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LD 204 Regulating Mid-coast Regional Development Authority Lacks Constitutional Authority

This is the entire Text of LD 204 . Vote to take place on March 8. If any one wants to send the letter presented below permission is granted.

An Act Regarding the Membership of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Board of Trustees
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §13083-I, sub-§2, ¶E,  as enacted by PL 2005, c. 599, §1, is amended to read:
E.  A member appointed to the board of trustees may not hold an elected office in municipal, county or state government or be an employee who serves at the pleasure of a person who holds elected office in municipal, county or state government.
This bill provides that a member appointed to the board of trustees of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority may not be an employee who serves at the pleasure of a person who holds elected office in municipal, county or state government.

Dear Honorable Kevin L. Raye,
Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jon Courtney,
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Debra D. Plowman,
Honorable Robert W. Nutting ,Speaker of the House
Majority Floor Leader: Philip A. Curtis
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Andre E. Cushing III
I am writing to you to ask you to vote no to LD 204 which prohibits those employed by those elected by the inhabitants of the municipality from being on the board of the municipal corporation known as The Mid Coast Regional Redevelopment Authority.
 LD 204 lacks constitutional authority and arguably violates the intentions of the  authors of Maine Sate constitution- which, I submit is to make municipal corporations sovereign powers.
Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine State ConstitutionCorporations shall be formed 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 forever be subject of the general laws of the state ( emphasis mine)

Article VIII. -- Part Second.
Municipal Home Rule.
     Section 1. Power of municipalities to amend their charters. The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.

The constitution is clear- The legislature has authority to charter a municipal corporation. It does not have the power to amend the charter. It is inconsistent with of the Maine State constitution to make a legislative decree within a charter for a municipal corporation that makes said corporation "an instrumentality of the state". 

The state must have the authority to charter a municipal corporation (a town) because a town does not exist until it is chartered and requires an external entity with the authority to charter the municipal corporation- but once chartered ,the constitution grants the authority to amend the charter to the inhabitants of the municipality. That authority does not belong to the legislature. 

LD 204 is inconsistent with the Maine State constitution in its entirety

Email addresses for the above recipients found HERE

Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 3:11 PM
Subject: RE: LD 204 lacks constitutional authority
 I would have to respectfully disagree.  The premise of your argument is incorrect.  The Redevelopment Authority is not a Municipal Authority as it was created by the Legislature.  When the board was created it was the intention that elected officials and those who report to them not be on the Authority.  This was designed to keep politics out of the process.  LD 204 simply clarifies the intent of that provision.
 This provision was put in to ensure a statewide interest rather than a local municipal one.  The state has made significant investments already and I can assure you that if the board is compromised there will be little interest from many other parts of the state for future investment.
 Best Regards,
 Jon Courtney
 Republican Majority Leader
Maine Senate Dist. #3
Alfred, Limington, Lyman, Sanford/Springvale & Waterboro


Ms. Anderson,
Thank you for writing to express your concerns about LD 204Input like yours is an essential part of the legislative process on all of the issues we address in Augusta, and I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and concerns at any time. 
At this point the bill is working its way through the committee process and has not yet come to the House floor.  When it does, I will keep your concerns in mind. 
In addition, I would suggest that you contact the Representative and Senator from your area.  In case you do not know the names of your legislators, I included a link so you could get their contact information:
Thank you again for writing. 
Robert W. Nutting
Speaker of the House ~ 2 State House Station ~ Augusta, ME 04333-0002 ~ (207) 287-1300 ~ Fax: (207) 287-1308 ~

From: []
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 3:53 PM
To: Jon Courtney
Subject: Re: LD 204 lacks constitutional authority

Dear Mr Courtney,
I applaud you for having the where with all to respond to this issue as you are the first politician that has. I formerly had a dialogue with my Representative Bruce McDonald and my Senator David Trahan, but once I questioned the constitutionality of the massive and entrenched structure of state capitalism that exists in this state, neither of my own representatives would engage in the conversation.
 However. I do not think you have made a convincing argument.
 The legislation that chartered MRRA defines it as a municipal corporation.-
1. Powers. The authority is a public municipal corporation and may:

