Thursday, January 6, 2011

Wait, when did Maine stop being the way life should be?!

We've all seen it, it's really hard to miss.  It is one of the first things we see as we climb up Interstate 95, just a short distance after we hit solid ground, this side of the big bridge from the Granite State.  It is a giant blue sign that reads "MAINE  The Way Life Should Be".  Well, it's a new day, and with that comes a new sign.  That's right, with the inauguration of Republican Governor, Paul LePage, yesterday, a new sign will now take the place of the once familiar, and welcoming site.  "Open For Business" reads the new sign.  It's meant to represent the new, business friendly environment that Governor LePage is hoping to get across during his tenure in office in Augusta.  However, I'm not sure I like the idea of replacing the former sign. 

First of all, I'm all for business.  I want nothing more than to see new businesses come to this state and to see all businesses thrive here.  Maine needs to be more business friendly in order to keep our children here.  With so few options, many people are leaving the state, and it's really hard to blame them.  The cost of running a business today is astronomical, with the high price of energy and health insurance, it's damn near impossible to open and maintain a small business.  I work with a handful of small businesses, and the story is the same for all of them.  While I didn't vote for LePage, and to be honest, I'm worried that he may have a negative affect on Maine, I'm hopeful that he stays true to his promise to lower many costs and do everything he can to give businesses in Maine, both new and old, a fighting chance to not only stay open, but thrive.  That said, I'm totally against him putting this new sign up in Kittery. 

Sure, from a business standpoint, Maine is not the way life should be, it's quite the opposite.  However, with tourism such a vital part of the Maine economy, I just find it in bad taste to remove such a welcoming and familiar sign to those driving in from New Hampshire.  From a tourism point of view, Maine is absolutely the way life should be.  Whether you snowmobile, hike, ski, camp, fish, shop or just want to get away from it all, there is no better place in the world to go.  I have lived in Maine for the better part of my 31 years on this earth, and there is no place I would rather be.  Let's hope Governor LePage doesn't do anything to change that.  I'm just saying...