I intend to vote no on the Cumberland County Civic Center bond question on Nov. 8. As a former county Budget Committee member, I have read the studies and have been given the “backstage tour” at the center. Although I believe the proposal and plans are responsibly designed, I do not believe this is a good time to add debt on the taxpayers for non-essential items. Borrowing $33 million (plus up to $22 million in interest) over 25 years is a price tag that I do not believe most people are prepared for.
I can imagine situations where I could support the improvements. There could be a more modest proposal, the recovery could improve where we could afford it, or the city of Portland might be willing to pay for a larger portion of the renovations.
In any case, the citizens of the county will decide this issue. If I am privileged to be elected county commissioner for the new Third District, I will follow the instructions of the voters.
Mark D. Grover