2016-10-13 / News

Firefighter in race against representative


Justin Chenette Justin Chenette Printed below are responses to survey forms from candidates for State Senate District 31, which includes Saco and Old Orchard Beach. Rep. Justin Chenette, a Deocrat, will face Republican Timothy Sevigny. The Courier prints responses within each race in alphabetical order by the last name of the candidate.

Name: Justin Chenette Age: 25 Address: 20 Garfield St., Apt. 20, Saco

Occupation:

Journal Tribune digital advertising executive, owner of Chenette Media LLC, and president/CEO of Saco Bay Center for Civic Engagement

Family: Married (thanks to marriage equality becoming law)

Education: B.S. Broadcast Journalism, A.S. TV News, Minors: political science and professional multimedia communications


Timothy Sevigny Timothy Sevigny Organizations and activities (including past political experience): State representative (2012-present), Saco Main Street Board of Directors, Biddeford- Saco Chamber of Commerce member, Saco Bay Rotary Club, Thornton Academy class agent (class of 2009), former State Board of Education member, Former intern with U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe

Top three issues:

Drug epidemic: As a member of the Criminal Justice & Public Safety Committee, I worked to pass a comprehensive proposal to increase enforcement to go after the dealers/traffickers, start a grant for police departments to implement a gateway to seek resources and help, increase capacity for drug courts, and invest in various treatment modalities. We must focus on early drug prevention in our schools and heighten our treatment efforts rather than constantly cut funding. It starts with a conversation with folks battling addiction like I have at area programs like the Milestone Foundation in Old Orchard Beach.

Property taxes: Property taxes are forcing people, especially those on a fixed incomes, out of their homes. While property taxes are decided on the local level, the state can do better in providing municipal revenue sharing to cities and towns to help pay for essential services that are the biggest cost drivers. Also fully funding the Property Tax Fairness program would ensure more individuals could apply for assistance. This can be paid for by using any surplus at the end of a budget cycle that represents on average millions of dollars.

Governmental accountability: We must change the atmosphere of corruption that plagues Augusta where the special interest group and lobbyist with the largest checkbook has the most direct influence over public policy decision making. Through large contributions, these large corporate interests and slick lobbyists, demand access, influence and votes from sitting legislators. You deserve to have a government that is transparent, accountable, and fights for the best interests of Main Street, not one bought and sold to the highest bidder. My bill that closed a loophole in the Clean Elections system became law. I hope to build on that success.

Why are you seeking elected office?

It’s time for a new generation of leadership to step up to the plate. I’m running for the state Senate to build consensus, put forward common sense reforms, and change how we do business. We should expect more from our elected officials than simply continuing the status quo. The major takeaway from my congressional internship with U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe was the necessity for collaboration. We must have a government that operates like you and I have to everyday in our workplace. Get along with co-workers to get a job done. All sides. All parties. Together. While I’m a Democrat with core Democratic values, it doesn’t matter if it’s a Democratic solution or a Republican solution. All that matters is that the solution works for Maine. Sadly, the governor has thrown a wrench into good governance with his offensive and incendiary tone. The time is now to hit the reset button at the Statehouse and set petty politics aside for the common good. I will never be able to fill the shoes of Sen. Linda Valentino, but I know with her blessing and support, I am ready to fight for affordable senior housing, reduce taxes for residents, protect women’s rights, preserve our environment, limit student loan debt, eliminate big money special interest influence in politics, and cut wasteful spending. Together we can reform state government to work better for us by restoring trust and credibility back into the institution and make politics about public service again. If you could change one thing about the Saco and Old Orchard Beach area, what would it be and how would you do it?

I love living here. We are blessed to be in an area that has great schools, safe living environment and high level of citizen involvement. The people in our area make it special. That being said, there are always improvements that can be made to ensure future generations will be able to enjoy our community. In Saco, the preservation and revitalization of our historic downtown is already underway. As a board member of Saco’s downtown development organization, Saco Main Street, I am part of the discussions and planning around how to attract people and new business to our downtown. With a new board of directors and new executive director, Robert Biggs, I feel confident in our ability to grow economic opportunity while continuing the great community-based events we’ve been known for like the upcoming Pumpkin Harvest Festival. In Old Orchard Beach, there are a number of individuals really stepping up to revitalize the use of The Ballpark, like Guy Fontaine and others. More and more community events are held there, like the New England Parkinson Ride and a concert to raise money for various nonprofits. It really is an underutilized gem in our area that is in need of long term strategic planning. I’m looking forward to helping out on the board of the nonprofit recently setup to start those discussions and help the town develop a vision and action plan for The Ballpark. Community leadership is needed beyond just passing a bill in Augusta.

Name: Timothy N. Sevigny
Age: 42
Address: 21 Lincoln St., Saco
Occupation: Firefighter/paramedic and business owner
Family: Married to wife Melissa and daughter Madison is
a freshman at Thornton Academy.
Education: Classes through Southern Maine Community

College and Maine EMS, many years of classes to attain my national registry paramedic license.

Organizations and activities (including past political experience): Union president Biddeford career firefighters, business owner, own Clean Source New England and Studios2go; Republican since I was 18 years old, consider myself a moderate Republican. Top three issues: I will work to make headway on economic growth, lower energy cost, affordable prescriptions for the elderly and work on heroin epidemic.

Why are you seeking elected office?

I’m running for state Senate District 31 to take on the politicians in Augusta to bring real results for our families and community. Work for more government oversight. Eliminate waste, fraud and abuse that wastes our tax dollars. Building a pro-growth environment that will attract new jobs and industry. Keep taxes low and fund our community’s priorities first. I will work to forge powerful and lasting coalitions across the political aisle in order to craft common sense legislation that provides solutions to the issues facing Mainers.

If you could change one thing about the Saco and Old Orchard Beach area, what would it be and how would you do it? (Candidate did not answer question)

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