letter to the editor

Re: Southport broadband issues

Mon, 06/20/2022 - 4:00pm

Dear Editor:

Southport Selectmen’s latest emotional fit should prove to islanders that the broadband debate was never about Southport’s future. By refusing to accept Spectrum’s offer to wire up the 21 unserved houses for $0, and digging in on our Broadband Committee’s alternative costing $2.4m of taxpayer money, it’s clear our Selectmen are more concerned about their egos than our finances.

Southport Selectmen and their Broadband Committee have also admitted that they’ve failed for 30 years to get broadband to 21 houses in a town where 90% of us have been well served by Spectrum. They blame Spectrum for that problem, claim we can’t trust them, and launched the $2.4m redundant and undersubscribed town-owned network in bitterness. That’s like saying that a child who came home with a score of 90% should be punished, pulled from school and sent to prison.

Has it occurred to our leadership that perhaps it’s their dictatorial style that, maybe, just maybe, contributed to the disconnect?

In spite of the Selectmen’s obvious anger at 144 citizens daring to ask for a vote on this fiasco, it’s past time to do just that. The world is an expensive place these days, and the last thing we can afford is a personal fight at our expense for something we do not need. Don’t believe the fear tactics from the same people that brought us their “tax neutral” propaganda - most of the spent money is recoverable and some towns, like Swan’s Island, actually deserve the grant money.

A “Yes” on Article 2 stops this mess, and a “No” on Article 3 confirms that our Selectmen never had the authority to spend $640k in down payments in the first place. Please do vote on or before June 28 or you can be assured that just 96 who did before will be telling you how to spend lots more money for the next 15 years without asking again.

Tom Myette

Southport

This letter has been updated from its original posting.