1. Maintain/Repair Roads, Highways, and Bridges.
2. Improve Cell Phone/Internet Connectivity.
3. Construct East -- West Highway/Utility Corridor.
4. Improve Maine -- Canada Air Links.
Staying connected improves our quality of life and standard of living, while providing the necessary platform to attract new jobs. Companies must be able to reach their customers, prospects, suppliers, and vendors to be successful. A state unable to provide this basic function is at a great disadvantage in attracting businesses and jobs. Unfortunately, getting or staying connected in Maine can be difficult.
Eighty percent of our commerce flows over roads, highways, and bridges. For business development and safety reasons, it is critical to keep this primary part of our infrastructure in top shape. Unfortunately, our state government regularly raids the Highway Fund to pay for bloated social service programs. As a result, our families pay the price with fewer jobs and roads in disrepair. Competent management by our next Governor can fix this problem.
Large areas of our state are still without cell phone and high speed internet connectivity. Such communities will always struggle to attract good jobs. I moved my business office from Georgetown to Falmouth after wrestling with antiquated internet dial-up service. I don't even try to use my cell phone along Route 127 between Georgetown and Bath. Solving these basic communication problems is crucial to attracting businesses and jobs to Maine.
Strong leadership and competent management from our next Governor will be needed to help complete our basic commercial infrastructure.
Canada is our largest trading partner. Still, there is no quick, safe route to truck goods east - west across Maine. Such a highway would efficiently connect Downeast Maine and the Canadian Maritimes to our western border en route to Quebec, Montreal, and Detroit/Chicago. It could also serve as a utility corridor to transport, for example, electricity and natural gas. This project would generate hundreds of Maine jobs for several years. It would also facilitate increased international trade across our state with untold new businesses and jobs. Our next state government should closely examine this economic development opportunity.
With rare exception, it's an all-day affair to fly from one of our four commercial airports to either Quebec or Montreal. Connections route south through Boston or New York before turning around and heading north to Canada. A direct flight from Maine to either Quebec or Montreal would be a quick one-hour (+/-) trip. Our state should do everything reasonably possible to facilitate the completion of these remaining air links. Our northern counties would be less isolated. Tourism, our largest industry, would be strengthened. Businesses and jobs would follow.
Strong leadership and competent management from our next Governor will be needed to help complete our basic commercial infrastructure. Entrepreneurs and investors will take notice. Maine will be better able to compete for businesses and jobs. Our families will benefit.