Kicked off the Hollis Community Day (& Pirate Festival) leading off the parade with Hollis Senator Henry Ingwersen, enjoyed meeting constituents of all ages at our event booth, and capped the day emceeing the raffle winners. 11-hour day is worth it when it all benefits the Hollis Parks & Rec program. I’ll dress up like a pirate any day for the kiddos!
This year I’m pleased to award four area high school students with a total of $2,000 in college scholarships. Each student was recognized with one of our Leadership Scholarships from the Chenette Scholarship Fund, a nonprofit I founded to empower the next generation of community leaders.
I am constantly in awe and so very proud of our scholars. This group isn’t waiting around to make their mark. These young leaders have demonstrated a clear commitment to giving back and will continue inspiring others as they chart new ways of taking up the mantle of leadership.
This year’s recipients are Elise MacNair, Cole Cochrane, Ben Moore, and Luke Plummer.
Making history as the first and only openly LGBTQ+ member of the York County Commission means Pride Month is personal. I find it incredibly important to ensure that representation doesn’t go to waste. I’ve always believed that when you have diverse voices at the table, policy decisions and outcomes are directly impacted through the demonstration of varying lived experiences.
The York County Commission voted to declare June 2023 Pride Month. It’s the first time in our long history of county existence since 1636 that we passed a pride proclamation. Following similar action by the White House, State of Maine, and various municipalities, it was high time for the county to play a role. I introduced this measure because every level of government has a responsibility to do all we can to protect our constituents, no matter who they are or who they love.
Interviewed by Scripps News, which is distributed nationally to various stations, regarding the new FDA rules that are meant to lift some of the restrictions that have historically prevented gay and bisexual men from donating blood. I talked about some of the challenges with the use of individual risk-based assessment questionnaires.
ALFRED - The York County Commission has declared June 2023 Pride Month, after passing its first ever pride proclamation this week.
County Commissioner Justin Chenette, who represents Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Hollis, and Buxton, introduced the measure. Chenette is the first and only openly LGBTQ+ member of the commission and also serves as Vice Chair.
“We are at an inflection point in this country. Personal and legislative attacks against members of my community are more and more frequent,” says Commissioner Chenette. “It’s critical that those of us who are on the side of human decency and freedom from discrimination are heard over the voices of hate that are currently being amplified. This proclamation demonstrates York County’s commitment to treating everyone with respect and our commitment to standing with the LGBTQ+ community.”
The proclamation passed 3 to 2, with Commissioners Chenette, Dutremble, and Clark in support, while Commissioners Andrews and Ring voted against the measure.
Details of the proclamation include using Pride Month to ‘engage in dialogue to strengthen alliances, build acceptance, and advance equal rights’.
This follows similar action by the White House, State of Maine, and various municipalities also recognizing Pride Month.
The York County Budget Committee will be holding a Public Hearing this Monday, June 12th at 4 P.M. This is your opportunity to weigh in on any item within the budget and any changes the Budget Committee is recommending. The hearing will be held at the York County Government Building at 149 Jordan Springs Road in Alfred.
You can review budget details, video of presentations, & the full process here:
As the adage goes, it’s important to stop and smell the roses. Meaning, in our daily hustle and bustle, we all must find ways of taking a reset moment and appreciate all life has to offer. It’s easier said than done, as I’m writing this column in the car on our way to Bar Harbor to take some relaxation time for a few days. Even recharging on vacation isn’t always the solution, as the pile of work and life’s responsibilities will just be waiting for you upon your return.
The county budget season is upon us and it’s a perfect opportunity to break down the process, which isn’t well known.
The typical annual county budget is around $20+ million. To give you a comparison on both ends of the spectrum, the city of Saco annual municipal budget has been around $35+ million and the governor put forth her most recent two-year budget proposal of $10+ billion.