Skip to main content

Why All Towns in Maine Need a Town Charter NOW!

"oppressant" by Pierre Metivier is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0 

RE: Commentary on Ordinances,

According to Maine law. the only power that the inhabitants of a municipality are granted pursuant to the development of the municipality is that "they shall have a voice", which means public hearings or that one can submit comments to the municipality; but it stops there, as you shall learn by reading on.

In the course of exploring the statutes and ordinances, I came across a section which said written comments would become part of the record. This is a slightly expanded upon version of what I submitted for the record:

Inhabitants of the Municipality given a voice but excluded from power 

Title 30-A:Part 2:Subpart 6-AChapter 187 §4324 of the Maine Revised Statutes2. Planning committee. 
 If a municipality or multimunicipal region chooses to prepare a growth management program, the municipal officers of a municipality or combination of municipalities shall designate and establish a planning committee, which may include one or more municipal officials.
B. The planning committee may develop and maintain a comprehensive plan and may develop any portion of an implementation program”. (emphasis mine)
Subpart 6, Part B: 1
In performing these duties, the planning committee shall:  
(1) Hold public hearings and use other methods to solicit and strongly encourage citizen input  
3. Citizen participation.  In order to encourage citizen participation in the development of a growth management program, municipalities or multimunicipal regions may adopt growth management programs only after soliciting and considering a broad range of public review and comment. The intent of this subsection is to provide for the broad dissemination of proposals and alternatives, opportunity for written comments, open discussions, information dissemination and consideration of and response to public comments. (emphasis mine)
6. Comments sent to municipality.
[ 1991, c. 622, Pt. F, §25 (RP) .] 

Despite provisions for public input, including public hearing, there is no provision for a municipal referendum.

All decisions are made by the planning committee which may be a regional organization, while special Interests outside the municipality are authorized to write the comprehensive plan for a municipality.

 The discretionary term “may” permits a municipal selectperson to serve on the municipal planning committee, but it is not a requirement that the planning board include anyone who is a resident of the municipality, elected or otherwise.

 The Town Report identifies that the Planning board is governed by State regulations: The Town shall maintain a Planning Board in accordance with the Provisions of State Law and The Town of Boothbay Administrative Code. {Administrative Code, 30-A § 4324(2) and DEP § 16 A(3)} 

The state regulations claim that the citizens of each municipality will be encouraged to have the “widest possible involvement” short of having a say in or knowledge of who is on the municipal planning committee or allowed to vote on the growth plans of the municipality- short of that, the inhabitants of the municipality are granted “the widest possible involvement”

 G. Encourage the widest possible involvement by the citizens of each municipality in all aspects of the planning and implementation process, in order to ensure that the plans developed by municipalities have had the benefit of citizen input; and [2001, c. 578, §7 (AMD).]”

 Historical Background 

The Home Rule Amendment became part of the Maine Constitution in 1969, by a constitutional process.
Maine Constitution 
 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.
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 any responsible industrial firm or corporation.

 Seven years later, Governor Longley formed a board composed exclusively of the heads of the largest industries in the state, commissioned with leading the Legislature. in establishing a centrally managed economy, the opposite of the free enterprise system.

The board created a report, which is available on request from the Maine Legislative Library. Governor's Task Force for Economic Redevelopment, Recommended Legislation for an Economic Development Program -110th Congress, calls for the elimination of local referendums on municipal bond issues with precise language:

2: eliminate the requirement for a local referendum on municipal bond issues.

 Since the board was working under Governor Longley and advising the Maine Legislature, this constitutes an attempt by the government of Maine to undermine the Maine Constitution. Central management of Maine has expanded ever since, aided by every administration and every legislative body. All have accepted without contest that a free enterprise economy can be switched out with a centrally managed economy by the mere act of legislative deeming.

The proponents of the command economy have not succeeded in eliminating the municipal referendum on public bonds, but they have succeeded in creating a state largely governed by boards, an opaque form of government. evident in the fact that the identity of the members of planning committee for a municipality is hidden from public knowledge, and the means of appointing such a committee not publicized. If one were interested in serving on one’s local planning committee, there is no clearly identified path to pursue such an objective, that I have yet been able to discover. You might say it is all decided behind closed doors by the Maine Round Table.

