Letter to the Editor Government Above the Law
Because the Town of Madawaska has a history of intentionally violating our rights over many years, we were forced to file a petition to secede from the town of Madawaska. According to State Statute Title 30-A section 2171 and the Maine Constitution Article 1 Section 2.
The town immediately contacted the Maine Municipal Association (MMA) questioning the legality of our petition. MMA asserted that our petition was indeed legal. MMA and the town worked with my State Representative Ken Theriault, (the sponsor of bill LD 1561 (HP 1131)), and the 126 th Legislature, (in violation of Title 30-A section 2171) and successfully amended the state statute preventing us from exercising our constitutional right to petition the town for secession. This was all done in complete secrecy, in violation of Title 1 section 401 (Freedom of information Act) and with false claims to the Legislature by MMA that our secession was because of our high taxes. Nothing could be farther from the truth. We pointed out to MMA, Rep. Ken Theriault, and the town of Madawaska that Title 1 section 302 grandfathered our petition for secession and their amendment does not apply to us. They continue to deny us the right to proceed to the next step of the secession process. We made it very clear that this was a violation of our constitutional rights, but they don't care. Apparently, they believe that the law does not apply to them, and that our constitutional rights don't matter.
For Editors Note:
I have enclosed this information to assist your research of the facts of this matter. It's actually quite straightforward. The town has refused to allow our petition for secession to continue claiming that the new law requires that the Legislative must agree to allow us to proceed. I explained Title 1 section 302 to the town and Ken Theriault that our petition was grandfathered and they both still refuse to allow my petition to continue, in violation of our rights.
Representative Ken Theriault told me that the half session for 2014 has refused to grant us a review of the amended law.
We are in the process of serving the town with a Superior Court order (Writ or injunction) to require that the town allow our secession to proceed without delay. We assert that Title 1 section 302 grandfathers our petition.
MRSA 30-A 2171. Legislative intent
The Legislature finds that the citizens of the State in accordance with the Constitution of Maine, Article I, Section 2, have an unalienable and indefeasible right to institute government and to alter, reform or totally change the same, when their safety and happiness require it. The Legislature further finds that the Legislature has the responsibility to ensure that the rights of all citizens are protected and that a decision to alter or otherwise change the boundaries of a municipal government should be made with caution and only after following the process set forth in this subchapter.
Representative Ken Theriault, (the sponsor of bill LD 1561 (HP 1131)), and the 126th legislature,
Title 1 §302. Construction and effect of repealing and amending Acts
The repeal of an Act, resolve or municipal ordinance passed after the 4th day of March, 1870 does not revive any statute or ordinance in force before the Act, resolve or ordinance took effect. The repeal or amendment of an Act or ordinance does not affect any punishment, penalty or forfeiture incurred before the repeal or amendment takes effect, or any action or proceeding pending at the time of the repeal or amendment, for an offense committed or for recovery of a penalty or forfeiture incurred under the Act or ordinance repealed or amended. Actions and proceedings pending at the time of the passage, amendment or repeal of an Act or ordinance are not affected thereby. For the purposes of this section, a proceeding shall include but not be limited to petitions or applications for licenses or permits required by law at the time of their filing. For the purposes of this section and regardless of any other action taken by the reviewing authority, an application for a license or permit required by law at the time of its filing shall be considered to be a pending proceeding when the reviewing authority has conducted at least one substantive review of the application and not before. For the purposes of this section, a substantive review of an application for a license or permit required by law at the time of application shall consist of a review of that application to determine whether it complies with the review criteria and other applicable requirements of law.