In the March 4 newspaper, I read the article pertaining to a group of legislators asking for $50,000 for a memorial to honor the patients who died at the Augusta Mental Health Institute.

Rep. Teresea Hayes, D-Buckfield, said, “It’s tiny sum to convey an important message.”

A tiny sum? To me, $50,000 is a lot of money. And that is in addition to the $10,000 that was donated by the Viles family, so we’re talking $60,000 for a memorial.

Yes, it would be a noble and wonderful thing to do, but isn’t there a cheaper way to accomplish this? Would a mason or stonecutter donate materials and/or time? Could it be made out of a different material?

Although they do acknowledge their request comes at a bad time given the state’s budget crisis, legislators are still submitting it. Sixty thousand dollars is a lot of money at a time when the state needs to take care of its unpaid bills.

Mary Plato


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