No need for rhetoric
I was aghast to read on the front page of The Forecaster: "N.Yarmouth questions costs; Cumberland fears 'civil war.'"
I avidly support North Yarmouth maintaining a strong, healthy relationship with Cumberland (and all of our neighboring towns), and I expect that my town's leaders share this view. It was distressing to read that Bill Shane was "nervous that the spirit of cooperation may end this year." I was somewhat reassured to read that Paul Napolitano thought "continuing shared services will probably be OK'd by voters." Yes, funding decisions will be democratically made by North Yarmouth's citizens at our May 30 Town Meeting.
As a member of North Yarmouth's Budget Committee, I recently attended a meeting with representatives from both towns and SAD51 to discuss the fiscal 2010 School Budget, which was very productive and enlightening – not at all like the previous meeting described in The Forecaster. In the spirit of cooperation, there was healthy discourse as people offered differing opinions and challenged one another; however, even when people disagreed, they listened respectfully to one another, trying to achieve consensus and understanding. Some misconceptions evaporated once the facts were explained.
I implore all voters in both towns to learn the facts before you vote – whether it's for a town official, town budget or the school budget. Dave Perkins, the School Board chairman, has an excellent memo posted at msad51.org. If you don't have access to a computer, go to Prince Memorial Library, and they'd be glad to help you.
Pamela Candage Ames