Maine’s Quality of Place


The Brookings drum-beat gets louder today as the Governor’s Council on Maine’s Quality of Place released their recommendations. In short, most of it consists of warmed-over ideas from the Brookings report. However, there are some new, yet disturbing, wrinkles in it. One I have not heard before: “The Council recommends that a Maine Community Preservation program, with an administrative structure similar to that of the Land for Maine’s Future Board, be capitalized with a bond issue or issues over multiple years totaling $50-100 million.” Whatever the merits of such a program, it is obvious that the Brookings recommendation to pay for any new spending via reductions elsewhere has been jettisoned by this new study.
In fact, there is no mention of spending reductions in the report, or tax reductions, or health care reform . . . you know, the really big issues facing Maine. And why did we even need yet another “council” when Maine state government already has 355 agencies, divisions, bureaus, commissions and advisory boards? Could it be just another distraction from those really big issues? We need more bread and circuses . . .