Message to Boothbay: Looking the Gift Horse in the Mouth Can Be a Stitch in Time That Saves Nine
Asking the questions no one wants to answer
It seems that we live in a community where the rule of law means nothing in certain spheres and I am not talking about the common law for common folk but about the rule of law that interacts with the public-private government of Maine. The public-private sector brushes off laws that are supposed to apply to all and are very adept at exploiting laws that are designed for exploitation, as written by the public-private quasi-state.
This author does not have a law degree but nonetheless, there are the basics, that we all are taught about the law, and then is my hobby of researching the law and that is what informs my opinion, which I will now boldly express in an improperly innovated forum.
Regarding Appropriate and Improper Forums.
Recently community leaders made an appearance in the public forum sponsored by Boothbay Maine’s fourth estate, the Boothbay Register, to set it straight about where it is proper to talk about the unified field of developer projects occurring on this peninsula.
You might notice that the letter, titled This is what it has come down to, the second one written by Steve E Lorrain and delivering a similar message as the first, has an inordinately high number of comments for a Boothbay Register comment section, most of them mine, but that’s to be expected because Mr. Lorraine specifically called me out for commenting in the fourth estate forum, held up as an improper forum for commenting on “the project” and shames us for not attending the supervised meetings funded by the donor cabal, which is deemed to be the proper forum. (shortly after this post was published, Mr. Lorraine addressed me in a third Letter To The Editor. I do not know if he is aware of this newsletter, or just responding to the public comments in his previous letter to the editor. I do not wish to embarrass anyone, but they are playing a high-stakes game that affects a larger community- in fact, the entire state of Maine)
This is not a very effective method of getting miscreants like myself to toe the line.
Letter to the Editor, Steven E. Lorrain, Board of Trustees, Building Exploratory Committee said: Many believe that all I want is to build a new school. Nothing could be further from the truth! I said before – assess the buildings, design, and price a new building and bring the information to the public so that it can be voted on by referendum. All of our meetings were open to the public. We were begging for input. The silence was deafening! So now all you have is the work of the few that did contribute. Complain and whine all you want. This is what it has come down to.
They came to complain, We are, they said,
talking whining, and complaining about “the project” in an inappropriate forum, and furthermore, “Some in the public have enough time to write long comments on the Comments Page without any facts, but they can’t be bothered to attend a meeting. Shame on you!”, they said!
Town leadership's portrayal of myself and others is often repeated as “without any facts”. I am engaged in the field of research and generally substantiate what I say so I find that to be very harmful misinformation.
They say so “without any ears!”. and will not answer any questions outside of their self-defined parameters for boxing the conversation.
Mr. Lorrine begins with “Nothing could be further from the truth that I want to build a new school", followed by this self-contradiction,“ I said before – assess the buildings, design, and price a new building and bring the information to the public so that it can be voted on by referendum.”- for a small price tag of 2.5 million dollars.
When I read about the public expenses that our leadership engenders, I can’t help but Imagine the great state-of-the-art ceramic design and research center that Andersen Design could establish with that kind of funding, the entire facility could be built for less than the cost of the architectural design cost of the project, Established in 1952 Andersen Design offered applied STEAM education on the job without receiving public subsidies for doing so.
STEAM Education is an approach to learning that uses Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics as access points for guiding student inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. source
Ceramic making, especially the level of ceramic making engaged by Andersen Design which includes developing original bodies and glazes in addition to form designs, involves all of the STEAM “access points”. One has to be capable of thinking outside of the corporate state box to understand that, but the donor cabal is all about coordinating with the corporate state and the corporate state’s powerful hand in redistributing public wealth, used to keep all in line with top-down hierarchical control that is characteristic of both government and large corporate culture.
Andersen Design is not looking for government subsidization but since all small businesses are part of the subsidizing economy, it would be fair and just if the government support programs extended to small businesses like ours, not through programs wherein the small business is encouraged to work in public-privately owned facilities where intellectual property vampires hover, but by including the small business sector in reach out programs that help small entrepreneurs to network on our own terms.
When I needed help in formulating a board for an American Designer Craftsmen Museum, also a teaching institution, local leadership was not there for me as Wency Wolf the spokesperson for the Joint Economic Development Council of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor told me to go get help from my own peer group, making it perfectly clear that local leadership did not represent me, our business and our interests. At the time I missed a larger context that I can see clearly now, Andersen Design is part of the Peninsula's history, which the new developers want to erase so that they can do their own thing on this peninsula and this I believe is a very hollow and misguided vision for the future of the peninsula.
