Hey! Check out the pix from our “Meet the Candidates” event on the Gallery page!
Nearly 50 pumped-up Democrats and guests from Georgetown and Arrowsic attended the gala “Meet the Candidates” event at the Georgetown Community Center on June 8th. On hand were Shenna Bellows, candidate for U.S Senate: Eloise Vitelli, candidate for State Senate; Peter Kent, candidate for State Representative; David Sinclair, running for District Attorney; and Joel Merry, Sag County Sheriff (not up for re-election this year). Another highlight was a presentation by David Farmer, Senior Advisor to Mike Michaud, who briefed the crowd on the latest from Mike’s campaign.
Democratic Senator Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic has a 100% voting record for the second session of the 126th Legislature. She is one of 12 Democratic senators to receive a perfect attendance score, meaning she voted on, or was excused from, all roll call votes.
“I am honored to represent the people of Sagadahoc County and the town of Dresden – the very least I can do is show up,” said Senator Vitelli. “I am even prouder of the votes I took to invest in our economy, increase access to pre-K, and pave the way for solar energy in the State of Maine.”
During the second session, the Senate voted for two bipartisan supplemental budgets to pay the state’s bills, restore Governor LePage’s proposed cuts to education, and reduce and eliminate the wait lists for people with severe disabilities to get critical home-based care services.
The Legislature also approved measures to increase access to pre-Kindergarten programs, create a road map for solar energy in Maine, restore critical revenue sharing funds to Maine’s cities and towns, and create jobs and invest in Maine’s small business economy through $50 million in bonds.
The 126th Legislature adjourned May 2, concluding its work for the year.
During the last session, the Legislature approved a re-districting plan based on data from the 2010 census, which will go into effect with the 2014 elections. As a result House and Senate districts throughout the state have new numbers, whether or not their boundaries have changed. As of February first, the numbers on our website are the new ones, even though we all have incumbents completing their terms under the old district numbers.
Our Senate District remains the same, namely all of Sagadahoc plus the Town of Dresden, but the SD number has changed from SD 19 to SD 23..
Below are boundary changes for the Sagadahoc House Districts which are due to population losses in Bath, Brunswick and Topsham following the closure of BNAS, along with their new numbers.
BATH (formerly HD 62, now HD 52): The entire city is now a single district represented by Jennifer DeChant who is completing her first term.
TOPSHAM (formerly HD 60, now HD 54): The entire municipality is now a single district represented by Andrew Mason who is completing his first term.
WEST BATH: (formerly HD 64, now HD 51): The entire municipality is now joined to Hallowell and a portion of Brunswick in a district represented by Jeremy Saxton who is completing his first term.
ARROWSIC, GEORGETOWN, PHIPPSBURG, DRESDEN and a small portion of RICHMOND (formerly HD 65, now HD 53): have joined WOOLWICH to form a new HD represented by Peter Kent who is completing his third term.
BOWDOIN, BOWDOINHAM and the remainder of RICHMOND (formerly HD 67, now HD 55): form a single HD and the seat will be open on 2014 because incumbent Seth Berry is completing his fourth term and is not eligible to run. Alice Elliott of Richmond has declared her candidacy for the seat.
TOPSHAM – Democratic county committee members from Senate District 19 overwhelmingly voted to nominate Eloise Vitelli of Arrowsic as their candidate in the special election to be held Tuesday, August 27. The seat was vacated when Sen. Seth Goodall resigned earlier this month after being appointed by President Obama to serve as the New England Regional Administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA). Vitelli was elected on the first ballot by the 89 eligible voters that attended the caucus.
As director of program and policy at Women, Work and Community, Vitelli created a statewide job training program that has assisted more than 3,000 entrepreneurs, and unemployed workers, in starting a business. She serves on the Maine Economic Growth Council, is the former president of the Midcoast Economic Development District, and has formerly served on the Community Development Advisory Council for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, the Maine Human Resources Development Council (predecessor to the State Workforce Investment Board), and the Arrowsic School and Regional School Unit 1 Transition Committee.
