Franklin Countys First News

Farmington voters oppose NECEC project, support marijuana ordinance

Roughly 400 people attended the town meeting on Monday evening.

FARMINGTON - The annual town meeting drew a crowd of roughly 400 local and state-wide residents to the Community Center Monday night, primarily to participate in a discussion about the proposed New England Clean Energy Connect project. In the end, voters opted to oppose the proposed transmission line, telling selectmen to rescind a previously-issued letter of support.

Many spoke in opposition to the project, saying that it would damage the western Maine wilderness, that they were skeptical of Central Maine Power and of the benefits that Maine would get from NECEC.

"What we're going to get is pitiful. It's shameful. We are not going to benefit from this and we all know that," Farmington resident Jon Bubier said.

A few spoke in favor of the project, saying that it's time to stop relying on fossil fuels and questioning the authenticity of the "Stop the Corridor" collaboration.

"I'm not asking you to vote for this because it's the perfect solution," Governor Janet Mills said to the crowd. "I'm asking you not to vote for the slickest ads. Put aside the hype, the ads, the flyers and consider the facts."

More than 50 people attended the meeting from other towns, primarily those that would host the proposed 145-mile long transmission line.

"We the people of Maine, not just Farmington, are affected by this. We are the experts of this state. We know what we need," Caratunk resident Kim Lyman said to the crowd.

Voters supported having selectmen rescind the letter of support and take a position in opposition to the project. The article was moved to a secret ballot vote and passed 262 to 102.

In other town business, Selectmen Joshua Bell and Michael Fogg ran unopposed and won three-year terms on the Board of Selectmen, while incumbent Director Douglas Dunlap and Isaac Raymond ran and won for two, three-year terms on the Regional School Unit 9 board. Newly elected Dennis O'Neil was elected to a two-year term on the RSU 9 board.

Two outside agency funding articles, Article 25 and 26, both passed. They addressed the support of outside agencies that were previously funded through the county budget process. Voters supported a resolution that asks the County Commissioners to restore funding at the county level for the social service agencies previously cut. A follow-up article approved an amount of $18,000 to be divided up among those agencies. That number represents Farmington's previous contribution, through the county process, to those agencies.

Article 43 and 44 both related to "Adult Use and Medical Marijuana Stores, Cultivation Facilities, Manufacturing Facilities, and Testing Facilities," an ordinance that would limit new businesses from opening in residential districts as well as the Village Business Historic District, which consists of the majority of Front Street, Broadway from High Street down and Main Street from Anson Street to Academy Street. The ordinance was passed by voters.

As proposed by the selectmen and Budget Committee, the town budget would be set at $6.1 million for the 2019-20 year, representing an increase of 5.5 percent.

Residents in line for the NECEC vote.

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52 Responses »

  1. Anti-power but pro-dope, sounds about par for the course for a podunk town.

  2. Hrtlss, so how long have you been on the governor's payroll? there are a heap of comments I could make regarding your statement, but it's likely better just to let what you said hang there alone.

  3. Anti-power line and pro freedom more like it Heartless ,,, that is called libertarian ,,, any good small community , or as you put it Podunk town , understands liberty ,,,, good work Farmington

  4. I didn't get to the meeting, but I watched it live streaming. (Thank you, Mt. Blue TV) The Liberal community that Farmington has become is very apparent with the votes last night. Give 'em what they want - non-profits. But don't allow for any possible way to recoup any taxes from a power line.
    I used to love the town where I live. I HATE the town where I live now. It has been over-run by people who want something for nothing and want to be catered to by the tax payers. Just wait til we have a homeless shelter on Main Street. It will get worse. And there seems to be NO ONE who stands between the liberal give-aways, and the tax payers. No one to defend the poor working man so he won't get poorer.

  5. As I’m not particularly pro dope as hrtlss puts it. I want to thank everyone who is standing up against this greedy corporation. You can always move hrtlss many people do. Lastly congratulations to all elected officials good luck.

