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A Little Known Secret: When The Maine Legislature Chartered Multiple Municipalities Into A Single Development Corporation

 

A Cautionary Tale for a time when municipalities are encouraged to become development corporations.

william-daigneault-unsplash

This post is taken directly from research I did a number of years ago.

In the midst of composing a post about the current rural estate boom in Maine and the rise of remote working, I recalled the discovery of a region of municipalities which were chartered as development corporation quite unconstitutionally by the Maine Legislature in 1997.

It is unconstitutional for the Maine Legislature to charter corporations by special act of legislation pursuant to Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine Constitution, and yet it happens quite frequently. In fact, I would say there is a danger of any town in Maine being transformed into a development corporation by town leaders, as this is the kind of thinking that has been encouraged in Maine since 1976 when Maine became a centrally managed economy.

As I was writing a current article, I discovered that the act that created the KRDA corporation can no longer be found in a search of the Maine Revised Statutes, but that did not mean it was gone. Thanks to this past documentation, I was able to find the act hidden await in an odd corner. Other documentation that I used in this research is also no longer available online.

In 1976, when Maine became a centrally managed economy, Governor Longley created a board composed of the leaders of Maine’s largest industries to “lead the Legislature” The board produced a report- Governor’s Task Force for Economic Redevelopment, Recommended Legislation for an Economic Development Program -110th Congress, which 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.

The Governor’s Task Force for Economic Redevelopment-1976 is not online but can be requested from the Maine Legislative Library.

An Act to Create the Kennebec Regional Development Authority transferred the power of the municipal referendum to the corporate board of the KRDA corporation, as is documented in the following.

Rather than try to recreate the story, which is long and detailed, I decided to publish this research so that I can link to it from my current story. This is it, directly lifted from my main research document, complied by myself: Beginning now!

The KRDA Corporation VS Municipal Home Rule

In 1997 An Act to Create the Kennebec Regional Development Authority chartered a regional development corporation under the 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:…. [1]

Big Government as a Corporate Region of Municipalities

The KRDA is a mini view of how big government affects the life of the individual. Municipal expenditure decisions, which determine the affordability of homeownership within the new corporate grid of KRDA corporation, are no longer determined by the inhabitants of the municipalities. The authority is transferred to the board of the KRDA corporation including the authority to borrow money and issue general obligation bonds and notes, transferred at the discretion of the general assembly of the authority.

CHAPTER 79 H.P. 1612 — L.D. 2238
An Act to Create the Kennebec Regional Development Authority
Sec. 4. How financed. To procure funds to carry out the purpose of this Act the authority may, through a majority vote of its general assembly, borrow money and issue general obligation bonds and notes in anticipation therefor to an indebtedness not to exceed 0.5% of the total state valuation of all participating cities, towns and plantations. (emphasis added)

Instead of municipal taxes being used to provide essential government functions such as maintaining infrastructure and public safety concerns, municipal taxes are authorized to be used as capital to develop the profit motives of a corporation. Not only will this result in some of the then-current homeowners losing their homes, but it will become a consideration in any future homeownership within the KRDA region. The words that were spoken by Governor Connor ring true across time: “Other weighty objections to special laws for private benefit are, that they are obtained at the public expense, and in their passage distract the attention of legislators from matters of public interest.” This is a pattern that will continue over the years as the corporate state progressively expands its breadth and authority unhindered by the opposition. Individual wellbeing and public welfare are sacrificed for the interests of expanding the total authoritarian power of the development corporation.

The object of the KRDA corporation is to centrally manage a region of municipalities but there is no exception provided in the Maine Constitution, Section 14 for regional purposes. Additionally, the corporate by-laws of the KRDA corporation violate Municipal Home Rule by replacing municipal bond referendums as the authority approving economic development expenditures with decisions made by a board of the KRDA corporation.

The inhabitants of the municipalities have veto power via a public referendum only if an elaborate procedure is followed. The inhabitants of the municipalities must before15 days from the date on which the council vote was first published submit a petition to the general assembly, signed by at least 10% of the eligible voters of all of the cities, towns, and plantations requesting that the question of the bonds or notes be submitted to the voters of each local government as a general referendum vote. If within fifteen days, a petition is submitted according to the rules, the general assembly shall reconsider the vote. If the general assembly does not rescind the vote, the bond or note must be approved by a public referendum within 60 days of the receipt of the petition.