The only input that the inhabitants of the municipality may have in the planning of the growth of their own municipality is in voting for their selectmen who may (or may not) be granted a position on the planning committee

 Policy should be separated from Growth Plan 

The act of embedding the planning program into the comprehensive plans creates legal ambiguity. The problems with legal ambiguity are discussed in Saint John’s Law Review:

 I. AMBIGUITY AND VAGUENESS ….. it can render illusory what the parties had thought to be a meeting of the minds, or it can be used by one of the parties to accomplish that after the fact. ( emphasis mine) REVISITING THE AMBIGUITY OF“AND” AND “OR” IN LEGAL DRAFTING KENNETH A. ADAMS† & ALAN S. KAYE†† Saint John's Law Review

The embedding of the implementation program into a Comprehensive Plan is like embedding statutes into state or national constitutions. To my layman’s educated understanding, Constitutions are meant to represents philosophy, principals and structure of government, and statutes or ordinances represent the governing policy which can be challenged by anyone for inconsistency with the stated philosophy, principals and defined structure of government. I submit that the mere embedding of the one into the other does not change the relationship between governing principals and governing policy.

For the purpose of my argument I am treating the comprehensive plan and the implementing program as separate pursuant to established federal and state constitutional law, and pursuant to the fact of the word “and” as used grammatically in Title 30-A:Part 2:Subpart 6-AChapter 187Article §4324 of the Maine Revised Statutes,

The Comprehensive Plan and the Implementing Program represent two separate functions: Pursuant to the zoning ordinances that I received from code officer, Jason Lorrain, the implementation of the code program is harmful to my own interests, including but not limited to prohibiting the quality of life provided by the traditional rural lifestyle of combining a business with a home, a tradition which my family pioneered on this peninsula when Andersen Design was established as Ceramics by Andersen on Southport Island in 1952.

If the Boothbay Town Report of 2017 is the comprehensive plan, the zoning ordinances sent to me on request, by Code Officer, Jason Lorrain, represent the implementation program for the principals laid out in the comprehensive plan. Code officer Lorrain sent me only the planning program, as separate from the comprehensive plan.

Upon reading the principals and philosophy of the comprehensive plan, which the implementation program is supposed to reflect, I submit that an implementation program does not need be harmful to my interests, even though what is in my interest is prohibited by the language found in the implementation program

 Title 30-A:Part 2:Subpart 4-AChapter 141 §3001 of the Maine Revised Statute. states that the ordinance power is to be liberally construed:

§3001. Ordinance power Any municipality, by the adoption, amendment or repeal of ordinances or bylaws, may exercise any power or function which the Legislature has power to confer upon it, which is not denied either expressly or by clear implication, and exercise any power or function granted to the municipality by the Constitution of Maine, general law or charter. [1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
1. Liberal construction. This section, being necessary for the welfare of the municipalities and their inhabitants, shall be liberally construed to effect its purposes. [ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]

Lack of Consistency between Constituting Principles and Enacted Policy.

On general legal principals, including common law, the implementation of policy should be consistent with the principals and philosophy contained in the comprehensive plan. This is affirmed in the purpose of the Comprehensive Plan of 2017 quoted below:

1.3 Purpose The purpose of this Ordinance is to ensure that the growth and use of the land and the resources of the Town of Boothbay are consistent with the Comprehensive Plan. {30-A §§ 4314(2)1 and 4352(2)}2 1 

In my analysis there is no consistency between the two. It appears that the implementation is operating on a separate agenda than the comprehensive plan. This raises questions pertaining to the consistency between committee members responsible for developing the plan and committee members who developed the implementation program. Although the planning board makes decisions which radically affects the lives and livelihood of the inhabitants of the municipality, information on the appointment and terms of the planning board is missing from Title 30-A: MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES, or else only included if one chooses to interpret very generalized terms to include the planning board.

In instances where municipal officers are enumerated, the planning board and the planning committee are not included. In example:

 §2631. Town manager plan
1. Applicable laws. The form of government provided in this subchapter shall be known as the "town manager plan" and, together with general law not inconsistent, shall govern any town in which the voters have adopted this plan at a meeting held at least 90 days before the annual meeting. [ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .] 2. Government. The government of each town under this subchapter shall consist of a town meeting, an elected board of selectmen, an elected school committee, an appointed town manager and any other officials and employees that may be appointed under this subchapter, general law or ordinance. Other town officials may be elected by ballot, including, but not limited to, moderator, assessors, overseers of the poor, clerk and treasurer. The election of officials at the last annual town meeting shall require that those town offices continue to be filled by election until the town designates otherwise. [ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]

Further examination of the municipal ordinances confirm that it is the view of the Maine Legislature that town planning boards are instruments of the state, appointed by state officials, or it's regional subsidiaries. It is tragic that our military bases which protected our nation from totalitarianism are now being used to entrench totalitarianism in economic development practices which mirror those of China. All three military bases have been chartered by special acts of legislation as “municipal corporations serving as instrument so the state’, which means central management, the foundation stone of totalitarianism, not to mention that it is a legally challenging claim, since the established purpose of municipal corporations are as a means by which a municipality can create a legal entity to conduct municipal affairs, not as instruments of the state. It is increasingly evident that the former military bases are not the only municipalities which the State claims as its own instrument. overriding the intention of the Home Rule Amendment.

