as long as measures are taken to minimize adverse impacts on neighboring property owners from noise, traffic, parking, odors, hazardous materials, pollution, lighting and electrical or electronic interference." and "10.11.3 Home occupations shall not be permitted within a mobile home park except those conducted by occupants entirely within a mobile home with no direct customer contact within the park.". The language I came across in 2014 was written in such a way as to apply to anyone in Boothbay selling items on Ebay or creating a product to be sold in another location which is inclusive of such activities as backing a cake or knitting a hat, writing a book or an article, which would be otherwise allowed if not done for pecuniary gain, making the act of earning a living the violation but not the activity in and of itself.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

BOOTHBAY JECD Answers My Questions



Mackenzie Andersen 

Jul 5 (10 days ago)
to Wendy
Dear Ms Wolf.

The JECD is the agency claiming it has authority to develop their master plan for our communities and so I have addressed the freedom of information request to the JECD. I am requesting authorization of JECD's authority-by the registered voters of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor, as it regards any activity involved in the construction of buildings for industrial use. It is the JECD's selected consultants which is being funded on the taxpayers dime-per article in the Register.

 Our municipal governments are governed by the Maine State Constitution" which is very specific about the source of authority for the type of project which the JECD is clearly developing. Please explain why you feel this does not apply to the JECD.

Municipal Home Rule provides the rule of law for the construction of buildings, which it is reasonable to assume is teh JECD's master plan since the property owners of the two town's are being billed for consulting services of architects, landscaping, and engineering, with obviously even higher bills to follow;


Maine Constitution
Municipal Home Rule

Section 2. Construction of buildings for industrial use. For the purposes of fostering, encouraging and assisting the physical location, settlement and resettlement of industrial and manufacturing enterprises within the physical boundaries of any municipality, the registered voters of that municipality may, by majority vote, authorize the issuance of notes or bonds in the name of the municipality for the purpose of purchasing land and interests therein or constructing buildings for industrial use, to be leased or sold by the municipality to 

Since you are telling me that the selectmen decided to delegate authority to develop a master plan for our community, paid for by the community, without first receiving authorization from registered voters, I will address the freedom of information request to the board of selectmen as well. 

Mackenzie Andersen

Wendy Wolf

Jul 11 (4 days ago)
to meThomasDan
Ms. Anderson:
In order to thoroughly answer the questions you have raised regarding the JEDC, we contacted the Boothbay Harbor Town Attorney and she provided the following information: 

The JEDC was created as a result of an Economic Development Agreement between the Towns of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor (see attached Agreement). The JEDC is composed of volunteer members of the public and one member of each Town Board of Selectmen. The JEDC is tasked with making recommendations to the each Town Board of Selectmen, who then vote on whether to implement the recommendations and how. Each year for the past three Town Meetings, the Warrant has contained an article authorizing the appropriation of funds for economic development. The Board of Selectmen is then able to spend those funds on economic development projects, provided they fall within the budget and within the scope of the Board’s jurisdiction. To date, the Boothbay Harbor BOS has voted to spend economic development funds on professional services for marketing and event planning, the creation of wayfinding signs, and the development of an economic development plan. Should the economic development plan result in recommendations that would require further town meeting approval, such authorization articles would be on a future warrant.

With regard to the specific question about Article VIII, Part Second, Section 2 of the Maine Constitution, that provision permits the registered voters to authorize the issuance of notes or bonds for the purchase of purchasing land or constructing buildings for industrial use. The JEDC has not been authorized to issue bonds. In the event the committee recommends any development project that would require the issuance of bonds or additional expenditure of funds, the proposal will be put forth to the voters at Town Meeting.

Regards - Wendy Wolf, Co-Chair |Joint Economic Development Committee


Mackenzie Andersen 

Jul 11 (4 days ago)
to WendyThomasDan
Thank You.

Can you provide me with a copy of that warrant and/or the agreement- which is indicated as being attached?  Can you also identify what the economic development projects are which have been funded? 

Also, who is the Town Attorney?

Mackenzie Andersen.

