I don’t have to tell you that sea level rise poses a serious threat to Old Orchard Beach. You’ve seen it. We are experiencing it. The most recent storm that flooded Old Orchard Beach was illustrative of the change we are already dealing with. According to state data, a 1.6-foot sea level rise would reduce our dry beach by almost a third of its width.
OOB, like many coastal Maine communities, has an economy reliant on having a healthy and safe coastline to support tourism and recreation. Not to mention homes in danger of being washed away.
“This is what true accessibility looks like and what you deserve from your elected officials,” says Commissioner Chenette. “My hope is for you to always know what is happening at the county level and more importantly, provide you with the information you need to make your voice heard.”
Within a month of taking office, County Commissioner Justin Chenette has launched a number of new constituent services for county residents in the area.
This includes a new district website at CommissionerChenette.com, where residents can find information about county departments, duties and responsibilities of commissioners, and the latest updates on agendas, minutes, and recaps. You can also sign up for a monthly email newsletter.
One of the biggest issues that I saw before ultimately deciding to run for county commissioner was the fact meetings were not accessible to the public, particularly for working Mainers.
I saw regularly scheduled county commission meetings at 4:30PM, 4PM, with special workshops and public hearings held even earlier at 3:30PM and 3PM. To make those meeting times, you’d have to leave even earlier to make it over to Alfred in time.
Sadly, this is not uncommon for county governments across our state. In fact, we are one of the latest meetings, with most held in the middle of the day or even in the morning. Cumberland County holds the title for the latest meeting at 5:30PM, which is still a lot earlier than most selectboard and city council meetings held at 6:30 or 7PM.
We should be the most accessible commission meeting in the state. Which is why I proposed a motion at my very first meeting after getting sworn into office to move the meeting time to 6PM.
“We have an opportunity to make York County Commission meetings the most accessible meeting in the entire state,” with a 6 p.m. start, Chenette further said, noting other Maine counties start earlier, and that nearby Cumberland County Commissioners meet at 5:30 p.m.