“We have already lost 8 million over the last three years. We will have to be prepared to deal with losing a minimum of 3 million a year from here on out. These cuts don’t hurt wealthy people these cuts hit middle class homeowners, middle class parents, and all citizens who would like to see adequate police, fire and public works in their town or city,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci. “We should be focusing on long-term investments that will grow our economy with bonds. We must invest in our workforce and families with an increase the minimum wage, job training, early childhood education, affordable higher education and property tax relief.”
Article By Ramona du Houx. Click here or read below for full story.
Bangor, Maine might be forced to raise property taxes next year because of LePage’s budget proposal. If passed all Maine towns and cities will carry the burden of no more state revenue sharing- meaning they will have to pay for certain needed services without state funds. Photo by Ramona du Houx
People across the state, across the political spectrum, have noticed that while Gov. Paul LePage has been in office their property taxes have risen. But how many know the culprit has been the governor’s budgets that have made drastic cuts to municipalities by slashing state revenue sharing funds? Without this needed source of money cities have had few options to pay for the services they provide. Many towns have laid-off first responders, cut services to people, and increased property taxes.
And the cycle could get worse if LePage is able to steamroll this $6.3 billion, two-year state spending package through the legislature. The governor is doing his best to sell his budget as a plan that brings tax relief to Maine families and small businesses. But the opposite is the reality. Continue reading →
By Ramona du Houx,
Posted Oct. 29, 2014, at 4:06 p.m. at the Bangor Daily News
Joe Baldacci of Bangor a local lawyer and City Councilor received the Katahdin Counsel Recognition Award on October 24th at the Penobscot Judicial Center, in Bangor.
“Your pro bono services are vital to Mainers accessing our justice system, and your dedication is truly appreciated,” wrote Cindy Brochu, Judicial Administration, the Assistant to Hon. Andrew M. Mead, in a letter notifying Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci that he would receive the award.
The Hon. Warren M. Silver of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court hosted the recognition ceremony. Attorney Joseph Baldacci was one of 18 layers from Penobscot, Hancock and washington Counties that were honored on Friday.
“I am honored by this recognition and I believe it is every lawyer’s civic duty to give back to others in our community,” said Joe. Continue reading →
“Affordable public transportation is essential for college students, senior citizens on fixed incomes and working families,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci, who donated his city council salary to the Community Connector bus service to keep it going last year. Baldacci also held a spaghetti dinner in order to save the bus route from city cuts due to Governor LePage’s bad policies.
This article appeared in Maine Insights by Ramona du Houx, May 27th, 2014
Today transit drivers and community members rallied to call on Maine’s Congressional Delegation to fund public transportation in Pickering Square, Bangor. The drivers are members of the newly organized union in Bangor, which is part of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 714. ATU 714 represents approximately 34 drivers in Bangor and also represents bus drivers at the Portland Metro.
“Now that we have a union we have a voice and a place at the table. We are here today to exercise that voice. Please take action and call your elected officials today,” said Susan Warner of Carmel, a Bangor transit driver and union leader of the ATU 714. “Congress should pass SB 2322 to fund public transit now.”
The Bangor drivers voted to organize a year ago and just settled their first contract with the City of Bangor this month. Continue reading →
We couldn’t allow neglected properties to continue to devalue our communities. Our actions will allow responsible landowners to act accordingly. The buildings, once refurbished will enhance our neighborhoods. I’m fortunate to have been able to work with my fellow councilors to make these needed changes,” said Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci.
Part of the article By Nick McCrea, of the BDN:
Bangor City Councilors adopted a policy during Monday night’s meeting that streamlines the process of taking control of properties with lengthy, repetitive histories of neglected tax payments.
For decades, Bangor has been hesitant to go after property owners with back taxes, but the council’s approach has changed in recent years. Continue reading →
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. Continue reading →
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.
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.
“A year ago today we opened Bangor City Hall to perform some of the first gay marriage ceremonies in the State of Maine.
“Today over 1,500 such services have taken place in our state. That means 3,000 people and their families were able to exercise their American right to their own pursuit of happiness.”
One year later Maine’s leading the way -as first state to allow same sex marriages
By Ramona du Houx of Maine Insights
December 29th, 2013
“A year ago today we opened Bangor City Hall to perform some of the first gay marriage ceremonies in the State of Maine. Today over 1,500 such services have taken place in our state. That means 3,000 people and their families were able to exercise their American right to their own pursuit of happiness,” said City Councilor Joe Baldacci.
James Beckett and Ken Tidd, Margaret Bagg and Hope Rogers and two women were married at Bangor City Hall a year ago today.
In this past year, 9,524 couples have been married since same-sex marriage was legalized in Maine. About 16 percent, 1,530, were same sex couples according to the Office of Data, Research and Vital Statistics.
Maine, became the first state to approve gay marriage by popular vote on Nov. 6, 2012. Maryland also approved the measure that year. Since then 18 states have approved same-sex marriage on a regular basis through court rulings, legislative action, and popular votes. Continue reading →
By Nick McCrea, of the Bangor Daily News, Dec. 04, 2013
Read part of the article:
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. Continue reading →