KDRA corporate bylaws dictate the terms of a people’s veto which require a higher number of signatures than required for a people’s veto by the Maine Constitution. The constitutional requirement for the number of signatures is 10% of the total vote for Governor in the last election. The KRDA corporation’s rules cite “at least 10% in the aggregate of the residents of the cities, towns, and plantations that are members of the authority eligible to vote on the date the general assembly vote was adopted”. “Eligible to vote” is a higher number than voter turnout. To be consistent with the Constitution, the number should have been “at least 10% of the total vote for Governor cast. The Maine Constitution allows 90 days after the recess of the Legislature to gather the required signatures. The KRDA allows 15 days after the council vote is published. If the signatures are gathered to veto the vote of the Council, there will be a special meeting where another vote is taken. The voters qualified to vote at the special meeting must be determined by the authority voting list. There is no check on the KRDA’s authority to determine who is eligible to vote.

Maine Constitution
Article IV Part Third Section 17
Proceedings for people’s veto. Petition procedure; petition for people’s veto Upon written petition of electors, the number of which shall not be less than 10% of the total vote for Governor cast in the last gubernatorial election preceding the filing of such petition, and addressed to the Governor and filed in the office of the Secretary of State by the hour of 5:00 p.m., on or before the 90th day after the recess of the Legislature, or if such 90th day is a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, by the hour of 5:00 p.m., on the preceding day which is not a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal holiday, requesting that one or more Acts, bills, resolves or resolutions, or part or parts thereof, passed by the Legislature but not then in effect by reason of the provisions of the preceding section, be referred to the people, such Acts, bills, resolves, or resolutions or part or parts thereof as are specified in such petition shall not take effect until 30 days after the Governor shall have announced by public proclamation that the same have been ratified by a majority of the electors voting thereon at a state wide or general election.

The statutory description of how to initiate a vote by general referendum is loaded with unnecessary words and repetition[2]. While editing the description for clarity and length in order to explain it here, I couldn’t help but wonder if it were not intentionally redundant, beyond what may be explained by legal necessity. The redundancy could have been avoided by providing statutory definitions and a reference to where the rules are found, and so I found myself wondering if the manner in which it was written was an intentional smokescreen. In contrast, the instructions for how the question is presented on the bond ballot is instructed with obvious intent to be far too minimalistic to properly inform the voter:

In those instances, where a vote is taken at a town or plantation meeting or through an election, the municipal clerk shall reduce the subject matter of this Act to the following question that must appear, in the case of an election, on the ballot and, in the case of a town or plantation meeting, on the warrant:

“Do you favour approving the Act creating the Kennebec Regional Development Authority passed by the 118th Legislature, and (insert name of city, town or plantation) becoming a participating member of that authority? (emphasis added)[3]

Gardiner Maine Challenges the Town Council’s Authority Over a Public Referendum

In 2015, the Town of Gardiner declared that its partnership with the KRDA corporation had not been sealed by the proper authority. This view is consistent with The Maine Constitution under Home Rule Section 2, excepting that the KRDA corporation is not located within the municipal boundaries of the towns in the region excepting Oakland, and excepting that the Maine Constitution does not accommodate the formation of corporations by special acts of Legislation for regional purposes as in extending beyond the boundaries of individual municipalities.

The 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 any responsible industrial firm or corporation (emphasis added)

The agreement had been made by the Town Council, when, the Town of Gardiner argues, it should have been decided by a public referendum.