The mystery over the parties responsible for the plan and the parties responsible for the ordinances 

The words “may develop any portion of an implementation program” implies, between the lines, that there are parties other than the municipal planning committee who may also develop any portion of the implementation program. Since the same condition, “any portion” does not apply to the comprehensive plan, it is implied by comparison that the planning committee is solely responsible for developing the comprehensive plan, it further supports that the implementation program and the comprehensive plan are separate. Since it is implied that the implementation program may be written by others than the planning committee, and since it is implied that the comprehensive plan is written exclusively by the planning committee, therefor, the implementation program ought not to be embedded in the comprehensive plan, suggesting, by inclusion, that it is the comprehensive plan, and not merely the implementing policy directed by the comprehensive plan.

Title 30-A:Part 2:Subpart 6-A Chapter 187 §4326 of the Maine Revised Statutes further clarifies that the comprehensive plan and the implement program are separate functions:

 §4326. Growth management program elements A growth management program must include at least a comprehensive plan, as described in subsections 1 to 4, and an implementation program as described in subsection 5. [2001, c. 578, §15 (AMD).] (emphasis mine

The State has aggressively inserted itself into municipal planning, by design, as documented many times over in the Maine statutes. The Boothbay Comprehensive Plan of 2015 included paragraphs taken word for word from the Industrial Partnerships Act of 2013, The two paragraphs which are directly inserted in the Boothbay Comprehensive Plan are concerned with businesses in the home. Although there may be some justifiable rational for Action B.2-3, Action B.2-4. is written in an ambiguous fashion as if to obscure the obvious, that its intent is to eliminate business in the home, a mainstay of the rural and designer-craftsmen quality lifestyle.

Boothbay Comprehensive Plan of 2015 pg 16 & 17
Identical to
Action , 2-3 * Action B,2-4
[ 2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW) .]

Action B.2-3. Revise the standards for more intensive “home businesses” that include activities that are carried on outside of a structure on a residential property or that generate noise or commercial traffic or similar impacts. These uses should be allowed through a planning board review process in which the owner of the home business must demonstrate that it will meet standards with objective criteria for minimizing the impacts on the adjacent neighborhood including providing appropriate buffering and maintaining the visual character of the roadscape.
Action B.2-4Explore creating a small business assistance program that would help growing businesses, including home businesses and home occupations, with financing and with locating in appropriate commercial/industrial districts when appropriate. (emphasis added)
[ 2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW) .]
Action B.2-3. Revise the standards for more intensive “home businesses” that include activities that are carried on outside of a structure on a residential property or that generate noise or commercial traffic or similar impacts. These uses should be allowed through a planning board review process in which the owner of the home business must demonstrate that it will meet standards with objective criteria for minimizing the impacts on the adjacent neighborhood including providing appropriate buffering and maintaining the visual character of the roadscape.
Action B.2-4. Explore creating a small business assistance program that would help growing businesses, including home businesses and home occupations, with financing and with locating in appropriate commercial/industrial districts when appropriate.
§3304. Industry partnerships B. Create an industry partnership to advise the collaborative, the State Workforce Investment Board established in section 2006 and the boards of the local workforce investment areas designated pursuant to the federal Workforce Investment Act of 1998, Public Law 105-220 on aligning state policies and leveraging resources across systems, including workforce development, education and economic development; [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).]

C. Include requirements that support industry partnerships in all relevant programs, grants and new initiatives; and [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).]D. Use industry partnerships as a connective framework across systems and programs when applying for federal and private funds. [2013, c. 368, Pt. FFFFF, §1 (NEW).] (emphasis added)

The above is (copied and pasted from statute including background color in this blog post but missing from its former location now, a common occurrence) . §3304. Industry partnerships B & C are included to show that the command economy can use redistributed public wealth to influence municipalities to forgo municipal Home Rule (1969) and instead co-ordinate with the centrally management, established by legislative decree in 1976.

An examination of the Industrial Partnerships Act established that “central management of the economy” means “central management of every aspect of society”. One can follow the money distributed as grants to municipalities to establish organizations of many different types, at every level of society which in exchange for the funding, implement the central management agenda as reflected in the words of C "Use industry partnerships as a connective framework across systems and programs when applying for federal and private funds:.These words were not found when I searched today through the Industrial Partnerships Act, which does not surprise me as sections of the statutes often go missing after I comment on my blog, another example being the findings statement for the Department of Economic and Community Development, also in the same blog post containing the now missing sections of Industrial Partnerships. The findings statement  had been there for over thirty years when I commented on its content, and was gone, replaced with nothing when I checked back a several months later. If one wants proof of this, in good faith both should still be available at the Maine Legislative Library. I would note the strange inclusion of "private funds". Is this a new function of centrally management- to even control access to private funds?