Please note that my name and our business name is spelled Andersen- NOT Anderson.

www,andersendesign.biz.


Wendy Wolf

Jul 13 (2 days ago)
to meThomasDan
The documents you requested are available from both Town, and the warrants are presented in the annual reports which are readily assesible at the town office.  The JEDC activities were described below in paragraph 1 and they have been covered by news stories in the Boothbay Register.  You can use the search function in the Register on line and type in JEDC to pick up all the citations and news stories.

******************************************************************************************************************

True to form.Ms Wolf assumes I do not know how to use online searches. Apparently she does not use the search function herself or she would know what comes up at the top of the list when searching "JECD Boothbay". (Adding "Boothbay" to the search term,eliminates results from other places as there are other organizations with those initials.)

Ironicly, the entire disqus comments to the Boothbay Register article about the JECD  displays, although when I had last checked on line the comments had been deleted and closed, but the conversation continued after that on Disqus.

Conversely, If one goes to the Boothbay Register website and searchs "jecd"- This is what returns: "Your search yielded no results" Looks like collusion between local media and local power group !

Friday, July 14, 2017

The Individual Voices of Economic Development

Continuing the discussion about the JECD mission statementL

Around or about the year 2007, I read two books. One was Daniel Pink's, Free Agent Nation, which described the familiar world in which I was born and bred, the other was  The Non-Profit Economy, by Burton Weisbrod.

The edition, I read, of Weisbrod's book  was published in the eighties. At that time Burton Weisbrod described three separate sectors of the economy, public (government), private (free enterprise), and non-profit. At that time, as Weisbrod tells it, each sector was separate and complimentary, serving purposes which the other two sectors could not. Weisbrod identifies the emergent trend in which the three sectors merged, allowing for innovative creativity in the application of expenses in companies which combined profit and non-profit subsidiaries.

In Maine the three formerly separate economic sectors have been incrementally merged into one totalitarian system serving the State's "targeted sector, in which "quality jobs" are created in exchange for tax exemptions and refundable tax credits. An example of the merge of the three sectors into a single entity is the Maine Technology Institute, chartered by the Maine Legislature as a public-private non-profit corporation-and there you have it- the three sectors merged into one. 

The early version of Weisbrod's book was an excellent precursor for my later research as it describes the economic paradigm as it was before the fundamental transformation via public-private relationships. The 1980's version of Weisbrod's book was written at a time when each sector was conceived to be separate and complimentary, as it should be. We need to keep that vision in mind as we encounter a world in which we are frequently sold a bill of goods by powerful oligarchies.

Free Agent Nation describes a world in which "Americans New Independent Workers Are Transforming the Way We Live". It's subtitle says "The Future of Working For Your Self". When I first read the book, this was the world I was aware about. I have since become cognizant about what is going on at the Maine legislative and now my home town municipal government in Maine. In Daniel's Pink's vision, America was trending toward small entrepreneurship and independent lifestyles in rejection of the man in the gray flannel suit working for the corporate power grid. I fear Mr Pink's vision is lately losing the battle for equal space and time.

There is at this time a master plan under development for the Boothbay Region in Maine. The formation of the Joint Economic Development Council of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor was not decided by the public, but by the selectmen of the two towns, acting as it were, as the CEO's of two corporations, but a town without a charter cannot be a corporation, opening up a series a questions about the source of the authority involved in forming a joint economic development council for two sovereign municipalities, The explorarion of that subject is beyond the scope of this current post.

The free agent nation of today needs to articulate its own vision for economic development, if it is to continue to survive in a society which sometimes seems bent on wiping it out. This will not be in the form of a master plan for that is the tool of totalitarian systems. The vehicle of the free agent nation  is the social enterprise, individual entrepreneurs who measure their success in the terms of principals and social, personal, or spiritual values, as well as profits, the latter being the means to achieving the former. Through working together with all players of the economy, even the man in the gray flannel suit and the corporate grid complex, the economy develops through a non-local synergy flowing through all of its parts. The only master plan is in God's will, or for those who prefer a different term, the laws of nature, both classical and quantum.