  6. Hrtlss Bstrd, obviously means brainless as well. Voted to not allow destruction of our woodlands and outdoor heritage and to not allow any further new marijuana business in downtown and other specific areas.

  7. "Article 27, which asked voters to stand either in support of, neutral to or in opposition to the project via their Board of Selectmen, drew attention from across the state."

    "The article was moved to a secret ballot vote and passed 262 to 102."

    Unless I'm missing something, this doesn't actually tell us the outcome of the vote. If there were 3 options in the article (support, neutral, opposition), then what does it mean that the article passed, and why only two numbers?

    A little more clarity would be appreciated here. Thanks!

  8. Hrtlss made me laugh,,out load.
    Why did it give me pleasure to read his annoyance?
    Maybe I should see my therapist?

    The meeting was spirited and good points were made on all sides. To my surprise Gov Mills showed up and pleaded her case, which was commendable of her to do. It was a respectful and Democratic meeting.

    The People of Podunk have spoken.
    Now we'll see what the powers that be do.

    Hrtlss,, I can recommend a good therapist if you don't get better soon..

  9. The solidarity of the one tenth of a percent of the people of Maine grows to one tenth and a half per cent.

  10. Way to go Farmington! Just say No :) I’m Happy to be Podunk!

  11. While everyone’s panties were puckered about NECEC a 5.5% increase in the budget slid right through.

  12. @Hrtlss Bstrd....

    Yep, and it is a town I have frequently thought about moving to. Not for the pot, I don't care for it, but for the appreciation of wilderness and the environment.

  13. Daffydill, I don’t see this as a Political Issue, but a Big Business issue. Because you see; I am a Staunch Republican. I come from a hardworking blue-collar family. Mill workers, Veterans, Loggers, Gardeners/Farmers, Carpenters and Avid Outdoorsman. The Western Mountains of Maine is my happy place, and to me it is invaluable and doesn’t have a price tag. There is no doubt in my mind that us “NO” voters are all over the Political Spectrum.

  14. Clayton,,
    Sour Grapes.

    A speaker who supported a neutral position at the meeting was talking about how we should conserve energy consumption by making life style choices.
    I wholeheartedly agree about the lifestyle choices.
    The whole reason this project is upon us is because the fine folks of Mass want to feed their energy gulping lifestyle at someone else's expense. They are choosing to create MORE demands for energy.

    Energy companies are about one thing and one thing ONLY. And that is financial profit.$$$$$$
    They send a polished respresentative and a staff to convince us otherwise but the proof is in their track record.
    They don't care about us folks.

    I wondered how many people at the meeting left lights on at home while they were at the meeting. How many left computers and monitors on,, have to have a gas gulping ATV instead of a smaller one etc etc etc.
    So many things like that add up tremendously to our energy demand.

    Rather than "Creating a Bigger Monster Supplier", Let's work on lowering our Demand by our lifestyle' choices.
    Then we won't need a turnpike running thru our beautiful state. (Btw, electric cars are the most demanding contraptions out there,, C'mon Gov,Really!!)
    Unlike the folks in Mass and CD1 in Southern Maine, I support adjusting our lifestyle' choices so that we aren't OWNED AND OPERATED by an energy supplier.

    If you think you "need" to make more money than you can here, but you're not willing to adjust your lifestyle demands, do what you gotta do.
    Time to grow up and learn to conserve.

    I support opposing this project.

  15. One on hand, or side of the mouth, the opposition spouts that it will "damage the wilderness"; then, on the other hand, and/or side of the mouth, they say "what we're going to get is pitiful". That is both modern conservation, and economics, in a nutshell. How much conservation was included in all of those flyers and road signs strewn about... Exactly.

    Agreed with 'Hrtlss Bstd', that there is too much dope being consumed around here.

  16. Once again some Farmington voters vote for no future for Maine. The naysayers went to the meeting with blinders on. They dismissed the governors research into the facts and instead went with innuendo and falsehoods.

