Don't let them take control

By AL DIAMON  |  January 25, 2012

It gets worse. The proposal would allow counties to withdraw completely from LURC, so long as they developed a comprehensive plan for their unorganized territories and created a planning board. In other words, it would increase the authority of the state's most ineffective form of government. And keep in mind that the only way to pay for all this new authority would be by raising property taxes.

If the Legislature really wants to make LURC more responsive to the people it affects most, the solution is simple. Let the folks who live in the unorganized territories elect some of the commissioners. Allow voters in municipalities close by to choose a few more. Let the governor continue to nominate the rest, with legislative approval. Everybody's interests would be represented (except, possibly, meth addicts'), and those regulators that consistently ignored the public's will could be voted out at the next election.

This setup would actually be more democratic than the average local planning board, which is usually filled with appointees and other coots. And it would certainly be more reflective of the desires of residents of the unorganized territories than county commissioners, who tend to come from the larger population centers. Or homes for the criminally insane.

If LURC were revised and reinvigorated in this fashion, it would be better able to fulfill its responsibilities. And in the event the Legislature ever decided to get rid of county government, it would be well positioned to take on some of its duties.

Such as doddering, dithering, and drooling.

Yeah, yeah, I already know I'm insulting, impertinent, and immature. If you've got something fresh to add to the list of my faults, email me at

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  Topics: Talking Politics , Maine, LURC, Talking Politics,  More more >
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