Is Readfield an age-friendly community? In a survey done by the newly formed Age Friendly Committee, most people said the best way to help seniors was to lower their taxes. In light of this, the Union Meeting House supporters, after asking for $5,000 in a one-time-only request last year to help secure grant money, are asking for another $5,000 this year, and the Select Board supports it. This is for a privately owned building that pays no taxes, and previous denials of assistance for other properties generating major tax revenues. In fact, this year the amount requested for the Union Meeting House, Trails, and Heritage Days is more than twice what’s requested for General Assistance and Heat Assistance combined.

High taxes hurt seniors more than just in their wallet; it adds to the closure of businesses. Now they can’t buy gas in town or building supplies and hardware. As businesses close, it dramatically reduces the ability of fire department volunteers to quickly respond to emergencies as they are forced to work more hours at jobs further away.

Again this year, the Select Board supports every item on the warrant and the school budget, with its automatic annual increase, while statewide other towns and cities make the difficult but necessary cuts to keep taxes down.

In Readfield, roughly 25 percent of all the potential voters are getting these things passed, oftentimes by slim margins. If we want to be a truly age-friendly community more people need to vote down all nonessential items on the warrant and the school budget, thereby helping both the elderly and younger residents trying to start families and stay in Readfield.

David Hepfner


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