Jonathan Pottle of Eaton and Peabody represented the Town of Gardiner. The legal argument is that a public referendum is the appropriate legal agency authorized to approve membership in the KRDA corporation. The basis of the argument resides in commonly established legal guidelines that grant authority to specific language over ambiguous phrasing. In the language shown below the term “vote” fails to identify the agency of a vote in excepts 1–3, while the agency of a vote is specifically identified in excerpt 4: Notice that in Excerpt 4, the method of the vote to approve joining the KRDA corporation is consistent with constitutional standards, contrasting with the lack of constitutional consistency allowed for a people’s veto once the towns are incorporated into KRDA[4]

The first three excerpts are ambiguous in identifying the agent of the vote:

[EXCERPT #1]
“Each city, town or plantation located within the authority’s territory, upon voting to accept the provisions of this Act and to become a member of the authority, is entitled to be represented by at least one voting representative to the general assembly of the authority, which is its overall governing body.” — P.L. 1998, Ch. 79, § 3 “Governing body; general assembly; executive board” (emphasis supplied) {EP — 01734809 — v1} Page — 2 of 7
[EXCERPT #2] “
Cities, towns and plantations that are located within the geographic territory of the authority, as described in section 1 of this Act, and that do not vote to become members of the authority by the date specified in section 14 [June 30, 1999] of this Act may vote to become members of the authority at a later date, if the voters of the cities, towns and plantation that are members of the authority vote at a meeting of the authority to authorize the addition of the requesting city, town or plantation as a member of the authority.” — P.L. 1998, Ch. 79, § 13 “Other cities, towns and plantations may join; procedure for withdrawing from the authority” (emphasis supplied)
[EXCERPT #3]
“A city, town or plantation that is already a member of the authority may vote to withdraw its membership; however, it continues to be legally obligated on any outstanding indebtedness of the authority until such time as all of the indebtedness is paid in full. The withdrawal only becomes effective on the date that marks the end of a fiscal year of the authority that is preceded by a full fiscal year in which the income was at least sufficient to pay the indebtedness and expenses of the authority for that fiscal year.” — P.L. 1998, Ch. 79, § 13 “Other cities, towns and plantations may join; procedure for withdrawing from the authority” (emphasis supplied)

However, EXCERPT 4 specificity identifies who is to vote and defines the procedure in which the voting is to occur: Moreover, it is pointed out that the Legislature knew how to use specific language to vest authority with municipal officers. Based on the analysis of when a specific language is used and when the language is ambiguous, the argument concludes that the City Council of Gardiner did not have the authority to approve the agreement with the KRDA corporation. The agent of the vote is clearly identified as the legal voters of the cities, towns, and plantations.

[EXCERPT #4]
“[T]his Act takes effect when approved only for the purpose of permitting its submission to the legal voters of the cities, towns and plantations described in section 1 of this Act [establishing the territory of the KRDA] at a regular or special town and plantation meetings and city elections called and held for that purpose before June 30, 1999. Such city elections and town and plantation meetings must be called, advertised and conducted according to the law relating to municipal elections and meetings….. The votes taken at town and plantation meetings must be by written ballot.

Legislative Mandate: low information to be provided to voter[5]

The charter for the KRDA corporation included this instruction as to how the vote would be worded reductively on the ballot:

The municipal clerks shall reduce the subject matter of this Act to the following question:

‘Do you favour approving the Act creating the Kennebec Regional Development Authority passed by the 118th Legislature, and (insert name of city, town or plantation) becoming a participating member of that authority?’ The voters must indicate by a cross or check mark placed against the words ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ their opinion of the same. {EP — 01734809 — v1 } Page — 3 — of 7

A People’s Veto of KRDA Board Decisions requires a higher number of votes than required in constitutional governmental referendums

This Act takes effect immediately upon acceptance by the cities, towns, and plantations so voting approval and having a combined state valuation of at least $3,000,000,000; but only if the total number of votes cast for and against the acceptance of this Act at each of the city, town or plantation meetings approving this Act equals or exceeds 10% of the total votes for all candidates for Governor cast in that city, town or plantation at the next preceding gubernatorial election. Failure of approval by the necessary percentage of voters at any such meetings does not prevent a subsequent meeting or meetings to be held for those purposes on or before June 30, 1999. The result of the vote must be declared by the municipal officers of the cities, towns or plantations, and due certification thereof must be filed by the city, town or plantation clerks with the Secretary of State. — P.L. 1998,
Ch. 79, § 14 “Emergency clause; referendum; effective date” (emphasis supplied)

Notice in the section immediately above the terms states that the Act must be approved by 10% of total votes cast as opposed to 10% of the total number of eligible voters as is required to veto a decision made by the board- the latter being a much higher bar than the former. As argued by Jonathan Pottle of Eaton and Peabody, the Legislature is evident to be fully intentional in its choice of words.