To tell us we are not allowed to speak in public except in programs supervised by the hierarchy is the very opposite of extending publicly funded support to the sectors that are expected to do the funding, which is the uncredited reality when dealing with the public-private state. The concept of Including the pre-existing culture in developing the peninsula is inappropriate when the project has accepted funding that comes from a private donor cabal with a clearly identifiable agenda to repeal and replace the pre-existing culture of the peninsula, including the traditional public education system. and that on a massive scale.
The emphasis on STEAM is a narrow emphasis chosen because they are fields valued by large industries and are instrumental in government economic development programs, which the government now hopes to extend into the publicly subsidized public educational system since corporate welfare depends on public subsidization which has in the past been achieved through the Pine Tree Zone and Opportunity Zones, but if the State can attach its corporate welfare incentives to the public school system, the public subsidization needed to attract large corporations can be had anywhere across the state, much to the detriment of the free enterprise economy which ends up being taxed without being represented, and thus the wealth divide, which is now the ownership class-working class divide continues to expand, and the leaders are not listening to how the working classes feel about that.
While it is true that all disciplined engagement encourages inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking, why are the fields that directly focus on inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking left out of the curriculum, fields such as history, philosophy (including ethics), and law are left out of the educational targeted sector as the project innovators seek to reinvent public education to serve the public-private industrial sector, making the entire public educational system feel more like indoctrination than education.
But should we be taking Mr, Lorrain’s words at face value? Mr. Lorrain parses his thought as if planning a new school system is completely unrelated to building a new school system, which conveniently releases this school board from having to talk about the costs of the new school, which they cannot actually escape when it comes to the public referendum. In Mr. Lorrains subconscious mind, is the referendum for which all these plans are made, planned futility that avoids the conundrum of how the building of the school will be funded?
There is a disconnect between planning and costs, with the planning discussion taking place in a supervised discussion of designated topics funded by anonymous donors, while the discussion about funding the project is happening either in secret, protected by the right to privacy usually associated with the private sector, or in the public Boothbay Register forum which is being portrayed as an inappropriate forum. How likely is it that the discussion in the comments section of the newspaper would be deemed an inappropriate forum if the forum were blindly supportive and did not question the donor cabal’s mission?
Back to the rule of law, which is tragically missed in the educational focus on STEAM education.
Attorney Kristin Collins has the resume of an accomplished and professional lawyer. Ms. Collins is legal counsel for the Dolyes, infamous for stopping the
Boothbay Harbor Eastside Waterfront Park from proceeding with its plans for months upon months at great cost to the Town.
The Eastside Waterfront Park was originally called the Boothbay Harbor Waterfront Park, but when that name is searched, the Doyles defamation website targeting the Park displays at the top of the list and is so similar to the original website name of the Park, that on a quick glance, it can be taken for the Park’s website, so it was wise to change the name.
One of the issues is a pre-existing asphalt parking lot that has been reconfigured and reduced in size, but not under the supervision of Sir Joe and Lady Jill. The Dolyes appear to believe that the entire waterfront of Boothbay Harbor should be designed as a corporate campus serving the Airbnb, dining, and entertainment industries. One developer, or group of developers serving a singular mission, should develop all of the waterfronts, in the convention of central management, and it should be directed by the donor cabal, to which the Doyles belong. source
The Doyles hold themselves up as standards of professionalism in all fields, regardless of their level of knowledge.
Attorney Collins, the Doyle’s Attorney of choice, writes letters to the editor of the Boothbay Register and makes allegations against the Park that reiterate the claims she is pursuing in the legal system, begging the question, is Ms. Collins trying to influence the legal court through the court of public opinion? What sort of professional standard is that?
The first time I came across a letter to the editor by Ms. Collins, she signed it as Attorney Kristin Collins and so I asked her why she was pursuing her case in the court of public opinion rather than through the legal system. The next time she wrote a letter slamming the Park, she signed it with her personal name. Collins is as entitled to write a letter to the editor as anyone but when she gets involved in trying to influence the court of public opinion in a situation where it has no bearing on the outcome of a case that Ms. Collins is litigating in the legal system, it appears that her involvement in Waterfront Park goes beyond her professional involvement. Her company bio says she lives in Brunswick Maine leaving the reason for her personal involvement in her cases in Boothbay a mystery.
