A proposal by Maine governor Paul LePage to outsource staffing in Maine’s state parks is drawing criticism from many in the state.
Among those criticizing the plan is the editorial board of the Portland Press Herald, which today published an editorial saying LePage should scrap the plan and not mess with the success of Maine’s state parks.
The Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands oversees over 50 state parks and historic sites, and the new plan calls for hiring contractors to fill two dozen seasonal positions within the bureau: 14 full-time assistant park rangers, one part-time assistant ranger and nine full-time laborers.
The plan isn’t expected to save any money. The rationale behind it is that contractors will have the equipment to more efficiently carry out tasks such as lawn maintenance at the parks.
But the editorial argues that the move could adversely impact visitors’ experience at the state parks.
Whether they’re delving into Maine’s history at Colonial Pemaquid, collecting shells at Popham Beach or fishing at Lake St. George, residents and visitors alike love Maine’s historic sites and state parks. And knowledgeable and helpful staff are a key part of what makes that experience so special. Our response to the LePage administration’s proposal to outsource state park staffing can be summed up in four words: Don’t mess with success.