CHAPTER 79 H.P. 1612 — L.D. 2238 An Act to Create the Kennebec Regional Development Authority
Sec. 6. Referendum on bond issues. When the general assembly has authorized the issue of any bonds or notes, an attested copy of the vote of the general assembly must be filed with the municipal officers of each of the cities, towns and plantations that are members of the authority and published in a newspaper or newspapers, having a general circulation in the geographic territory of the authority, not later than 10 days following the day on which the vote was adopted by the general assembly, together with a statement indicating that the vote will become effective, unless before the expiration of 15 days from the date on which a copy of the vote was first published the president or the secretary of the general assembly has received a petition, signed by at least 10% in the aggregate of the residents of the cities, towns and plantations that are members of the authority eligible to vote on the date the general assembly vote was adopted (emphasis supplied)

The vote to decide if a municipality accepts membership in the KRDA corporation is a public governmental referendum modelled on standards found in the Maine Constitution. The KRDA corporation is deemed to “constitute a body politic and corporate”. The qualifier “public” Is not to be found, nor are the words “to serve as an instrumentality of the state” which leaves only one conclusion. The KRDA corporation is a private corporation governed only by its own bylaws. That speculatively explains why the KRDA corporation can demand a greater number of votes to override decisions made by the board than is required for a People’s Veto in the Maine Constitution.

Note that the agency with authority to approve bonds has been transferred from a public referendum requiring only a majority vote, pursuant to the Maine Constitution, to the general assembly, which is the board of the KRDA corporation. The public has only veto authority, with the bar of reaching that authority determined by the KRDA corporate bylaws.

The original mission of the founding fathers of Maine’s corporate state is realized in the KRDA corporation. The public referendum has been transferred to the corporate board and terms for challenging board decisions have a higher bar than Maine Constitutional standards.

An Act to Create the Kennebec Regional Development Authority[6]passed as private and special law, confers upon the corporation the authority to issue taxes on the municipalities. Under Sec. 8, Authority to issue temporary notes in anticipation of taxes and Sec. 10. Annual reports and budget; levy of taxes, the power of taxation is surrendered by the Maine Legislature to a corporation in violation of The Maine Constitution, Article IX General Provisions, Section 9, which states:

The Maine Constitution,
Article IX
General Provisions
Section 9 Power of taxation The Legislature shall never, in any manner, suspend or surrender the power of taxation.

The authority of taxation is granted to the KRDA corporation by the Maine Legislature. The Charter for the Kennebec Region Development Authority creates a new government function, that of managing municipal business investments, in other words, state capitalism, usurping and transferring municipal authority to a private corporation, of sorts. I am not sure how one refers to a region of municipalities that has been transformed into a privately governed corporation by the state Legislature. It makes as much legal sense as municipal corporations serving as instrumentalities of the state.

“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. 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 bourgeois state. Wikipedia[7]

The difference between the definition above and what is transpiring in Maine is that the investment is not in production, the true source of wealth creation, the investment is in capitalization for its own sake.

The statute for the KRDA corporation[8] makes the region of Maine municipalities responsible for capitalizing on the corporation’s debt and grants the KRDA corporation authority to tax the municipalities.

As noted by the law firm of Eaton and Peabody, an examination of the language used in the statutes shows that the legislature knows when to be specific in the interests of the corporation. The authority incurring debt is referred to as “the authority”, “votes of the authority” or “general assembly” (of the authority) which is identified in the statute chartering the KRDA corporation as the KRDA corporation:

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.