In the latest episode, Ms. Collins made an appearance at a select board meeting in an attempt to beat the board into pressuring the planning board and appeals board to rule on two cases in which Ms. Collins is a litigant, citing a lump sum of 150,000 dollars paid to the Town attorney as the reason why the select board must make the planning and appeals boards bring these cases to a close.
“I’m asking you to guide the park project to where it doesn’t have to appealed and litigated at every turn. I think the town is in a unique position to do that.” Attorney Kirstin Collins
Those two cases are the
Boothbay Harbor Eastside Waterfront Park, and 29 Mckown vs. Newcastle Realty’s building on 14 Todd Ave. Ms. Collins and the Boothbay Register represent both cases as ongoing.
However, a letter to the editor 02/06/2023 Re: 14 Todd Avenue begins with these words:
Dennis Hilton complains in this paper about legal bills spent by him and taxpayers on court cases regarding his new downtown Newcastle Realty building which came before the Maine Supreme Court. His letter misrepresents the dispute itself, the parties involved, and an important point: Mr. Hilton lost.
In the Todd Avenue case, Kirsten Collins represents 29 McKown, a case she won because it was resolved by the Maine Supreme Court which ruled on whether or not the rules of an orderly procedure were properly applied by the Town of Boothbay Harbor (they were not).
Now Attorney Collins is arguing that the town select board should put financial pressure on appeals cases being heard by other boards since Ms. Collins asserts that taking an appeal to its ultimate conclusion, for example, the 29 McKown case, costs the Town too much money. Her Todd Avenue clients would have lost their case if Attorney Collins's new legal strategy were implemented at that time and the same sort of misappropriation of roles that Ms. Collins is advocating, for now, would never have been identified by a Maine Supreme Court ruling.
In the Todd Avenue case, the Supreme Court ruling acts as oversight of local government and now Ms. Collins is advocating that misappropriated local power be used to stop a local appeal from ever reaching the level where the appropriateness of local government roles are examined by a higher court- because it costs too much money. The taxpayers of the Boothbay Peninsula cannot afford justice and good government because that costs too much money, according to Attorney Collins but we can afford a 100 million-dollar school for a community said to have the smallest youth population in the USA.
Why are Attorney Kirsten Collins and the Boothbay Register talking as if the Todd Avenue Case is still open? And why is Attorney Kirsten Collins, who specializes in municipal law, suggesting that public opinion or the select board should apply pecuniary pressure to influence how the planning board and appeals board performs their duties?
I submit that the Title Thirty-A Conflicts of Interests Clause says that what Attorney Collins is advocating for cannot be done, legally:
Title 30-A: MUNICIPALITIES AND COUNTIES
…2605. Conflicts of interest
Certain proceedings of municipalities, counties and quasi-municipal corporations and their officials are voidable and actionable according to the following provisions. [PL 1987, c. 737, Pt. A, §2 (NEW); PL 1987, c. 737, Pt. C, §106 (NEW); PL 1989, c. 6 (AMD); PL 1989, c. 9, §2 (AMD); PL 1989, c. 104, Pt. C, §§8, 10 (AMD).]
1. Voting. The vote of a body is voidable when any official in an official position votes on any question in which that official has a direct or an indirect pecuniary interest. (emphasis by author)
If a planning board or appeals board member is pressured by the select board because of cost, that is pressure due to a pecuniary interest.
And then there is §2635. Select board to act as a body; administrative service to be performed through town manager; committees
§2635. does not confer power or authority over the planning board and the appeals board to the select board. §2635 limits the select board’s interaction with the Town employees to the town manager, prohibiting the select board from giving orders to subordinates of the Town Manager. There is no mention of a relationship to either the planning board or the select board. It seems Ms. Collins is just “innovating” new powers for the select board because it momentarily suits her purpose.
The 150,000.00 figure Attorney Collins flails about is not broken down, and is not within a time frame. Take away the smoke and mirrors and it is the Doyles case that is still in play and is the desired beneficiary of Ms. Collins's extra-legal activities.
Ms. Collins is presumed to have read the Supreme Court ruling in the Todd Avenue case, resolved by the protocol of legal conduct for an appellate board versus a du novo board, which was not properly followed in the issuing of the building permit by the Town of Boothbay Harbor. Ms. Collins seems to have forgotten that the Todd Avenue appeal has been ruled on by the Supreme Court but how can she forget? It’s her own case.
