Thursday, July 23, 2009

Real state programs budget cuts?????

The mugginess got to me yesterday even though the weather began to clear somewhat during the afternoon. In fact by mid afternoon the sun was shining brightly; but there were times during the day when I thought it would rain rather heavily at any moment. I think it was the clouds and mug that led me astray. We didn’t get any rain.

Those clouds are forecast to be on the increase again today, though, after we do see some sun during the day and the muggy weather is continuing. We’re told the rain, and a lot of it, will arrive in our area tonight and continue most of the day tomorrow. The weekend isn’t looking to promising either.

I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it many more times. I don’t like this kind of weather. Today is my scheduled bi-weekly senior fitness time at a local physical therapy place. This is the kind of weather that really makes exercising a little less than fun. But I’ll go, I’ll ride a stationary bike, I’ll pull some weights, I’ll balance on a ball, and … well, you get the picture. I think the best part will be I’ll be coming home.

I had one of my really pleasant experiences at a car dealership yesterday. I’ve told you before how much I really like the treatment that Prime Motors in Saco gives its customers. The service writers Ira the owner has greeting people arriving for service starts the experience. He has some truly great ambassadors meeting the service department customers.

I wouldn’t be surprised if all the people working there are equally as friendly, but since I bought my car there ten years ago from a different owner, it’s only the service department people I get to know on my trips. This was at the Toyota store so I can’t say all his dealerships on the Auto Mile are the same, but I’d be surprised if he had a different business practice at different locations.

Some people would think I’m crazy still to be taking a ten year old car to a new car dealership for service. When I bought the car, the former owner was, as my Fearless Friend called it yesterday, “giving away the store.” I took advantage of the “deal” then and to Ira’s credit, he still honors it. I’ll bet there aren’t many customers still taking advantage of a ten year old deal.

So, about every six months or so, I give Prime Toyota my whole hearted endorsement. It’s a great place to do car business; and if Toyota isn’t your meat, I’d bet all the Prime stores down there in Saco treat customers the same.


It’s way too early to form any opinions on the Maine state budget, but the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee has begun its hard work not only on cutting the current budget but preparing for the next one as well.

Perhaps for the first time, the committee members are acknowledging program cuts must be faced. According to a report on WCSH-TV last evening, probably education and health and human services will face the biggest cuts simply because they consume the vast majority of the total budget. Even some Democrat members of the committee are beginning to recognize that the state simply can’t continue to fund programs it cannot afford.

Governor Baldacci has already ruled out any tax increases and that sentiment was echoed in Augusta yesterday by some legislators. However, we’ve heard that pledge from the governor just about every year in the past and somehow, most of us haven’t seen any fewer or even the same amount of taxes.

I’ll be watching this one carefully and I’m cautiously optimistic that for the first time in recent memory the legislature will begin to make spending priorities. They’ve got a while to work on it so how about simply starting at zero and building a completely new budget after setting those priorities? That’s an idea whose time probably hasn’t yet come.


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