(from the
October 2007 Maine Townsman)

Auburn: In August, residents got a chance to rate their police department when a national panel of three judges held a public hearing as part of the department’s effort to gain national accreditation. The neighboring Lewiston Police Department is the only one in Maine to achieve the national status.

Edgecomb: Residents put their money where their laptops are when they voted in August to match a state grant to bring high-speed Internet service to the town. Unlike surrounding towns such as Wiscasset and Damariscotta, Edgecomb residents presently can get only dial-up service.

Greenwood: Special town meeting voters rejected several money requests to maintain public restrooms, the town beach and a state rest area abandoned by the Maine Department of Transportation because of budget problems. About 70 of 500 registered voters attended the special summer session.

Lincoln: The world’s largest retailer is getting bigger in rural Maine. Once considered a Maine mill town, Lincoln continues to diversify with the latest development being a 24-hour Wal-Mart Supercenter, expected to cost $2 million to build. The existing store will be razed and replaced with one almost twice the size. The bigger store will require about 70 more workers, for a total of 175.

Madawaska: The towns of Frenchville and St. Agatha have joined the border mill town to establish a fund to help laid-off Fraser Papers workers. The managers of three St. John Valley towns, with the help of the United Way of Aroostook County, will raise money from businesses, employees and the public in the area. Their goal is to raise $112,000.

Oakland: Residents can now give the town police tips through a new website believed to be the first of its kind in the state. The Oakland police have joined the Kennebec County Sheriff’s Office and the county’s Drug Task Force to launch the new site.

Pittsfield: An enthusiastic, perhaps frustrated, group of residents have taken the first steps toward starting a new community-wide Neighborhood Watch program. The effort follows a string of burglaries in town throughout the summer and is being coordinated by Police Chief Steve Emery.

Portland: Tax activist and accountant Carol Palesky’s troubles grew recently when the U.S. Justice Department filed federal charges against her, alleging she filed fraudulent returns for some of her clients between 2003 and 2005. Palesky is serving a 16-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to taking money from a client.

Rockland: Voters will be asked to approve $4 million in local bond questions in November, including $2.8 million for a new public works facility and $900,000 for odor abatement at the local landfill.

Scarborough: Some residents are angry that neighboring Saco has already approved a 100-year lease to marina developer and former Old Orchard Beach Town Councilor William Danton without getting input from them about the possible impact to Scarborough Marsh and Pine Point. Danton still needs nearly 20 other approvals and Scarborough officials have asked for a say throughout the process.

Waterboro: Selectmen have decided to hire the town’s first planner in response to what one official called an “explosion of growth” in the York County town of 7,000. Selectmen also are considering asking residents again to reactivate the charter commission after the question was defeated in April.