That tells a story wherein the leaders and their lawyers act like the existing law that applies to everyone else doesn’t apply to them, then there is the other side wherein the public-private state designs laws to advance the takeover of our constitutional form of government by the public-private state.
To understand the system that is being innovated to replace the constitutional system, one must look at the way laws are designed to interact. This is no more apparent than in the choices made by the Boothbay Peninsula School District
Despite the complaints coming from the school district about people discussing the project in other forums and accusations that those discussions are not “fact-based” the school district will not answer any of the funding questions raised in the so-called “improper’ forums. That would be simple enough to do but they simply do not acknowledge that the subject of conversation in the “improper forums” is different than the discussion they describe in their own forum, so really what they are doing is setting parameters for what can be discussed, which is synchronized with the parameters of what is publicly transparent.
For an unexplained reason, the School District decided to go the route of conditional donations rather than using educational foundations, inviting speculation as to who influenced that decision. source
There are numerous foundations dedicated to education Applying for an educational grant does not require the school board to negotiate with private interests.
In the case of a 501(c)(3) organization, the bulk of your revenue must come from public donations, with a third coming from a range of different backgrounds and classes. While corporate donors and other 501(c)(3) donors are allowed, a majority of your time and resources should be spent on maximizing individual donations. source
The decision to use Section 1705 of Title 20-A which stipulates the authority to accept conditional gifts defines the funding target differently.
The Boothbay Region Education Foundation is a 501(c)3 organization which means donations made through the foundation are tax deductible.
A section 501(c)(3) organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests source but the Maine conditional giving statutes often have no restrictions on what conditions may be negotiated. This is the route that the School District decided to take with the funding.
A conceivable reason for not taking the tax-deductible contributions route is to allow negotiations to be made that benefit private interests as is standard practice in public-private negotiations that the State has been engaged in for decades.
Superintendent Kahler has said they are planning on raising at least half of the costs through private and corporate donations before bringing the project to the voters. source video at around 6:46, but he would not answer my FOAA request that asked if this donation was made as Municipal section 9 Fiscal Matters conditional gifts and if so, to please provide documentary evidence of the conditions.
In response to your request, the District will not be producing records that are designated confidential by statute (1 M.R.S.A. 402(3)(a)) or records which are otherwise privileged or confidential (including communications that are protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrines). Superintendent Kahler’s response to my FOAA request
LD 1845 An Act To Amend the Maine Education Statutes amended the educational statute so that rules are waived for “demonstration and research schools” to allow those schools to “innovate”
And where will the innovating be done"? In negotiations with conditional donors?
What would the private benefit be? Setting up the public education system as a job training service for private industry, an extension of the state’s corporate welfare services that benefit large industries at a cost to the rest of the economy, expanding the wealth divide. Maybe also negotiating housing to be reserved for private industry workforces as central management plans every aspect of our lives to serve its own agenda. Perhaps eventually transforming our public schools into satellites of the University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center
I have expressed such speculations in the Register forum and so Mr, Lorraine could just address those questions when he enters that forum instead of deriding and shaming the people participating in that forum. If he thinks we are speculating without facts that is because the facts are not being made available to the public- so give us the facts!
A simple direct question to the school district is “Is the project” targeting becoming a demonstration/research school pursuant to LD 1845 an Act To Amend the Maine Education Statutes? That question is general enough to not be protected by the attorney-client privilege or work product doctrines. A simple yes or no will do.
If this speculative scheme is true, it may have a spanner in the works. In order to waive the general rules applying to the traditional public education system so that the demonstration schools can innovate their own rules, it follows that special and private legislation would need to be enacted to make the special laws legal for special folks, and that is conceivably impacted by Chapter 15: LOBBYIST DISCLOSURE PROCEDURE.
I am not a lawyer, but I submit that there is a great deal in the lobbyist statute that raises questions about the procedure of establishing demonstration schools that invent their own rules, especially, If my speculations are on target, and conditional donations are being used to negotiate special rules for a demonstration school that must eventually be formulated as a special and private act of legislation, It is “A can of worms”, and what a slippery slope for a school board, not accustomed to doing business negotiations
Maybe The Maine Legislature will add a new amendment to the educational statutes and waive the lobbyist laws from applying to demonstration schools- or maybe just take a stitch in time to save nine and waive all laws from applying to demonstration schools.
Mackenzie Andersen's The Individual vs The Empire! is a reader-supported publication that consistently delivers original inquiry, dialogue, and critical thinking. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.