    Hypocrisy reigns: the environmental concerns are just blowing smoke... let's just get rid of our current transmission lines, our telephone poles everywhere. In fact lets just get rid of anything electric! ... that will solve your concerns. Perhaps we should eliminate all the electronic medical research devices that help medical researchers discover new cures. Then we can go back to the 19th and early 20th centuries before we had any of the medical advances we have today.

    Jobs: New companies don't come to Maine because of the high cost of energy here. Mills have all but disappeared from our state. Even our small businesses are reluctant to expand because of those energy costs. Our youth leave in droves because there are few jobs here, particularly those requiring a degree. There are plenty of trades jobs but few (apparently) youth/people willing to make the effort to learn a trade. Trades jobs pay very well, in case you haven't noticed.

  17. Jamie ,,,, Well said , all over the spectrum. But we all know what is important ,,, and that is why we choose to defend it ! ( Blue collar Republican as well )

  18. Not being mean spirited when I say,
    "If you don't like it slow,, then it's time for you to go".

    Most of Maine is "behind" the times.
    Just the way we like it.

    Whether you were born here or came here from away,
    If you want a Fast and Furious lifestyle, there's a great place for that just south of us..
    "Maine Ain't It".

    We're going to fight you for what we value.
    We might be different but it is what it is.

    I believe Gov Mills is sincere,, but sincerely wrong.


  19. Curmudgeon,

    Governors research? You know, someone representing the NECEC stuck a fact filled pamphlet in my door on Sunday. Monday night at the town meeting l picked up another fact filled pamphlet put out by the NECEC.On Sunday l read that the Corridor would reduce carbon emissions by 3.6 metric tons. That’s the equivalent of taking 767.000 vechicles off the New England roads. On Monday l read that the carbon emissions reduced would equal 667.000 vechicles off the New England roads. There were other discrepancies between the two pamphlets written by the same organization but I’ll leave it at that.

    There’s a bill floating around out there named LD 640 that if passed, would require the Maine Department of Environmental Protection Agency to pursue an independent third party study of greenhouse impacts of the New England Energy Connect Proposal. Isn’t it time that we clear up all this haze by an unbasied study? Certainly wouldn’t hurt.

    It was a good town meeting folks. Thanks to the SelectBoard for putting it out there for a citizen vote and a true heartfelt thanks too everyone that attended.

  20. Good call. If you can vote to lower your property taxes (fat chance), you'll really be on to something!

    No more 'studies'...the People don't want it . I thought you were all for 'democracy'? Suuuure. They'll probably just keep pushing and go around your will as they do with all other things Left.

    This offers ZERO for 'maine's future', but quite a bit for the Elite. Try lowering taxes; all the good jobs are south, where they are reasonable rather than punitive. Where everyone is heading for, in case you hadn't noticed...

  21. 'Democracy' died with the passing of Citizens United.


  22. Rationale this is coming from both sides of our mouths or face ! NO CORRIDOR FOR MASS TO BENEFIT OFF FROM MAINE ANYMORE IF THEY WONT FIX THEIR OWN PROBLEMS TOO BAD !!!! As supply and demand said if they can’t adjust their lifstyle to accommodate their energy consumption that is their problem not Maines. If those of you that don’t like the slow pace of Maine feel free to move to Mass.

  23. We the citizens of Maine need the power line project. We NEED the jobs. It's out of the way and nobody will ever see the line running in the woods, and if they do maybe we could develop a hiking trail for people to enjoy. Please support.

  24. It was nice to see that the people of Farmington did the right thing last night and came out forcefully against the NECEC, which is a farce built on a false premise for the exploitation of a region and for the profit of two foreign entities and a few select "insiders." I was surprised that the vote was a close as it was, but chalk it up to 3 long-winded and polished persuasive statements for the corridor just before the vote and some confusion as to which way to vote.