A few years back I went to the town office to get a "Doing Business As Form" and I was handed a long legal document asking for every bit of personal information imaginable. I was told to fill out three copies and to bring them to the next town board meeting. The top of the form had some very legal language. When I pointed the legalese out, I was told "Don't worry about that, we only use this form because it is the only one we have". I said our property has  grandfathered zoning as a business in a home, which the young clerk at first decided not to hear. She told me she was only trying to educate me. After repeating that we are already zoned as a business in the home several times, she said that I might want to do something that isn't included in our current activities. Like what? Our activities include ceramic design, graphic design, photography, ceramic production, wholesale, retail, marketing and office work,  Did the young clerk imagine that I wanted to start a construction company in our home? I was there to pick up a simple form, not to hand it in. I left feeling quite guilty after being treated like I was under suspicion of earning a living in my own home.

In the process, I learned that there is an ordinance in Boothbay that requires anyone doing any activity in their homes for pecuniary gain, to get permission from the board. At that time the Home Occupation ordinance identified the following activities, if resullting in pecuniary gain, to require approval from the town selectmen

Home Occupation: Any activity performed for pecuniary gain in a dwelling unit, or other structure accessory to a dwelling unit, or directed from a dwelling unit by one or more residents of that dwelling unit that conforms to all requirements of this Ordinance.
Home Occupation, Homemaker/Office: Occupations including, but not limited to, computer/fax/typewriter worker, investor advice and service, tele-communicator, and dressmaker, that are conducted solely by occupants of the dwelling, have minimal customer traffic and use no process or equipment that could alter the residential character of the property or adversely affect neighboring property owners (emphasis mine)
Home Occupation, Other: All occupations, including Day Care not included in Home Occupation, Homemaker/Office.
The ordinances were amended since then. Today they say this:

(Home activities done for pecuniary gain allowed if)
 3.10.11.1.3 Any item sold is a product of the owner’s labor (e.g., manufactured, produced, created, grown, or caught);
 3.10.11.2.2 Employees There shall be no more than three employees or subcontractors other than members of the family.
 3.10.11.2.2.1 There shall not be more than two employees other than members of the family. {DEP § 17} [Shoreland Overlay Zone] 

Employees work on premises. Subcontractors do not. Either the ordinance is written by someone who does not understand the legal meaning of employee and subcontractor or the selectmen believe the town has unreasonable authority over the lives of its inhabitants. As written the ordinance maintains that an inhabitant of Boothbay, who produces or creates in their home, is prohibited by the town from employing more that three people who are not family members or engaging in a contractual agreement to have the same product produced in another location by someone else. 

I want to believe the more innocent explanation, that the inclusion of "subcontrators" is due to ignorance or poor writing, as the second interpretation is preposterous, but there is the fact that the former version of the ordinance contained the words "Any activity performed for pecuniary gain in a dwelling unit, or other structure accessory to a dwelling unit, or directed from a dwelling unit " and stipulated that it concerned activities that "have minimal customer traffic and use no process or equipment that could alter the residential character of the property or adversely affect neighboring property owners". It is as if the selectmen are specifically targeting all independent operators and are trying to enforce conformity to a standardized life style, a corporate grid, per say, the type of grid community which motivated my parents to leave Ohio in search of a location where they were free to set up a ceramic production studio



The effect of such ordinances is to put the lid on roots of the economy preventing the development of diverse opportunities and a thriving middle sector. If the current Boothbay ordinances were to apply to Andersen Design we would not be permitted to employ a size of staff we employed in the past. Our growth would be capped by the town selectmen, who have appointed themselves authority to design an economic master plan for our community. When did that become a government function? Only since the government merged into the other two sectors and engulfed all functions as its own.

Farms cannot hire more than three non-family employees and designer craftsmen, and other home based businesses. if they do diligent research will not move into the region.This is a killer for the entrepreneurial spirit.

However, the absence of a town charter does not mean there is no rule of law governing the Town of Boothbay. Pursuant to the Maine statutes, grandfathered zoning is not affected by ordinances written after the fact. The Maine Revised statutes come into play: Our grandfathered zoning status, cica 1958, still applies and today feels like an anomaly reminder of the way it once was in the golden age of America's middle class. Those were the days.