The amount of debt that the authority occurs is left to its own discretion. When it comes to identifying the parties responsible for the debt that the authority incurs, that is defined in a specific language- it is the responsibility of member cities, towns, and plantations.:

Sec. 10. Annual reports and budget; levy of taxes ……The amount over the estimated income of the authority that is required to meet the expenses in the approved budget and the sums included in any budget for the payment of interest on or the principal of notes or bonds or other obligations of the authority are the obligation of the member cities, towns and plantations …..
To the extent that the general assembly may decide that the authority cannot operate within its projected revenues for the current fiscal year, the general assembly shall determine what sum of money should be raised by taxation for:
1 Payment of principal payable in that year on outstanding bonds or notes or other obligations of the authority;
2 Payment of interest on the indebtedness incurred or assumed by the authority; and
3 Other specified expenses of the authority. (emphasis added)

The municipalities are said to be participating in “revenue sharing”, an optimistic description for a system that holds the municipalities responsible for the debt incurred by the general assembly (the KRDA corporation) entirely at its own discretion. Translated into private sector terms risk and revenue sharing would make the municipalities stockholders in the corporation but private sector stockholders have the option of selling their stock at their own discretion. The terms of the agreement between the municipalities and the KRDA corporation bind the towns to an obligation to cover operational costs of the corporation. A municipality is obligated to pay the corporate debt even if it withdraws from the corporation: Note that in the terms below the language identifying the debt for which the municipalities remain responsible upon withdrawal is ambiguous. When a municipality joins, it becomes responsible for all future authority budgets and any indebtedness. If a municipality should withdraw it continues to be legally obligated on any outstanding indebtedness.

Sec. 13. Other cities, towns and plantations may join; procedure for withdrawing from the authority city, town or plantation joining the authority pursuant to this section is legally obligated for its pro rata share of the operational part of all future authority budgets and any indebtedness of the authority incurred pursuant to sections 4, 8 and 10 of this Act after the city, town or plantation becomes a member of the authority. A city, town or plantation that is already a member of the authority may vote to withdraw its membership; however, it continues to be legally obligated on any outstanding indebtedness of the authority until such time as all of the indebtedness is paid in full. The withdrawal only becomes effective on the date that marks the end of a fiscal year of the authority that is preceded by a full fiscal year in which the income was at least sufficient to pay the indebtedness and expenses of the authority for that fiscal year. (emphasis added[9]

The terms state that the municipalities are responsible for “all future” indebtedness and that the withdrawing municipality is responsible for any outstanding indebtedness and that withdrawal only becomes effective at the end of the fiscal year in which income was sufficient to pay for indebtedness and expenses for the fiscal year. There is no language that says that outstanding indebtedness refers only to the amount owed at the time the municipality decides to withdraw and so indebtedness can conceivably continue to increase year after year and the municipality cannot get out of its statutory mandate of indebtedness. The towns have been reduced to indentured servants of the KDRA corporation- by the Maine Legislature. The legislative terms of the agreement are written in the interests of the KRDA corporation and to the hardship of the municipalities. No wonder the Legislature limited what can be included in the public referendum question on joining the KRDA corporation as if to say “Don’t bother reading the contract, just sign it.”

Municipal taxes are normally used to finance municipal services used by property owners. A property tax is levied to pay for those services needed by the municipality. All KRDA towns must come up with funds to finance an economic development corporation located in the town of Oakland. Municipal Home Rule provides that the inhabitants of a municipality may elect to finance industrial development within the geographical boundaries of the municipality through bonds approved by a public referendum. Under Municipal Home Rule investment in industrial development in the town of Oakland would be decided by the inhabitants of Oakland who would also be responsible for the costs and indebtedness. The other municipalities would not be responsible for financing industrial development in the municipality of Oakland.

Town of Rome Tries to Organize a Plan of Liberation From the KRDA Corporation

In 2015 while the town of Gardiner contests having a legally binding partnership with the KDRA corporation, the town of Rome seeks to inspire grassroots organization of KDRA municipalities. In August 2015, the Rome selectmen sent separate letters to the towns of Sidney, Solon, Gardiner, China, Canaan, Fairfield, Hartland, Smithfield, Starks, and St. Albans. The selectmen of Rome asked the towns to join Rome in requesting information from the KRDA corporation. The communities were chosen based on how much money they had lost in First Park, their proximity to the Oakland site, and municipal participation in the general assembly.

The other towns did not join with Rome in requesting information from the KRDA corporation. Rome, Maine went it alone.

