Dear Editor: I have lived and worked in Ellsworth for over 40 years. I am now retired and wish to give back to the community. There are many great things about Ellsworth, friendly neighbors, great stores and restaurants and access to the outdoors, but there is always room for improvement. I am running for City Council to address concerns I have heard when talking with Ellsworth residents and business owners.
We are all concerned about taxes, but most people want to see services maintained and improved. If we are to keep property taxes down while maintaining services the city must use initiative and imagination in looking for alternate funding sources, such as grants obtained in collaboration with local nonprofits and businesses. The city must also use that imagination and initiative to attract tax paying commercial development. The selection of the next city manager will be vital to accomplishing this.
The city should also take the initiative to expand high-speed internet access to those parts of the community that lack it. In today’s world, having internet access is as important as having road access. In addition, having good internet access improves the attractiveness of our community to residential and business development, thus growing our tax base. To keep property taxes down, it is important to provide services as efficiently as possible. Ellsworth’s administrative costs seem much higher than other Maine communities of similar size. There may be good reason for this, but it is an area which I would like to look at more closely.
The library is an important city service. Pre-COVID, it was always full with children and adults reading, taking out books and accessing the internet through the library computers. It brings people into downtown Ellsworth. These people take their children to lunch in downtown restaurants and shop downtown. The library is a critical resource that adds to our quality of life and supports economic growth, so we should at least maintain its current services. I am running for City Council to work on not just these concerns, but others that you, as my constituents, may bring to my attention. I aim to be as accessible as possible.
Bronson Platner Ellsworth