2015-09-03 / Letters

Did legislator represent situation correctly?

To the editor:

The city council race in Saco has begun. Justin Chenette, state representative for Saco District 15 and Owner of Chenette Media LLC, is endorsing his stepfather, Alan Minthorn for the Ward 5 city counselor’s seat against 25- year seat holder and life-long resident of Saco, Arthur Tardif, my father.

Mr. Minthorn and his stepson Rep. Chenette have already come out swinging by repeatedly stating Councilor Tardif is “not accessible.” Could this repeated statement be truth or fabrication? Minthorn cites the need for an “accessible councilor” and says high tax rates and economic development are his main reasons for jumping into the race.

I have to wonder why Ward 5 Councilor Tardif cannot be located and has become inaccessible. First, I would think we all should know where city hall is and, secondly, Mr. Minthorn most likely has access to a computer, and his stepson’s website lists all contacts working for the city of Saco, including all city councilors.

Mr. Minthorn’s stepson recently wrote in the Courier about his contact with the King family of Skyline Drive in Saco. This is what Rep. Chenette had to say about Counselor Tardif: “When the King family tried to get something resolved, they were initially met with some closed doors and apprehension. Once I put them in touch with the right people, things went smoothly. Couldn’t help but think if we had a more accessible city councilor in Ward 5, the family would have an immediate advocate for them at city hall.”

Chenette also states: “I’ve known the King family now for a few years.” I would think the first thing he would have asked the King Family was if they had contacted Councilor Tardif. Interesting that Chenette has every councilor’s contact information for the city of Saco right on his website, yet Councilor Tardif stated that he never got a call from Chenette. Councilor Tardif did reach out to the King family after reading Chenette’s column in the Courier. The Kings told Tardif they didn’t know who to contact and because they knew Chenette, they spoke to him. Councilor Tardif was never inaccessible but, in fact, he was never contacted.

If Chenette had contacted Councilor Tardif, he would have acted on this issue with the same result for the King family, but without publicity and photos. Councilor Tardif has never found the need to be acknowledged when he helps someone. It’s his job and he would have made sure an issue such as the Kings’ hopefully would not happen again. That’s why he’s been in office for 25 years.

I recently reached out to Rep. Chenette on his website through his email and didn’t get a response. I left my phone number and email on Aug. 27 in the early afternoon. At this writing it’s now Aug. 29, early evening, and I still have not heard from him. We all know how people are these days days with technology and having to carry a smart phone in hand at all times, hopefully to always be accessable. Because I never got a response I have to wonder if Rep. Chenette didn’t want to discuss the issue at hand with me or could it be that our state representative should be more accessible to us?

Suzanne Orlando Portland

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