News

Bangor officially endorses Searsport harbor dredging project

“I think it is important for us to add our voice to this issue because Searsport is not just a Searsport issue,” said Councilor Joe Baldacci. “This is a regional economic issue. It’s going to affect the economies of cities and towns throughout Maine in terms of the movement of goods and services.

The article appeared in the BDN by Dawn Gagnon. Click here for the entire article.

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Bangor Humane Society, St. John’s Catholic Church split $790,000 bequest from volunteer Gillespie
Attorney Joe Baldacci presented the checks to the organizations on behalf of the bequest.

By Julie Harris of the Bangor Daily News. This is from the article:

Bangor Humane Society and St. John’s Catholic Church each received checks for $395,000 Friday, presented by Gillespie’s longtime friend and personal representative Ruth Spellman and attorney Joseph Baldacci of Bangor, during individual press conferences at the respective facilities.

“Shann lived a spare life, but gave to [St. Joseph] hospital, church, Humane Society and students. She didn’t ask for recognition. She lived a selfless and caring life. She earned her money in Bangor, lived here, and then invested her money here,” Baldacci said.
For more please go here.

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Bangor officials call on state to honor its obligations and restore revenue sharing

Last year the state cut funds to cities across Maine. Bangor was hit hard receiving only $2 million, when the city used to get $5 million. Slashing this revenue sharing program has resulted in hardship.

“Revenue sharing was based on the now non-existent concept that there should be state-local partnership to fund basic local services without over burdening the property tax,” said City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

This article: Bangor officials call on state to ‘honor its obligations,’ restore revenue sharing By Nick McCrea, of the BDN explains more.

Read more here.

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Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center Treating Mentally Ill Patients For More Than A Century

Before Joe Baldacci became a Bangor City Councilor he fought to keep Dorothea Dix open and is currently working to restore services and help repurpose the facility.

“State legislators need to work with the city council to protect the mission of this hospital. We are very fortunate in Maine to have someone of the caliber of Dr Michelle Gardiner who is now serving as the medical Director of the Dorothea DIx hospital,” said City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

Read the latest article:
12/27/2013 Reported on MPBN By: Patty B. Wight

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Bangor councilors likely to extend charter school moratorium as talks with state delayed

By Nick McCrea, of the Bangor Daily News, Dec. 04, 2013

BANGOR, Maine — The Bangor City Council likely will extend its temporary ban on charter schools into next summer in order to hash out a disagreement with the state about how new competition for students would affect the public school system and Bangor taxpayers.

City Councilor Joe Baldacci, who proposed the initial moratorium that went into effect in June, proposed adding an additional 180 days to the ban during a meeting of the city’s Government Operations Committee on Monday night. The original moratorium expires on Dec. 18.

Read more here.

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The Community Connector’s Odlin Road bus route is close to being saved for the year

Councilman Joe Baldacci receives a Distinguished Citizen Award from the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods (MAIN) from Kandie Davenport-Desell at the spaghetti dinner that raised close to $5 thousand for a bus route. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Councilman Joe Baldacci receives a Distinguished Citizen Award from the Maine Association of Interdependent Neighborhoods (MAIN) from Kandie Davenport-Desell at the spaghetti dinner that raised close to $5 thousand for a bus route. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Excerpt the Bangor Daily News — The Community Connector’s Odlin Road bus route is close to being saved for the year, but a significant loss in revenue expected next year could mean deeper cuts for the bus system.

The Bangor City Council is expected to decide this month whether to allocate about $9,000 toward the bus service. Community Connector has that money available in its budget because of delays in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, according to Assistant City Manager Bob Farrar.

Read more here.

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Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci raises $12,000 to save bus route

On The Bangor Daily News – Nov. 10, 2013: By Ramona du Houx

Governor John Baldacci serves Mika Boggins spaghetti. Over 400 people came to the Baldacci brother’s fundraiser to save a bus route in Bangor.

Governor John Baldacci serves Mika Boggins spaghetti. Over 400 people came to the Baldacci brother’s fundraiser to save a bus route in Bangor. Photo Ramona du Houx

The brother’s Baldacci, Governor John Baldacci and City Councilman Joe Baldacci, hosted a spaghetti benefit dinner at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor on October 30th. The line for the fundraiser to save the Community Connector’s Odlin Road bus route went out the front doors of the center far into the parking lot. Over 400 concerned community members turned out to help the cause.

“There are no words to describe this outpouring of support from the community. I could cry. They heard about the event, they want us, and the need us. It’s the greatest thing ever,” said interim bus superintendent, Laurie Linscott. Read more here..

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The New Cross Insurance Center

One of the biggest community projects I’m proudly associated with helping on with the City Council is the new Cross Insurance Center.

