I was dismayed by one of last week’s letters, which made disparaging remarks against the teachers of SAD 51 and claimed “seniors are being forced from their homes.”
It appears that the author may not be aware of the many programs available to seniors in his town. According to town officials, it is neither Cumberland’s nor North Yarmouth’s policy to evict someone from their home for failure to pay property taxes. Also, there is a Property Tax Refund (Circuit Breaker) Program sponsored by the state. Qualified applicants could receive up to $1,600 in property tax relief from the state. And, in certain situations, additional property tax relief is available from the town. In addition, there are General Assistance funds available through each town for those in need.
In my opinion, compromise happens when people come together in the spirit of trust and collaboration. Name-calling and hyperbole can’t foster that. Should the teachers and School Board agree to renegotiate the contract, it will not be because they have been publicly shamed.
Let’s not use insults or exaggeration to sway the vote. We must remain civil, solution-oriented and fact-based while we navigate this budget cycle.