Title 30-A: MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
Part 2: MUNICIPALITIES
Subpart 4: ORDINANCE AUTHORITY AND LIMITATIONS



6. Restriction on nullification of final permit.  A municipality may not nullify or amend a municipal land use permit by a subsequent enactment, amendment or repeal of a local ordinance after a period of 45 days has passed after:
A. The permit has received its lawful final approval; and [2011, c. 63, §1 (NEW).]
B. If required, a public hearing was held on the permit. [2011, c. 63, §1 (NEW).]
For purposes of this subsection, "municipal land use permit" includes a building permit, zoning permit, subdivision approval, site plan approval, conditional use approval, special exception approval or other land use permit or approval. For the purposes of this subsection, "nullify or amend" means to nullify or amend a municipal land use permit directly or to nullify or amend any other municipal permit in a manner that effectively nullifies or amends a municipal land use permit. This subsection does not alter or invalidate any provision of a municipal ordinance that provides for the expiration or lapse of a permit or approval granted pursuant to that permit following the expiration of a certain period of time.



Thursday, July 6, 2017

Analysis & Discussion of Joint Economic Development Council of Boothbay & Boothbay Harbor (JECD) Mission Statement:

Continuing the discussion of the JECD:

This is the mission statement of the JECD:


 Boothbay-Boothbay HarborDraft #2 Mission Statement of the Joint Economic Development Committee
The mission of the Joint EDC is to promote sustainable economic development with a focus on retaining, attracting and increasing local business and quality jobs, while balancing infrastructure capacity, natural resources protection, and community and neighborhood character.

 
Other themes for continuing discussion, as possible goals or priorities to include in the EDC’s workplan or in the economic development strategy:

       Reflect a broad and holistic definition of economic development
       Strengthen both year-round and seasonal businesses
       Expand affordable housing options for young families, local employees, and seniors
       Support innovative technologies and business sectors that build on the assets of the area
       Support efforts to increase the attractiveness of the area for younger people and families
       Encourage a variety of workforce education and training opportunities for local residents
       Carry out the Committee’s work in a transparent and cooperative way
       Reflect a broad and holistic definition of economic development

This statement does not comport with my own experience. When I reached out to the JECD, to seek advice about how to go about fundraising and finding an advisory board for the proposed Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen. Wendy Wolf interpreted my request as asking for the JECD to do our fundraising and said the JEDC cannot work on behalf of individual business. The latter statement is demonstrably untrue. The JEDC arranged for the fire department to hang Christmas lights for individual businesses. JEDC will work on behalf of individual businesses if it serves its own agenda.

A request for the Boothbay Town Charter revealed that Boothbay does not have a charter. Boothbay has been a town since the 1700's. The current administrative code repealed and replaced the 1950's code in 2005, but there is no indication of the governing authorization to do so. The picture which I am getting is that the town selectmen make up the rules, without principals or parameters to govern the selectmen. I will research this further, suffice it to say, it appears that the JECD does the same, and so, if the JEDC cannot act on behalf of individual businesses, it is a self-imposed rule. Every other economic development organization I have encountered, works with individual businesses, which make up a free enterprise economy. A free enterprise economy is antithetical to a centrally controlled and planned economy.

The JDEC mission statement says that  "strengthening year round and seasonal businesses is a JEDC goal." How do they propose to do this without acting on the behalf of individual businesses? By investing taxpayer money in the Festival of Lights?

All told the 27400.00 cost for lights is shared equally by the two towns but the lights overwhelmingly benefit individual businesses located in Boothbay Harbor. The JEDC's great accomplishment, thus far, is to transfer the financing of a conventional Chamber of Commerce function, from volunteer contributions from businesses that are advantaged by the function, to mandated payment by all taxpayers in two municipalities.

Noting that the JECD Mission Statement uses the term "quality jobs", a term found throughout Maine State economic development policy since the Longley Doctrine was implemented. That doctrine was declared by the Legislature when it deemed that "centrally managing the economy is an essential government function which must be done by public private relationships".The term "quality jobs" is used by the Maine Legislature to connote tax payer subsidized jobs which pay higher than average and offer better than average benefits.