The primary project of the KRDA corporation is First Park, a business park located in Oakland, a town about eighteen miles north of Augusta, the capital of Maine. In February of 2015, Executive Director Brad Jackson told the Oakland Town Council

KRDA should become a “multifunctional, multi-capable public authority doing multiple projects in central Maine,” not just focus on selling real estate in First Park, Jackson said. The authority’s new budget includes funding to hire outside technical experts, reflecting the change in perspective, he said.

“We have to get beyond a mindset that isn’t thrilled with regionalism,” Jackson told the council.
……. In his remarks, he outlined a plan to transform KRDA from an organization leasing and selling space at First Park to a multi-purpose agency that could drive economic development regionally.[10]
“Real estate transactions are not economic development,” he told the board. Unlike other states, such as New York, where he headed a two-county public authority before coming to KRDA, Maine provides no role for regional structures, Jackson said.

The FAME corporation was set up to centrally manage the redistribution of capital. The DECD centrally manages everything else that Mr. Jackson suggests. The Legislature has jurisdiction over the curriculum at the University of Maine and has its hand in the Community College system. Every year Maine sees similar ideas presented as new and innovative in order to sell additional programs and agencies, an ever-evolving expansion of state corporatism.

In August 2015, the selectmen of Rome wrote to KRDA and First Park requesting to be provided with spreadsheets projecting future net revenues and expenses in five scenarios, from pessimistic, assuming no more First Park lots are sold or developed, to a scenario where the entire park is sold to a developer in two years. They also ask for a calculation of the net present value of the authority and an “explicit written analysis” from the First Park attorney as to how towns and cities can exit the First Park agreement.

KRDA Executive Board President Howard Mette responded with a claim its council couldn’t do that because its members were not qualified to issue such a report, as if to say neither did they have anyone on their staff who is qualified. One wonders how the central managers of our economy can function without such reports and plans.

In September, Peter Mills a representative of KRDA corporation wrote an editorial called It’s Time To Celebrate First Park for the Kennebec Journal.[11] Mr. Mills wrote that the KRDA corporation is the most successful development effort in central Maine. He tells of the many jobs with many benefits, of the $2 million in public grants and a $3.5 million bond. He says that the KRDA corporation has created 700 jobs averaging more than $25,000 each, plus benefits. He says, “No other public economic development effort in our region has ever produced such results”

At the time Mr. Mills wrote the editorial The KRDA corporation had recently received the letter from the selectmen of Rome.

In October 2015, The Town of Rome held a board meeting in which KRDA representatives Peter Mills and Mike Roy were present. Mr. Mills stated that it was impossible to change the law regarding withdrawal. Impossible, Mr. Mills? Are you not a former member of the Maine Legislature?[12] Selectman La Belle of Rome questioned what the legal implications were, if any, should the Town of Rome not pay the next invoice from First Park. Mr. Roy responded that KRDA/First Park would seek those monies. Mr. Mills stated that should payment not be made, “you’ll want to be careful about your town’s credit rating.” sounding more like a representative from the mafia than a representative of a corporation chartered by the Legislature as it declared in the usual and ubiquitous rhetoric that what they (the Legislature) were doing is “for the benefit and welfare of the inhabitants thereof and to strengthen the financial condition of local governments “. LaBelle reiterated his interest in dissolving the Town’s relationship with KRDA/First Park[13]

Legislature Sought the Towns

In 1997 Mr. Mills sponsored the special act of legislation that transformed a community of sovereign municipalities into a sovereign corporation. The Legislature then sought the agreement of the municipalities.

Constitutional Intent for Fiscal Responsibility at Risk

The Maine Constitution requires fiscal information accompany bond questions on the ballot. The absence of all information about the terms of the agreement between KRDA corporation and the municipalities violates the intent of the Maine constitutional mandate to make fiscal information about bonds available to the voter. The effect of the Maine Constitution is both to increase government transparency and to remind and inform the voter about the costs of state and municipal debt. Municipal debt occurs when the municipalities join the KRDA corporation. By mandating that the question on the ballot be so minimalistic as to include no information about the terms of the agreement between the municipalities and the KRDA corporation is to intentionally weigh the ballot in favor of the KRDA corporation and bypass constitutional requirements about the bond question on the ballot. Since the statute chartering the KRDA corporation changes the agent empowered to issue bonds, it arguably qualifies as a bond question on the ballot.