The reason seems clear- because municipal corporations are an exception to the constitutional prohibition to the legislature chartering corporations through special acts of legislation. If you can offer me any other reason for the above quoted statement being in the charter for the MRRA, please do tell. I can think of no other reason since it does not function in accordance with every legal definition or court ruling that I have read in which there is always an emphasis placed on the municipal corporation as a self governing local government. The term "instrumentality of the state" is often contrasted with the municipal corporation, which is a sovereign entity in the same way that states are sovereign entities in relation to the federal government. If the legislature did not intend for the MRRA to be self governed by the inhabitants of the municipality- then why does the charter state in no uncertain terms that the MRRA is a municipal corporation?- other than the reason I have suggested?
 The interpretation of the law is in the letter of the law- not in explanations external to the law.
 The elected officials are elected by the inhabitants of the municipality. The Maine State constitution grants the inhabitants of the municipality the authority to amend the charter - The constitution does not grant this authority to the legislature, and so for the legislature to exclude those elected by the inhabitants of the municipality seems in direct defiance of our state constitution.
 MRRA is a mini-corporate state ,which is diametrically opposed to the  political philosophy in both the Maine and United States constitutions.
If the legislature keeps on creating these mini corporate states - each with the power of eminent domain to take adjacent property, then in about a decade our state and our constitution will have been fundamentally transformed into a corporate state, benefiting the favored sector and expecting everyone else to pay for it.
 The members of the legislature took an oath to uphold the Maine state constitution. That is what you are supposed to do. How can you tell me that the MRRA is not a municipal corporation when those very words are in the special act of legislation which chartered said corporation? Have you not read the legislation?
 Mackenzie Andersen

I am sorry you are not convinced.  Like any law it can be overturned if deemed unconstitutional, but I am sure this one will not.  Thank you for sharing your position.

I would suggest the bigger picture is the future commitment from the state with regards to the redevelopment of the base.  These little squabbles do not help foster future statewide interest and goodwill.  For instance there are some in my community that would be happy to turn everything over to Brunswick and have the Authority return the $8 million bond issue and the additional state investment to the state.   
 I am hopeful we can get past this and create more opportunity for the people of Maine.  
 Best Regards,
 Jon Courtney
 Republican Majority Leader
Maine Senate Dist. #3
Alfred, Limington, Lyman, Sanford/Springvale & Waterboro

Sent on March 10 around 9:25 AM By Mackenzie Andersen

Dear Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jon Courtney, 
Your premise is flawed. The authority has no money to return. Bonds are public debt. The return of the property to the town of Brunswick, would reduce the deficit. 
The Authority is a special interest group. Special Acts of legislation are special because they serve special interests as opposed to the common good. If the Authority returns the land and its associated bond to municipal control, the deficit owed by the general tax payer is reduced.
The money you say "the state" invested is also derived from funds contributed by the general tax payer but used to benefit a special interest faction. Other funds may be redistributed wealth from grants, bonds, gifts- not earned or created wealth and much of it also in the form of a tax payer deficit and/or risk. You are right about one thing no business in the private sector can wheel and deal with taxpayer dollars to offer investors a deal they can't refuse, which with the extension of the Pine Tree Zone includes 100% exception from income tax, 100% exception from corporate tax and an 80% "tax credit" on payroll tax.

I wonder why the legislature added the words "including precision manufacturing: to the language of Pine Tree Zone.? "Precision manufacturing is a special manufacturing sector already included in the category "manufacturing". This is useless legal language. Why does our legislature add useless legal language to a bill? Your job is supposed to be the construction of clear non-ambiguous legislation for the "common good" -  borrow a phrase from the preamble of Maine State Constitution. Your job is not managing the economy for the benefit of a favored faction. You are constructing legislation very poorly, even borrowing bad language from the other's states poorly written legislation as in last years inclusion of the L3C into the statute of the LLC- The language of that law actually states that a qualifying business must not intend to make an income. Even non-profit corporations make incomes! And need I mention that in the special act of legislation that chartered the MRRA, there is mention of a transfer of property which does not identify to whom the property is transferred - and then goes on to identify said property not with the clarity of latitude and longitude but with vague language that can be interpreted as "it is whatever we deem it to be at any unspecified moment in time".
The whole economy would benefit more from a fair and equitable playing field than from the manipulation of wealth by a government overlord society which has decided it is their job to pick and choose who will get a choice deal and who will be taxed to fund the favored sector.
The MRRA sounds like a modern day kings court to benefit the favored economic sector. It is like a walled community- eventually leading to a feudalistic society. Manufactures will not  locate there because they are so eager to have the government as their landlord- in fact some may think twice about that- but the overlord elite is probably offering the businesses that they favor, a deal they can't refuse with the tax payer's money. Return the money to the general economy- create an honest business environment and that will make Maine different from so many other states using the template to success designed by Pied Piper Richard Florida- Every state following said template has to continually make the deal they offer to businesses more attractive than the other states following an identical template. Create an honest business environment and then Maine offers something unique that can't be found as commonly as a Richard Florida man-made Garden of Eden. -which can never compete with the real thing. 
But clearly our legislative overlord society has no appetite for a vision of success through creating an honest fair and just business environment for all
Mackenzie Andersen
CC:Honorable Kevin L. Raye,
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Debra D. Plowman,
Honorable Robert W. Nutting ,Speaker of the House

Majority Floor Leader: Philip A. Curtis
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Andre E. Cushing III
Senator David Trahan
Representative Bruce McDonald

Go to Results Where in The Bill Died On The Floor


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