Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Concerned about social service cuts

I am concerned about the cuts and elimination of funding for social services in the Franklin County Budget. The County Commissioners have voted to recommend a cut of $140,000 from program grants for area nonprofits in the 2018 budget. The eight programs impacted would be the Children’s Task Force, Adult Education, Western Maine Transportation, Western Maine Community Action, Greater Franklin Development Corp, Seniors Plus, SAPARS and Androscoggin Home Care and Hospice.

What is alarming is the zeroing out of support for six organizations and the promise to cut the remaining to zero within two years. This is a tremendous shift of policy that has existed for 35 years. Support for organizations that serve the public for both safety and increased economic development is, in my mind, essential to a healthy community.

I visited Richard Davis, Town Manager of Farmington to better understand what the $140,000 in County budget cuts means to my tax bill. We calculated that on a $100,000 property these County cuts would save $4.93. I would prefer to invest in these nonprofits than receive this small tax cut.

Which would you prefer, a tax cut of under $5, or support for local organizations that improve our quality of life?

Fen Fowler

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13 Responses »

  1. Well stated, Ken.

  2. I have seen what these organizations do and have done for citizens of Franklin County. Keep my 5 bucks please

  3. I agree, Fen. I've heard about what organizations like the Children's Task Force has done for families in real despair, these organizations help a lot of people who would otherwise be left on the margins. It can make a difference for a child between success or falling into the trap of poverty. A community is judged by how it treats all.

  4. I plan on attending the next meeting as long as its open to the public. If time allows after work .

  5. Here, I will educate you all on how this actually works, Most of the programs that you all mentioned get federal and state funding, and were being subsidized by the county on top of that. What is the purpose of the county budget for? It was to fund Sheriffs department, jail, D.A office, registry of deed, probate, communications and more but not outside programs. For those of you that are complaining have you looked at the salaries of the non profit management? Many salaries are higher than the average workers income. If you would look at the funds they received from Federal and state , that they receive you would wonder why they need any money from the county. These programs will not go away with out county funds. Why should it be mandatory for everyone to have to give. All of these programs accept donations and you are more than willing to give . People should be more mindful of how and where they spend.
    Its called triple dipping .. Some programs receive MILLIONS so please check out there budgets. None of the programs are bad but there are some that are great as well and receive no help. So its fair to say that lets keep the money in the County that's what it was intended for .

  6. I agree educated 100 percent...

  7. Ok Mr educated..
    You seem perfectly willing to fund the cops (we need that),, but we also need to help the needy.
    I might think the cops and commissioners are over compensated and have too many PERKS that pay for.
    But we still should help the needy.

    So we disagree.

  8. Concerns......are legitimate. First, federal and state funding for nonprofits is shrinking. Second, not all administrators make big salaries-in fact, many don't. Third, let's ask ourselves: what kind of community do we want to be? ALL of these organizations deserve ALL of the support they can get. It's all for the people-not for the profits.

  9. Big Dipper , I am sorry I disagree . There is so much help for the needy, less fortunate, and those that just plain refuse to work. They get free food, clothing, health care, fuel, discounts on electric ect the list goes on and on. But what about grammy , she gets nothing!! Some of the elderly get very minimal help, they have worked there whole life and then cant afford there taxes. The system is so broken and someplace along the line we need to real it in. Plenty of young people need to go to work. I cant begin to tell you how many children go to school and there parents are sitting home all day, there is something so wrong with that picture. You say these programs help, over and over again there are children in our schools that are hungry , filthy and neglected. I have yet to see where the help is. Frustrated for the children ,beyond belief.

  10. Literacy Volunteers, can you tell me do you help in the schools in the Western Foothills?? If you are holding programs outside the schools. How do these children get to the programs? How about programs after school with buses to take them home?? Most children would love to stay and be read to, or be able to go to sports after school, but the ones in need don't have a ride or a parent to take them..

  11. Dear "Educated",

    You may want to rethink cutting services like adult education. Your grammar could use a bit of work.

    A tax payer that wants better for this community

  12. concerned, Who said I was educated?? Never qualified for such services. I had to work for a living.

  13. Educated..(big Dipper here.)
    I agree with u about ask the cheaters..
    It really pisses me off..yes it does!!
    it's not the kids fault they have losers for parents.
    Also for every cheater you can find... There are good people needing and receiving temporary help.
    And for that reason...I say it's worth it.