The mission statement also speaks of a "broad and holistic definition of economic development" which is a contradiction in terms to "quality jobs" which refers to jobs in the upper crust of the economym only, while equating "quality" with "monetary value" is truly not holistic It is hard to believe that anyone in Maine. let alone the JECD, which includes  some who have worked for the DECD, would use the term "quality jobs" intending a different meaning than that defined by the Maine Legislature.

While the JECD is instrumental in legitimizing central economic planning as an essential municipal service, which will drive up the costs of property taxes, it declares another facet of its mission to be " to expand affordable housing options for young families, local employees, and seniors." While affordable housing is a contingency to economic development, it is an additional layer of management, adding further costs to municipal services funded by property taxes. Once the economy is being centrally managed everything else follows on the path to totalitarianism. Affordable housing is best helped along, in this case, by keeping property taxes low by limiting the size of government.

       Support innovative technologies and business sectors that build on the assets of the area

The above statement is typical of the rhetoric found in state economic development policy- giving substance to the speculation that the JECD's "master plan" is for the Boothbay Region is be the next target of the state agenda, perhaps to be modeled on the  great success of the municipality-serving-as-an instrument-of the state, MRRA. The state and federal tax payer subsidized town of MRRA is sold in the Maine media as a great success because it is creating many jobs, seldom mentioning that it is a prime beneficiary of Pine Tree Zone tax incentives or that the state grant nearly pays for the interest on the debt of this quasi-local-state town. It is not a free enterprise system when government decides which business sectors will be supported and which will merely be assigned to be the beasts of burden. My local family business, Andersen Design, is a local asset in an industry which has never been on the priorities list of the public private hegemony that runs  the centralized economy of Maine. When one's enterprise is one of the few companies in one's own industry which did not, decades ago, move its production to global low cost labor markets, there is little in the way of network support for one's industry. Ceramic slip-casting is a mindful and engaging work process but there are only a handful of companies doing slip-casting in the USA. Andersen Design's unparalleled line of market tested designs is a great asset not only for a local economy but for potentially revitalizing ceramic slip-casting in the USA. (In that regard please support my petition to extend services offered by Maine's public charity for capitalists to include the broad economy of Maine at no tax payers expense which you can read about HERE), I have presented by own concept of Andersen Design, the production and the Museum, as economic development asset to several known members of the JECD, only to have my presentation blown off, usually with the inevitable internet link to somewhere else, and never with a sentence of engagement in response to the ideas that I have presented.

The string of generalities in the above statement is typical of political speech. What really does "innovative technologies" have to do with "assets of the area" ? What do those terms mean? And why is "business sectors" thrown into the middle of it?

When I presented JECD spokeerson Wendy Wolf with my idea for the Andersen Design Museum of American Designer Craftsmen, her response was to tell me that the JECD could not assist individual businesses, and then to  provide an internet link to a different organization. Then Ms Wolf said " I would seek the advice of your peers on how to develop your board and the support for the Design Museum." That is to say that she and I are not peers. She is in charge of developing the master economic development plan for my home town  and I a representative of a long standing free enterprise business in my home town- the first ceramic enterprise to be established in the Boothbay Region , which now fosters a mini- industry, which in economic development policy speech is called a "cluster industry" 

When I first started paying attention to Maine economic development policy, the Baldacci administration was at its beginning. Baldacci's buzz phrase was "the creative economy" . I, at first, took the phrase to mean "thinking creatively about the entire economy". In my complete nativity, I imagined that economic development policy would begin with already existent businesses and lending support to improve existing businesses. This is the way I conceive a government economic development policy because government is supposed to serve the general public and not special interests, only. 


I soon learned that "creative economy" was merely a term of class distinction, invented by Governor Baldacci's guru, Richard Florida. At that time social networking was in its infancy. The channel used was a "creative economy list-serve" distributed by the Maine government and regulated by a jury. I subscribed to the list-serve but every time an interesting conversation emerged, it was soon nixed by the jury, The news letter distributed by the creative economy list serve featured individual businesses. All of the websites of featured businesses included a declaration which attributed Richard Florida as their inspiration.