This story cannot be told enough- it is a story about a community that honestly struggled for decades to deal with the issue of what to do with Bass Park and with a declining Auditorium which had served generations from around the state. On the day the new $65 million Cross Insurance Center opened it became one of the top venues in New England for shows, concerts, basketball games and performances of all kinds. It will serve tens of thousands of people throughout eastern and northern Maine and it will create lifelong memories just like the old Auditorium did for many generations.

The City has posted it’s progress on our site at: Cross Insurance Center Updates – City of Bangor

For the Bangor Daily Article click here.

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City Council authorizes 55 million bond order to fund construction of the Cross Insurance Center

From the article by Andrew Neff, BDN Staff

Councilor Joe Baldacci publicly commended Bangor Finance Director Debbie Cyr for her “dedicated, tireless” work and foresight while selling $56.5 million in tax-exempt general obligation bonds last July. That move, which eliminated much taxable debt, saved the city about $750,000 off 2010 projections and means total annual debt service will not exceed $2.9 million. Another factor was the $3 million Cross Insurance Agency has agreed to pay the city over 15 years for exclusive naming rights to the arena.

To read more click here.

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Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci gathers community support to save the Odlin Road Bus Route— Spaghetti dinner planned

 Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci gathers community support to save the Odlin Road Bus Route— Spaghetti dinner planned


Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci gathers community support to save the Odlin Road Bus Route— Spaghetti dinner planned

From the Bangor Daily News By Ramona du Houx, Posted Oct. 10, 2013, at 11:08 a.m.

Councilman Baldacci and Andy Meucci of Family Fun Lanes. Andy is donating a twelve pound bowling ball and bag to be auctioned off at the Oct 30th “save the buss route” Baldacci spaghetti dinner.

Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci and former Governor John Baldacci will be co- hosting a Spaghetti dinner on Wednesday, October 30th at the Spectacular Event Center in Bangor from 5 to 7 pm. The former governor will serve up the spaghetti— with his family’s secret sauce. Read more here.
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Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci holds conference call about the looming US Government shutdown with Obama officials in Bangor office

Ramona du Houx,
Posted Sept. 30, 2013, on the Bangor Daily News
Over the weekend, US House Republicans refused to give up their efforts to defund the Affordable Care Act, even though it is the law of the land, upheld by the Supreme Court. Their leadership stated that as long as the ACA is funded they would shut down the federal government at midnight, September 30th.

Councilor Joe Baldacci held a conference call September 30th, with members of the Obama administration about the possible affects a shut down would have in Maine.

“According to what we learned on the call homeland security, border patrol, food inspectors, curtailments in non ‘critical’ defense operations will happen… it’s across the board as 800,000 furloughs nationwide will happen,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci. Read more here.

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Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci challenges All Maine Republican Congressional Candidates

Ramona du Houx of Maine Insights

H.J. Res. 59 would defund the Affordable Care Act, (ACA), denying millions of hard-working middle class families the security of affordable health coverage. If Republicans don’t get their way, to defund the ACA, they have threatened to shutdown the federal government and cause America to default on the national debt.

“House passage of H.J. Res. 59 advances a narrow ideological agenda that threatens lives, our economy and the interests of the middle class,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci, a potential candidate for U.S. 2nd Congressional District. “I challenge all of the Maine Congressional Republican candidates to repudiate these extreme measures that threaten people’s lives and livelihoods.” Read more here.
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Bangor City Councilman Joe Baldacci donates salary to save bus route
972103_10201601361416511_603195378_nBy Ramona du Houx. August 15th, 2013 ·
Maine Insights

City Councilman Joe Baldacci is so committed to the cause to keep the Odlin Road bus route operational and he will forego his City Council salary to help defray cost.

“Earlier this month I said I would be willing to donate my salary as a Bangor City Councilor to keep the buses running on the Oldin Road route. Today I kept that promise,” said Councilman Baldacci. “I delivered to the city manager an authorization to assign the equivalent of my salary for one year, or $2,000, back to City Hall to extend the bus route for an additional month.”

The city has cited their goal of saving roughly $20,000 dollars as the primary reason for closing the route.The shut down of the bus route was proposed even though ridership has steadily increased. To find out more click here.

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Bangor City revised school budget -2013

During Monday’s meeting, Councilor Joe Baldacci said the city should be concerned that the retirement cost shift to the city likely will be permanent, but he said he’s concerned the funding to cover it in its first year will not be extended into future years. That would mean the city would need to find a way to fund it or the school district would have to find places to slash.

