Jobs & the Economy
I know what it is like to have to earn a dollar. My work history has ranged from being a custodian to a staff member for Presidential and Gubernatorial Campaigns. I have worked in a sawmill and am currently employed in the retail industry. In my travels around our community I have spoken with people who have two or three jobs just to make ends meet. Hearing that, one might think that they are ground level employees, but no, I couldn’t believe it that some of our most skilled – our teachers have to find second jobs to provide for their family. Sometimes it is hard for some to even find a job or a job that they are qualified for. Before the economic downturn our city’s unemployment rate was around 4.5% but now in these hard times it is closer to around 8%. There is still a lot of work to be done in attracting employers to Bangor. It is my opinion that quality jobs should be our first priority but really at this point almost any job we can attract is a positive. For instance, I was dead set against shooting fireworks off inside our City limits. We have an old housing stock and did not need to cause the extra headache for our emergency responders. However, Bangor is the service center for Northern and Eastern Maine. I felt that if we could have a methadone clinic we should be able to sell fireworks to our neighbors, and at the same time put some more people to work.