    What was very disappointing was the governor's allegations of "dark money" by those against the corridor.I am sure there is some of that, there always in in politics. However, to ignore that "Mainers for Clean Energy", a pro corridor lobbying group with their television, social media and flyer blitz's are also in play, and that CMP funded a non-profit whose sole purpose was to grease the skids on this project (Peter Mills is a board member) is to only put forth one side of the equation. It is the reason the opposition is so dedicated, we the people are tired of being bullied and manipulated. I, who voted for the governor and stood up for her on many an occasion during the election season, could not possibly be more disappointed in the biased spin. It sounded just like the CMP talking points we have been refuting in overwhelming numbers for months. Sheesh, I hoped for more.

  25. I am sorry I didn't make the meeting as I had a work obligation. Seems like I'm working these days to support everyone else but me. I am also a blue-collar Republican and proud of it and pleased that there were so many people at the meeting. The Liberals are out in left field and CMP has proven not to be a friend to its customers. Don't you recall what happen with bills last year? Was that ever resolved? I think not. They told lies then and are telling lies now. In case you forgot, Maine is not going to benefit from the this venture. Oh, and its nice that Governor Mills voiced her views but she has already proven she likes spending tax payers dollars without any plans for sustainability.

  26. @Awww

    Likewise, as 'Supply and Demand' stated:

    "I wondered how many people at the meeting left lights on at home while they were at the meeting. How many left computers and monitors on,, have to have a gas gulping ATV instead of a smaller one etc etc etc.
    So many things like that add up tremendously to our energy demand."

    ..and those are just examples.

    Maine has just as much of a footprint, and to believe otherwise is nonsense.

    Though you people who tell others to leave if they believe other than what you say, is downright slanderous to the state motto and dependable on tax paying property owners.

  27. Funny how these 2 topics relate. Think about how much electricity/energy indoor grow operations ( dope ) use.
    Talk about waste.

  28. @farmingtonite it is not “out in the woods” it will be on some peoples lawns literally!! It will be within a half mile of my home and with the tall towers even I will be able to see them from my lawn.
    @ Darryl its funny how everytime there is opposition to the left their is dark money. I don’t doubt there is somewhere but not around the people that I’ve spoke too.
    @rationale the sooner you leave the sooner I can buy up this area and have my own town. Which by the way will have no residents nor public roads. Not to mention any need for cmp to be here either.
    @ franklin county citizen the new govnah doesn’t need any sustainable moneys she has our paychecks that will be taking a yuge hit !!!!! Don’t forget to undo your speedometer so you can get by the mileage tax. Talk to your boss and get lined up for all the overtime they can muster the thousands of new people on maincare need you. Seems how asking people to work isn’t fair according to the people in Augusta that are against the latest bill proposal.
    On another note did anyone else see that a Canadian company is the process of buying Emera Maine ? Convenient isn’t it ?

  29. @rationale,
    You talk as if everyone against the project must be a bunch of free loaders. That's just something else you are wrong about. I've worked my whole life. I make very good money and pay a LOT of taxes (too much). I am politically conservative . I don't depend on anyone else's taxes. I pay plenty for everyone elses benefit
    I am not a dependant..
    I opposed this CMP scam.

  30. I think what bothered me more than anything was that the Selectmen decided to support all the Non-Profits with MY taxes - YOUR taxes. Now, if other towns don't support the non-profits, and the County Commissioners choose not to support the non-profits, does that mean ONLY FARMINGTON PEOPLE can use the services? I doubt that. It's like supporting other factions. There are non-profits all over this town. THEY PAY NOTHING. So that means all the people who pay real estate taxes pay for everything.
    I'm still working at 70+. Why? One income now. To make ends meet, I work. I have no high speed internet. I pay for plowing and rubbish disposal. I dread my tax bill every year. Oh, and did I mention the school system?