What is in MS Wolf's background which qualifies her to develop an economic development master plan for the Boothbay community? 
According to the Boothbay Register, " Wolf spent two decades practicing as a pediatric cardiologist before transiting her career to focus on health policy and philanthropy."

Health care is an honorable field but is not a qualification for developing economic development policy. 


Foundations are part of the wealth redistribution economy, For an economy to grow,it has to create wealth. In fact for any wealth to be re-distributed, it first has to be created, The free enterprise sector, in its entirety, is the "broad business sector" which creates wealth, versus the state capitalism and philanthropy sectors which redistribute wealth. An understanding of wealth redistributed practices does not equate with an understanding of how wealth is created.
See my conception of  the interactive relationship between the wealth re-distributive and wealth creation sectors as a means to rebuilding the middle sector of the economy HERE
If Ms Wolf is on the board whose mission is to create a master plan for my home town, and if her qualifications are not based in any degree of experience working in the wealth creation sector, then is it not reasonable to assume that Ms Wolf is there on the basis of her experience in the wealth re- distributive sector? Ms Wolf spent the last fifteen years as CEO of a health care foundation. Wendy Wolf has been on many boards, and yet as a member of a group which is using local tax payer money to develop their economic development master plan for our community, Ms Wolf cannot give advice about how to go about finding a board for a museum to someone whom she does not consider to be in her "peer class". Why can she not extend a helping hand in an area she knows well? Because the self imposed rules of the JECD forbid it? How then can the JECD be said to be representatives of this community? How can the JECD justify the sentence " Reflect a broad and holistic definition of economic development"? Before the JECD can reflect the "broad and holistic economy", the JECD first has to be willing to engage it !

The words of  Peggy Cosgrove come to mind:
Don't expect to be popular or thanked. Economic development is as much political change as it is economic change. It will be vigorously resisted by the standing political system even though they stand to gain economically. The shifts are perceived as threats to the old power structure, and probably are[1]
Peggy Cosgrove was speaking as a representative of the New London Development Corporation which was involved in a law suit in which a transformational Us Supreme Court ruling was made. That law suit is Kelo vs New London.The US Supreme Court decision says that if a private company promises to provide 1000 jobs or more, it can use the government's power of eminent domain to over ride the private property rights of individual citizens,

The following is quoted from the closing of the first chapter of my book, Public Private Relationships and the New Owners of tje Means of Production

The New London Development Corporation was established by the Connecticut Legislature in 1978 around the same time that the Maine Legislature chartered the Maine Development Foundation as a non-profit corporation. There exists a fundamental difference in the State Constitutions of Connecticut and Maine. The Connecticut Constitution does not have a provision forbidding the Legislature from chartering corporations for state purposes as is found in the Maine Constitution.

The report on the New London Development Corporation prepared for The American Assembly by Peggy Cosgrove ends with these words:
Don't expect to be popular or thanked. Economic development is as much political change as it is economic change. It will be vigorously resisted by the standing political system even though they stand to gain economically. The shifts are perceived as threats to the old power structure, and probably are[1]
Indeed, public private relationships formed in the interests of centrally managing the economy do represent a political change. In Maine that change has been from a state responsible to the consent of the governed as codified in the Maine State Constitution to a public corporation working in conjunction with private interests and ultimately serving the masters of global capitalism.

This story is about the fundamental transformation of the State of Maine, focusing on the years commencing in 1977 when the Maine Legislature chartered the Maine Development Foundation- a non-profit corporation, declaring as they did so that centrally managing the economy is an essential government function and thus initiating a political as well as an economic change without ever asking for the consent of the governed in a state once identified with rugged individualism.

To be continued in another blog post



[1] http://www.clairegaudiani.com/Writings/Writings%20PDFs/Economic%20Development%20PDFs/New%20London%20Development%20Corporation%20Case%20Study.pdf
To be Continued later...