Revenue sharing trickling back to small Maine towns, the faucet quickly turned off.
Shut down. Funds to write grants, compete for becoming scarcer by the day. The incline racketed straight up. An extremely competitive, time consuming process. Shrinking ROI return.
So what do you, the small Maine town do if the future shows to expect more of the same reductions in funding?
Knowing full well that this is not a momentary blip on the radar. But something to get used to more of the same coming down the pike for years to come?
You shrink, you belt tighten, get creative. Today.
Stop the bleeding today. Take those steps. Strong bold ones to make hard decisions. Seeing it will only be a bigger blood bath if put off racketing it back drastically for the small Maine town, the economic region. If you don’t take action early. All along the way. Especially if the small Maine town’s population is dropping numbers too when they do a head count every decade. See the red flags dropped, white ones waving.
Start with small Maine town duplication of layers. Or you could take the tack that let’s raise property taxes to keep the status quo. Jack up user fees, licenses, permits which are already too high. The last thing you should be doing for a healthy environment for the local businesses, individuals you want to have stay around in your small Maine town. For young folks to find their way back after college, the service, stretching their legs out of state.
Keeping things the way they are, always were.
You don’t have to know Latin to sense there is work to do. It’s not status quo. Different tack needed. Plenty of adjustment much like when the captain of the commercial plane comes on the overhead speaker. And says don’t mean to alarm you folks. But there is a mountain range coming up and we are not going to clear it unless the aircraft is lightened up. Suddenly you are not worried about the inflight movie. The peanuts and soft drink. The who’s your ride after touch down where you thought you were landing today.
My Dad was a tail gunner on a B24 Liberator during World War Two with the pilot announcing one run this same head’s up warning.
Shot up pretty royally after a German bomb run. Trying to just limp away from the anti aircraft 88’s pointing, pumping a steady, deadly accurate shrapnel ordinance stream skyward.
The guy upfront wearing the silk scarf, same 15th Army Air Force patch on his leather bomber’s jacket with sheep skin collar trying to make the point quickly. Not candy coat it. Assess the situation, relay to the crew the limited options. As the plane’s alarm bell starts ringing, flashing interior lights pulsate on and off. And altitude is dropping as the rest of the squadron leaves the lone plane behind like it was standing still. As night fall approaches for the ten man crew all by itself still over enemy air space.
The crew to survive, ends up flying with one last engine.
Due to fire, blown out missing sections. Or plain drained, bone dry on critical oil in the other three. Feathered, shut down one by one. As bad moves over, making way for worse. Crippling the tattered winged war bird’s efforts to flap it’s way, to get back to home base in Italy. The crew pitched in, heave ho’ed interior bomb racks, anything with weight knowing their life depended on it. Or parachuting out the bomb bay doors the only other option on the table, being discussed.
The back of the above photo has my Dad’s handwritten inscription. “The smiles are real, after forced landing.” The ecstatic crew kneel, kissed the ground, literally. When touching down at a forward coastal English base airstrip. Picked up three days later to be assigned another bomber with a different half dressed beauty painted upfront on both sides. Sporting an exotic, racy name underneath to continue making the bombing milk runs. Dropped on strategic daylight targets to win the war. And lose half the planes in the process to get back to a stateside peace time way of life.
The overhead of small Maine towns needs more than eagle eye line item study.
There was not the waste to trim from previous year’s scrutiny for cutting around the edges.
The same level of service across the board is not a tab the local property tax payers, small business owners can afford to shoulder. And a five year, longer plan needs to be rack focused quickly to dove tail reductions in over spending, overhead.
With painful but necessary surgery, an all on board direction, concensus. That no one in the room enjoys, wants to take. But to miss that approaching mountain range called over spending money you don’t have if you don’t Jack. Just as serious a situation as the fly boy GI’s found themselves in. Signed on for to win the war. Small Maine towns, what makes one great?