To the Editor:
What a good idea the state of Maine has come with this time. Now the state has decided to make a lottery for the elver/eeling fishers. Which one will be next?
I, as others, have been a commercial fisherman all my life. We have been paying taxes and buying commercial fishing licenses in Maine and putting up with the increases in fees every time they wanted more money and did not want to officially raise taxes. Some of us pay thousands of dollars to obtain the many licenses needed to make a living a year.
Sometimes we can’t afford all the licenses we need so we have to make choices on the ones most valuable for us in a specific year; never thinking we would then lose licenses forever if we skipped a year on just any one.
This, because the state’s Dept. of Marine Resources only lets you know of the loss after, not before, with the excuse of when a fishery can handle it you can then get back your license. This has led to a lottery system instead and opens the fisheries to anyone and not just fishermen who have fished all their lives.
Fishermen depend on being able to fish from fishery to fishery to make their livelihood and therefore to be able to pay their fees and taxes.
To be fair then, why don’t we make all state of Maine jobs a lottery system also? It cost $27 to get into the elver/ell lottery which gives you a chance to be a commercial fisherman. What would the price of the lottery tickets be worth for the governor’s job and for jobs his cabinet members? How about for other state jobs?
We could hold a lottery once a year for all the state jobs. This would more than likely do away with taxes, as money would roll in when the state jobs board was posted. What the jobs were paying could be run on the news channels to ensure lots of public participation.
Then maybe career commercial fishermen would be considered as having a real job like state job holders are.