I read with interest and some trepidation, the column headlined, “County government has outlived its usefulness, why expand it?” by George Smith in the Feb. 15 newspaper.

I disagree with several assertions and innuendoes Smith has included in his blather.

Furthermore it is a problem for me to correct several comments that are less than entirely factual in a 750-word ramble within my limit of 300 words.

I understand Smith lives (as does most of Maine’s population) south of U.S. Route 2. He quotes from the Brookings Institute (where is that based? Massachusetts?). I believe most of the characters creating that study hailed from similar territory.

Smith asked if I wished to have “more government.” I answered in the negative. For some reason, he thinks that by passing L.D. 1798 we are creating “more government,” but that is not so. A couple of commissioners would be added to the Land Use Regulation Commission. This is simply a switch. The main purpose, and the one I support, is to have local control.

I could go on; state government is struggling now (as usual) to pay the bills. I don’t think they want to take on county responsibilities. As a county commissioner for more than 19 years, I take fiscal responsibilities very seriously.

The last ox cart I’ve seen in Franklin County was many years ago, probably behind someone’s barn. We have come a long way.

Fred W. Hardy, New Sharon, Franklin County commissioner

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