  31. Again I will say it. When did the Republicans become the anti business party? I actually think it's a good awakening because they have been electing people on a pro business and deregulation platform for so long that it's brought about the this corporate rule of government (oligarchy and lobby power) that is culmination of deregulated capitalism. The reason some here think it's inevitable because corporations have too much money=power. Wonder what a Republican Governor would have done and if the NIMBY conservative crowd would still be so against this? I feel for the Native Americans that were sprayed with tax payer funded corporate rubber bullets and water cannons only to lose sacred land and see it covered in oil spills. Please feel free to let me know your thoughts.

  32. Everyone lives on other's taxes, and are dependant accordingly.

    Think about it.

  33. Nancy you need to check your facts many other towns in franklin county voted to support non profits! Services such ad the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response services as well as safe voices provide all their services free of charge to survivors their families and friends as well as go into area schools providing free preventative education also at no.charge I'm sorry you feel our town supporting these agencies are a waste of your money! I hope and pray you nor none of your family members need services from these agencies

  34. I pay taxes to State, Federal, Property, Prepared food, All Hard goods and services.. I don't play the lottery (the dummy tax). And it only makes sense to me if those tax dollars are pumped back into our economy by employing people who "pay taxes" by working for the many public services that benefit our community and society at large.

  35. @rationale,
    There is a vast difference in people's "contribution" to societys finances.
    Some are free loaders,, some are not.
    I thought everyone would understand that.

    Another way of putting it is "Life's not fair, get over it".

    As for me, Everytime I get upset about the taxes I pay, I understand that I wouldn't trade places with the free loaders. I'm All Good Here Thanks...

  36. @Awww

    If you read further, further than the depth of your responses, you would know that Emera is already a Canadian Company; based out of Nova Scotia. Same as the owners of the Kibby Mountain wind farm, is also a Canadian Company, called Next Era Energy.

    Thanks for your replies though.

  37. Same as there is vast difference in people's opportunity, which denotes their ability to contribute. I thought everyone understands that, but clearly not. Check your privilege.

  38. @Rationale I didnt realize that thanks for the info. That doesn’t mean that it’s any better for the people of Maine. As
    Lastly thanks for your responses even if we don’t agree.

  39. @Curmudgeon

    Exactly right. Unfortunately, a lot of people fear change and try to resist progress while failing to understand they benefit from previous generations' investment in infrastructure, education, etc. Many of the things we take for granted today like phone poles and roads also spoil the environment but we barely notice them because, for us, they've always been there. This CMP project will end up the same eventually: there, but ignored.

    However, if the objectors' hidden agenda is simply to squeeze more money out of CMP before agreeing to the project, then I'm all for their tactic.

  40. @rationale
    Your slip is showing now..
    "Check your Priveledge" is right there with the race card.
    It makes more sense to "know" something about somebody before making judgements like they must be priveledged..
    If I assumed every successful minority got there with handouts, would that be ignorant? Yes it would.
    Some kids (of all races) have their priveledge beaten out of them by abusive parents unsupporting parents but overcome everything that comes with that. And then (because they're white) someone calls them priveledged when they succeed. If you think the system is rigged in anyone's favor,,,,,join the crowd. Lol
    But thanks for your comment.

    This CMP project might happen regardless of how many towns oppose it. Another example of the system being rigged maybe. It won't be the end of the world either way, But it's always worth standing up for what you think is right.
    There is sincerity on both sides and I thought the Town meeting was fairly good. Lot of lawyers there though.. For those that care about your neighbor, Thank You.

  41. We aren't the only option for CMP to get the power to MASS. Vermont has already approved to go underground through their state. But the bottom line is $$$. Big Corp thinks Maine will sell out for a lot less. Why ruin our beautiful state for a cheap price?

  42. @Rigged

    'Privilege' does not apply only to race, religion, etc. You are watching too much news. Go tell a bunch of crippled kids that they can do anything they want, if you feel so equal.

    Now who's "slip" is showing...

    ..but thanks for your comment.

  43. @rationale
    Always the Victim huh,,

    Have it your way , You go tell a bunch of crippled kids they are forever doomed with no hope,,
    I mean they are all under priveledged victims with no chance in life,,,
    And it's the fault of everyone who isn't crippled,, right.
    After all, None of "them" will help.
    Very empowering...not.
    What news are you watching?

