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Can a Municipal Corporation be an Instrumentality of the State?

 This is a letter sent to numerous local newspapers.

Dear Editor,

I am writing to make a public suggestion that when proposed bonds are on the election ballot, that information be included about the current liabilities the taxpayer owes. Also I hope that those who vote in favor of such allocations of the taxpayer’s money will take care to carefully inform themselves about what they are really getting.

A bond was passed last summer that allowed 8 million for redevelopment of the Brunswick Naval Air Station to become “Maine’s Innovative Center” a high tech training facility. Leveraging $32,500,000 in federal funds.

I am sure those in proximity to the facility looked upon this as something that would raise the property value in the surrounding area.

However that fantasy was dashed by the legislation that chartered the Maine center For Innovation Corporation and when the management published a press release purportedly to announce their incredibly original name, but additionally announcing that the new “Innovative Center” included in its bylaws the “ the power of eminent domain – the ability to acquire property from abutters.” But not to worry because press release also says the Maine Center of Innovation does not foresee using the right.

Does the management of Maine’s New Innovative center foresee the effect such an announcement is likely to have on abutting real estate values- quite possibly reducing potential buyers of abutting property to one- and that of course is The Maine Innovative Center?

This is just yet another example of the usurpation and abuses of power that is going on under the name of a government managed economy. In order to get around the constitutional prohibition against legislative chartered corporations the legislature is calling the Maine Center for Innovation a "municiple corporation" that is the instrumentality of the state". This is the height of creativity and innovation from our legislature as used to get around  Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution says:
Corporations shall be formd under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained, and, however formed , they shall feorever be subject of the general laws of the state 

if the Maine Center for Innovation is “an instrumentality of the state”, then can it also be “used for municipal purposes”? Doesn’t “instrumentality of the state” imply that it is used for the purposes of the state ? - Even the name - The Maine Center for Innovation, implies that it is not a municipal corporation but a state corporation.  I would think that a corporation that was used for municipal purposes would be something along the lines a corporation formed to perform public services related and restricted to the municipality. The municipalities are supposed to have sovereignty but where is such sovereignty when the municipal corporation is an “instrumentality of the state?

So the next time you are at the polls- think twice- those bonds may not be what you are bargaining for- especially if you are next door to a muncipal corporation that is the instrumentality of the state, for which the legislature, in chartering said corporation, grants it the right of eminent domain.

Sincerely,

Mackenzie Andersen, East Boothbay, Maine


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