Missing Time Line in Comprehensive Plan 

The cover of the Town report states that the comprehensive plan was adopted in the year 2007 and has been amended 6 times since, providing only the years in which amendments were made but no further information about what changes were made and by whom.

Best Method of Insuring the “Widest Possible involvement”

The actual means of encouraging “the widest possible involvement” Is for towns to create their own charters, putting the inhabitants of the municipality in charge of their own development and able to clearly define all the functions left vague in the municipal ordinances written by our Legislature in the service of the centrally managed economy. Thanks to the Home Rule Amendment, the Maine Legislature has to include the procedure for establishing a Town Charter in Title 30

 §2102. Charter revisions, adoptions, procedure 1. Municipal officers. The municipal officers may determine that the revision of the municipal charter be considered or that adoption of a new municipal charter be considered and, by order, provide for the establishment of a charter commission to carry out that purpose as provided in this chapter. [ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
2. Petition by voters. On the written petition of a number of voters equal to at least 20% of the number of votes cast in the municipality at the last gubernatorial election, but in no case less than 10, the municipal officers, by order, shall provide for the establishment of a charter commission for the revision of the municipal charter or the preparation of a new municipal charter as provided in this chapter. [ 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); 1989, c. 6, (AMD); 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD) .]
This is a formal preliminary citizen’s request that the municipal officers adopt a new municipal charter to serve the interests of “the widest possible involvement” of the inhabitants of the municipality in the planning of their own future development.


My wild and crazy political drama story line is that all the towns in Maine create their own charters simultaneously, all at once. How can we sell this? Think of the media attention- think of the money it will bring in- that always works!

I decided to check for the findings statement of the Major Headquarters Business Expansion Act, also quoted in A Threat to Liberty and Democracy When Suburban Rules Oppress Rural Culture
- It too has gone missing from the Act!
§3305. Industry partnership grant program is still in the statutes. It would be very dysfunctional for Maine State Inc to delete this essential part of their wealth redistribution program.
§15302. Maine Technology Institute is still in the statutes.
However the link in my blog no longer connects to §15302. Maine Technology Institute. I have had this happen to links in my blog before. I saw there was a code which was not a link code, which I corrected. It might have been my mistake or not, but as of today it is functional,


Popular posts from this blog

An Incomplete Theory of Inflation Made to Order for Mass Consumption.

M oney is not what it used to be, so must our ways of thinking about it adapt. jaakko-kemppainen-unsplash The message treads across the media terrain, beating louder and louder as if to drown out the beat of the distant drummer. W arning! The only thing the stimulus will stimulate is inflation. The people will pay as the wealthy elite invests their windfalls in financial assets. Doom and gloom set to march across the land to the beat of the distribution of stimulus funds. In recent years as past predictions of fiscal disaster following stimulus spending failed to materialize and so the thinking about national debt and deficits has evolved, most noticeably with the development of  Modern Monetary Theory . In the   fall of 2020,  National Affairs  published a story,  Does the Debt Matter ? by Peter Wehner & Ian Tufts. Peter Wehner is vice president and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and served in the last three Republican administrations. Ian Tufts is a recent g

Why are social impact investors trying so hard to defeat smaller shelters for the homeless?

  "Social Impact” developers in Portland, Maine seek to squelch a referendum for smaller shelters called for by qualified practitioners with concrete experience in the field. A large sign says Vote C to support the Homeless, small handmade sign next to it says Untrue! That sign is paid for by developers who want / Photo by Jess Falero In   the 1970s under Governor Longley , Maine became a centrally managed economy that expanded Maine’s wealth gap and merged, almost seamlessly, the public and private and the non-profit and for-profit economic sectors into one mutually beneficial wealth-concentration & distribution system. Currently, mutually benefitting factions are coming together once again in hopes of building a mega-shelter for the homeless in a Portland, Maine industrial development district. In addition to beds for the homeless, the project will include, dining, and locker facilities, as well as offices and an attached health clinic. The promotion  describes the facility

JECD Group Holds Master Plan Pow Wow for Boothbay Peninsula

The most honest statement to come out of the ringleaders of the Joint Economic Community Development Group in their first workshop program was "none of us are experts on economic development", which in my most humble opinion is evident in the fact that the JECD begins with the premise that economic development can be master minded by central management. The article in the Boothbay Register begins with this paragraph: The Joint Economic Development Committee master plan workshop on Thursday, Oct. 12 discuss findings from stakeholder interviews conducted early last month. The interviews centered around building an overall economic development strategy for Edgecomb, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport. Who are the stakeholders?  A search for articles in the Boothbay Register comes up short. Why is the public not told who the stakeholders are. Since the taxpayers of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor footed the bill for the JECD's consultants, why are they not the stakeh