    More and more people of all "situations" are speaking out against the destructive drizzle of "playing the victim". Mostly from those who have overcome in many different ways. Those are some powerful people!!

    Oh yeah,,, the CMP thing,,don't be a "victim" of corporate greed. If we find in the end that we are, we will live on.
    But be kind to each other.

  44. No news, this is real life. I am not spoiled like your military service members, who also live on tax payer dollaers; but we don't talk about that sense of entitlement, do we.. Neither do you care to acknowledge who is even given those opportunities, in the first place. Though, see it as you wish, whether through one eye, or none at all.

    You are talking to someone of whom you would never want their life, and you know it. You would just rather attack them, belittle them, and kick them to the curb. Real nice attitude to market the beauty of this countryside with, but I guess that is "how life should be"; right.

    To all of you complaining about business as usual, regarding CMP and the corridor, who is also playing the victim there?


  45. Rational,

    There's a difference in complaining about business as usual regarding CMP and its Corridor, and complaining, seeing the futility of such an action, then taking action, as the vote taken in Farmington signifies. As a matter of fact, the Corridor is starting to be knocked down all over this state. No victims here. Just a bunch of people getting together and saying NO to corporate greed, buyouts, politics as usual, and insults from a CMP front man.

    One more thing, we know that this sordid business is far from over. We are doing our research and not resting on our laurels.

    Nope, not even after we hear those slick ads supporting the NECEC...

    By the way, who pays for those?

  46. @rationale

    Off the topic of the article but,,,, we've beat that to death already...

    When you mentioned the "room full of crippled kids" , I also thought about veterans who have lost limbs and worse, and I thought about extremely abused children or women,,or men too. I thought about elder abuse that's coming to light more and more.
    "All of these groups have a tragic beginning , but many turned into tremendous and inspiring success stories.
    This is also real life. Yes it is.
    You don't know me (not perfect) and I know nothing about you (other than this little exchange here).
    But I do know, not everyone fails.
    And I also know from personal experience that blaming and not forgiving is destructive.
    I have never heard an overcomer waste time blaming and playing the victim. The simple fact is, It doesn't work.
    Not sure social justice will ever happen in this life, but it will surely never be achieved by force or attacking your neighbor.
    God is Love and Hope.

  47. What do some of you people not get about the fact that ALL of this is for the benefit of Massachusetts, NOT Maine! I just don’t get how some can be so blind..... it’s way in the woods nobody will see it! It’s not like it’s virgin forest! We need the jobs! We need the power! We need the tax breaks! Would you all just open your eyes and wake up!?

    - This is my third attempt at getting a comment published, on this thread, hopefully third time is the charm?

  48. What do people not understand about ISO New England? The northeast power grid is controlled by a company based in Massachusetts. They manage and distribute 32,000 megawatts of power for all of new England. That includes Maine with the exception of the county. They get theirs from hydro Quebec. When power is added to the northeast grid, everyone in the northeast uses it. Kind of like if you add more power to your house, every room gets some. It really is that simple. Whether or not you support it, at least understand it.

  49. Nancy, why do you hate nonprofits? You do understand that their charitable or educational missions are in place to relive the burden on local people and town? or to benefit people in some other way?
    In addition to that, non profit employees pay all the same employment taxes that you do. I would guess between the hospital, the university and organizations like LEAP and WorkFirst- there is close to a hundred million in payroll going out into this community and buying products and services for tax paying for profit businesses. In addition to that, they employ contractors for building projects, purchase groceries, vehicles and commodities locally and in fact act as an economic engine complimenting the for profit businesses nicely.
    Again Nancy Porter, why do you hate nonprofits? It makes no sense.

  50. Do those who administrate these non-profits draw BIG salaries? Do they siphon off a big amount from the top? Maybe part of Nancy's dislike or mistrust of some of them.