The full article:By Nick McCrea, BDN Oct. 07, 2013

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Bangor City Councilman calls on lawmakers to restore Dorothea Dix Hospital Psychiatric funding

Ramona du HouxX of Maine InsightsSeptember 10th, 2013

Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci has called on the Bangor Legislative Delegation to reverse the 25 percent cut dealt to the Dorothea Dix Hospital Psychiatric Hospital by the current LePage Administration and the Republican controlled Legislature in 2011.

“At a time when we are dealing with too many untreated people on our streets and in our jails it’s frankly time for legislators to sponsor legislation to reverse these ill considered and unwise cuts at the hospital,” said Baldacci. “There is no question that for many families in eastern and northern Maine there is an urgent need for adequate mental health care. As a vital part of that continuum of care, we need to preserve this important safety net and restore adequate funding.” To read more click here.
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Dorothea Dix mental hospital plan for housing

Dorothea Dix mental hospital plan for housing

BANGOR, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Leaders in the area are pressing forward with plans to get new use out of empty space at the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center. It’s a plan that city officials in Bangor say could help preserve the hospital’s future. Read more here
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The Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center’s future

From the article by Nick McCrea, BDN Staff
Posted July 07, 2013, at 4:54 p.m.

Bangor officials are preparing to work with the state in hopes of ironing out a deal to put to use some 100,000 square feet of vacant space inside Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center as housing for those who don’t require full hospital care.

Gov. Paul LePage signed a resolve on June 14 that will allow the commissioner of the Department of Administrative and Financial Services to sell or lease property at the complex. Bangor officials said the legislative approval took longer than expected — about 9 months — and that they’re eager to begin talks.

The resolve won’t become effective until 90 days after the end of this legislative session.

Bangor officials want to assist the state and Bangor Housing Authority’s development wing in crafting a deal for the lease or sale of a portion of the unused space at Dorothea Dix to complete the housing project, according to City Councilor Joe Baldacci.

Read more here.
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Bangor airport, C&L to benefit from federal grant

With city improvements to the Bangor Airport, and working with the business community and state government, we were able to obtain federal grants

To read more click here.
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Bangor-Halifax agreement

Bangor International Airport’s success and growth has been a product of a wide range of community efforts and work. When I served as Mayor in 1999 I was fortunate to work with then Governor Angus King who listened to what we needed and helped bring almost a million extra dollars to Bangor for improved marketing of the airport. This article deals with with the 2000 agreement I worked out with the City of Halifax on behalf of Bangor International Airport and the City of Bangor to protect the city’s lucrative pre-clearance business on international flights. It takes a village to build an economy and create jobs. The first step is people working together constructively.

By JOSEPH M. BALDACCI, Special to the BDN
This story was published on Nov. 26, 200 on Page A13 in all editions of the Bangor Daily News

As the chair of the Bangor City Council’s Special Committee on Halifax Pre-Clearance, I am pleased to report that the committee accomplished its mandate and the Bangor-Halifax agreement approved in October is a direct product of the framework created by the committee in public session during its last six months.

What is Halifax Pre-Clearance and what does it mean to Bangor? Halifax, Nova Scotia International Airport submitted an application to the U.S. government pursuant to a 2001 U.S.-Canada Air Service Treaty to have originating pre-clearance services in Halifax. This would allow travelers who originate in Nova Scotia to pre-clear U.S. Customs in Halifax instead of being required to do so in a U.S. airport. The U.S.-Canadian Treaty allows such applications. Read more here.

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Bangor voters turn out to determine fate of school budget, library roof bond

Councilman Gary Palmer with Councilman Joe Baldacci at the the polls to get out the vote!

Councilman Gary Palmer with Councilman Joe Baldacci at the the polls to get out the vote!

BDN staff reports

Voters are heading to the new Cross Insurance Center on Main Street Tuesday to decide whether to validate the city’s $42 million school budget and whether to support a $3 million bond to repair the roof on the Bangor Public Library. Read more here.
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Bangor council approves arena study
By Eric Russell, BDN Staff
Posted Feb. 18, 2009, at 9:33 p.m.

BANGOR, Maine — City councilors voted Wednesday to move forward with a new arena market study, overturning a decision they made two weeks ago and quelling what one councilor called a tempest in the community.

Councilors unanimously agreed to appropriate funding for a new study but also instructed City Manager Edward Barrett to narrow the parameters of that study to make the arena affordable and economically viable. Read more here.

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Bangor City Council approves 2011 budget

By Eric Russell, BDN Staff, Posted June 27, 2011.

BANGOR, Maine — City councilors on Monday approved an $88 million municipal and school budget for the next fiscal year, which begins Friday, and in doing so achieved their goal of a zero tax increase.

The budget passed nearly unanimously, with only Councilor David Nealley voting in opposition.

Nealley said that while he was happy the council held the tax rate flat, he was disappointed that he and his colleagues did not go a little further to pass a budget that decreased taxes. Read more here.

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