By the year 2015, the KRDA corporation is demonstrably failing to serve the benefit and welfare of the inhabitants of the municipalities whose homeownership is put at risk to underwrite the operations of a corporation about which they have little say.

[1] http://Legislature.maine.gov/ros/LOM/LOM118th/PandSL59-81-20.htm

[2] Sec. 6. Referendum on bond issues. When the general assembly has authorized the issue of any bonds or notes, an attested copy of the vote of the general assembly must be filed with the municipal officers of each of the cities, towns and plantations that are members of the authority and published in a newspaper or newspapers, having a general circulation in the geographic territory of the authority, not later than 10 days following the day on which the vote was adopted by the general assembly, together with a statement indicating that the vote will become effective, unless before the expiration of 15 days from the date on which a copy of the vote was first published the president or the secretary of the general assembly has received a petition, signed by at least 10% in the aggregate of the residents of the cities, towns and plantations that are members of the authority eligible to vote on the date the general assembly vote was adopted, requesting that the question of whether the bonds or notes be issued by the authority be submitted to the voters of those member cities, towns and plantations. The statement must also state the name and address of the president and secretary of the general assembly. A vote of the general assembly authorizing an issue of bonds under this Act does not become effective before the expiration of 15 days from the date upon which the vote and statement are published. If, within that period, a petition, signed by at least 10% of the residents of the cities, towns, and plantations that are members of the authority eligible to vote on the date that the issuance of bonds by the general assembly was adopted as shown by the authority’s voting list, is filed with the president or the secretary of the general assembly, asking that the question of whether the bonds are to be issued be submitted to the voters, the vote of the general assembly is suspended from becoming effective and the general assembly shall immediately reconsider the vote. If that vote is not rescinded by the general assembly, the question of whether such bonds or notes may be issued must be submitted by the general assembly to the voters of the cities, towns and plantations that are members of the authority at a special meeting of those qualified voters to be held at a place within the geographic territory of the authority within 60 days of the receipt of the petition. The special meeting must be called and held as provided in section 11 of this Act, except that the notice must set forth the vote of the general assembly authorizing those bonds, together with the proposed form of the ballot to be used at that special meeting. At the special meeting, a vote on the question of whether the bonds may be issued must be voted on by ballot, the form of which must be substantially as follows:……The voters qualified to vote at the special meeting must be determined by the use of the authority voting list. http://www.gardinermaine.com/Public_Documents/GardinerME_WPacket/2015-02-04pdfs/KRDA.pdf

[3] P.L. 1998, Ch. 79, § 3 “Governing body; general assembly; executive board” (emphasis supplied) {EP — 01734809 — v1 } Page — 2 of 7

[4]http://www.gardinermaine.com/Public_Documents/GardinerME_WPacket/2015-02-04pdfs/KRDA.pdf

[5] http://Legislature.maine.gov/ros/LOM/LOM118th/PandSL59-81-20.htm

[6] full text and legislative discussion of this act at http://lldc.maineLegislature.org/Open/Meta/LegHist/118/lh118-LD-2238.pdf

[7] “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/State capitalism”

[8] http://lldc.maineLegislature.org/Open/Laws/1997/1997_PS_c079.pdf

[9] http://lldc.maineLegislature.org/Open/Laws/1997/1997_PS_c079.pdf

[10] FirstPark director proposes expanding authority’s role http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/02/25/firstpark-director-proposes-expanding-authoritys-role/

[11] http://www.centralmaine.com/2015/09/19/its-time-to-celebrate-firstpark/

[12] This occurred after the Cate Street Scandal came out in the media in April 2015, a scandal in which out-of-state investors indebted the Maine taxpayers to 16 million dollars using the laws written by the Maine Legislature. The Maine Legislature then were forced to right what was wrong to save their face . Obviously changing the terms is not impossible!

[13] TOWN OF ROME, MAINE, BOARD OF SELECTMEN OCTOBER 5, 2015MINUTES://www.romemaine.com/Oct %205%202015.pdf- the Town of Rome Maine did withdraw

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

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Its Not the Economy, Its the Culture!

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