Incompetence of the Town of Smithfield
Smithfield is a small community that is a nice quiet place to relax, play and live. Our town was incorporated on February 29, 1840 making it "Maine's only Leap Year Town". There are many things that make this town an enjoyable place, but lately the people hired in the town office have made it a difficult place to live. Specifically the selectmen Richard A. Moore, Dale M. Churchill, and Justin S. Furbush have chosen to neglect their responsibilities and turned their back on the people who have made complaints about Kincaid contractors who have been completely destroying mailboxes when plowing the roads.
In my own case, my mailbox has been damaged multiple times just this year. This last time it was hit, the post was completely split in half and the entire mailbox was thrown far into the bank, while all my mail was thrown out of it and blown all over from the wind. I still do not know if I collected all my mail from that and I have important matters that I had been waiting to hear about. I called the town to have them replace the mailbox and they were rude stating that if they replaced mine they would have to replace 80 to 90 other mailboxes. This indicates to me that this is a reoccurring problem for many in the town. They also stated that if they had
to pay they would increase taxes, which that really means that we would have to pay for their mistakes.
As a disabled, elderly person on a fixed income I do not have the money to replace the mailbox myself. Before every winter I would collect stamps so that I could just get my bills by mail and pay for them by mail so that I would not have to drive and still not depend on others, but now I am left with the choice of depending on others to get my mail for me at the post office or risk the trip myself where I could fall on ice and break a hip easily, since scans show that my bones are in the age range of 90 to 100 years old, every day. It has completely taken my independence and safety away from me. This causes a lot of stress on me when I already have high blood pressure and was told by my doctor to avoid stress because it would kill me.
When talking with the state policemen, he stated that I was absolutely right to make the town pay for the mailbox and that his town pays for the damages of mailboxes by the plowmen they hire. He also stated that unfortunately there wasn’t anything he could do because different towns have different laws and that the guy plowing didn’t intend to hit the mailbox. I am starting to wonder why any insurance company would pay for any accidents then. If the people who have accidents are really not responsible because it was an “accident” and not intentional then we shouldn’t need insurance at all because we shouldn’t have to pay, right? That is how they
look at it when it comes to the town, so why not for everyone? Why does the town get special treatment? Why are they above the law?
I talked to the postal service to see if I was wrong because maybe my mailbox was not following codes, but they explained that my mailbox was perfect. It was the perfect height and distance from the road in order to not cause obstruction and still have the mailman deliver the mail without leaving his vehicle. I soon after called the attorney general office and they stated that the responsibility is on the town. It is up to them to pay for either by paying themselves or having Kincaid pay. Kincaid is supposed to have insurance that would cover this. So why have they not got in touch with Kincaid and explain that the damages need to be paid for? Why do they neglect their responsibilities and the people in the town? How long should they be allowed to get away with this kind of behavior?
Laws need to be made to hold all towns responsible for the people they contract with. The town needs to be treated just like everyone else. If an accident occurs, they need to take responsibility and not hide behind their authority. They should not be allowed to live above the law.
Contact your selectmen to help change laws and protect the people they are supposed to work for!