In his last year of public service to the people of Maine, an official portrait of Gov. John Baldacci was made at a cost to taxpayers of $20,000.

Was this a wise use of taxpayer money?

I love a good painting as much as anyone, but to spend that much taxpayer money to honor one man, and not think that was a bit silly would be, well … silly.

Would a cost-conscious man such as Gov. Paul LePage want us to pay $20,000 for a painting of himself in the future? He advocates cutting where we can because we are broke.

If I were governor, asking the people I serve to sacrifice so we all can prosper, I would first make myself the example and perhaps take a pay and benefit cuts. These actions would be more in line with what the people in Maine actually have to endure every day.

Perhaps a 20 percent cut and a 80/20 insurance plan would be a good start.

Over the last few years, I have noticed some very good paintings by wonderful artists around my local area. Perhaps one of these folks might donate a painting of LePage for free, knowing it would hang inside the State House for all to see.

If LePage doesn’t get re-elected, but Baldacci is elected for a second round at the Blaine House, would he have a second painting of himself done at another cost of $20,000 to the taxpayers of Maine? Would it hang on the State House wall beside himself? Wouldn’t that be silly?

 

Mark Joseph Pantermoller

Fairfield

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