THUMBS UP — Investing in trust
Written by Times Record editorial
from Times Record
During his five-and-a-half years in office, Gov. John Baldacci has provided critics with ample reasons to fault his policymaking and leadership skills. But no one can fairly question his personal integrity.
Honor and loyalty obviously number among the most important principles in Baldacci's personal and political value systems, and he has repeatedly demonstrated that he is a man of his word.
That laudable attribute was particularly apparent in his work to restore $38,000 that the Legislature cut earlier this year from the budget for the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission, the important panel that offers the last, best hope to improve the frayed relationship between state government and the Wabanaki tribes.
During a May 21 meeting with tribal and legislative leaders, Baldacci pledged to find the $38,000 that budget-cutting legislators removed without informing the tribes, who were rightly infuriated by that action.
Before the fiscal year that ended on June 30, the governor signed two financial orders that allocated the full $38,000 to the agency that oversees the commission. It was an honorable act of good faith sorely needed to "allow renewed dialogue and mutual discussion of how to rebuild the relationship between the Wabanaki and the state," in the words of MITSC chairman Paul Bisulca.
Legislators, who have been far more duplicitous and condescending in their dealings with the tribes, would do well to emulate Baldacci's show of character.
Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission (MITSC)
13 Commissary Point Road, Trescott Township, ME 04652
Paul Thibeault, Managing Director: 207-271-7762