Quasi-government agencies have been in the news often of late, with the corruption at Maine Turnpike Authority and the recent problems at the Maine State Housing Authority.
These aren’t the only quasi-government agencies in the state, and recently, WGME Channel 13 took a look at how carefully the money that flows through these agencies is being watched.
Quasi-governmental agencies exist at town level as well. Brunswick’s now defunct Brunswick Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) which has evolved into the BDC uses taxpayers’ money ($3 million +? now); however meetings are not held in a public forum similar to town meetings nor are minutes available to the public. Likewise, exact expenditures information is not available to taxpayers. There is dubious “representation” by councilors – 2 doesn’t require videotaping for public view. Essentially, this quasi-town agency is a “bank”; and contracts for numerous town projects appear to be awarded to select contractors & businesses – some who have been members and have held position as “Chairman”.
As usual, this is only the tip of the iceberg. The “quasi-govenment agencies” have been carefully implanted over the past several decades for a very specific purpose. Ever wonder why would-be and current politicians are so eager to vie for “part time” Legislative positions that pay a pittance for a two-year term? There are tons of money floating around Augusta and the contacts one develops while “serving” can guarantee a lot of financial rewards (John Martin, anyone?). Roger Kaz is hardly a poster boy for fiscal reform, is he? Who needs Democrats when we have Republicans such as Katz?
Another is the N.E. Rail Passenger Association…talk about rail barons with a hand picked board of sheep along for the ride.
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