“I want to thank the members of the committee for their nomination,” said Vitelli. “I have focused my career on helping others build their businesses. As a State Senator, I want to continue building and strengthening Maine’s economy.”
Under Governor Paul LePage’s administration, Maine is still struggling while much of the rest of the country is rebounding from the recession. In the last year, Maine was one of only three states in the entire country that actually lost jobs. LePage was also recently ranked one of the worst governors in America by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW).
“Voters know Democrats are the only ones truly fighting for Mainers in Augusta, and in Eloise Vitelli the folks in District 19 have a great opportunity to send another champion of working people to the Statehouse.” said Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant. “Republican lawmakers proved in this last session that they are more loyal to LePage than they are to their constituents, flip-flopping to sustain a record 59 vetoes that passed originally with overwhelming support. Maine can’t afford another ‘Yea’ vote for the failed LePage agenda.
|A lot has happened in Augusta over the past few weeks and a lot more is due soon. In this update I will cover restoring the ecology of the Gulf of Maine, the effort to establish a public hospital district on the Boothbay peninsula, and the Governors Grading system for Maine’s public schools.
The St Croix River above the Grand Falls Dam along the border with Canada has been closed to the passage of alewives over the last century. I’ve submitted a bill to reopen these passages. My bill was combined with a similar one submitted by Representative Donna Soctomah of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and has been signed into law by the Governor.
In the past, millions of Alewives have spawned in this waterway, and the restoration of this run will mean a major restoration of this species in the Gulf of Maine. Alewives are prey for eagles, otters, osprey, and other fish species. They are also a major source of bait for lobster fishermen. The restoration of this run will lower the price of bait and at the same time restore the ecological balance of the Gulf of Maine.
One of the bills I introduced this session was legislation to create a special hospital district on the Boothbay Peninsula. This bill would create an open and transparent form of hospital management. The effort is in reaction to the decision by Maine Health, a multi-billion dollar corporation to close the Emergency Room at St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor. Increasing local taxes are needed to support increased ambulance services, losing over twenty well-paying year-round jobs in the area, and diminishing local citizen’s access to health care options.
The ER closure would also cause the loss of Hospital Accreditation for St Andrews, which would become an Urgent care center. The bill would authorize referenda on whether or not to go forward with a special hospital district in the four towns of Edgecomb, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor, and Southport. The bill has received some support in the State and Local Government Committee and I am working to garner more before the bill heads to the full Legislature for further votes.
The Governor and the Department of Education recently rolled out an A-F grading system for Maine schools, based primarily on student results in standardized tests. The grades issued by the LePage administration correlate nearly perfectly with the poverty level in a community. These grades rely on a limited number of standardized test scores, which tell us little more than the relative wealth of a community. These grades fail to tell us about so many important aspects of a school. They do not tell us about innovation, collaboration, entrepreneurship, extracurricular activities or even standardized test results in other academic subjects. The administrations methodology is fundamentally flawed.
Once again, I am honored and grateful for the opportunity to serve you. Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or concerns or if you need assistance with state government. I can be reached by email at email@example.com or by phone either at home (633-0570) or at the State Capitol message line (1-800-423-2900).
|Bruce MacDonaldState Representative|
Representative Bruce MacDonald is serving his third term in the Maine House of Representatives and serves as the House Democratic lead on the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources. Representative MacDonald previously was a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources as well as the Joint Standing Committee on Business, Research and Economic Development. This committee assignment is a good fit for a legislator who represents the islands of Arrowsic, Georgetown, Southport and Westport Island and the mainland coastal communities of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor. Bruce has been very active in his efforts to support and sustain the fishing industry and small businesses in his district and throughout Maine.
Representative MacDonald was a school principal for 20 years and worked as a computer program and software development manager. He is a graduate of Bowdoin College and earned his masters’ degree from Harvard University.
His commitment to public service includes three terms as a member of the school committee and board of selectman in Reading, Massachusetts. In Boothbay, he was a selectman for one term.
Representative MacDonald’s family were fishermen from Gloucester, and he has had a longtime interest in maintaining and strengthening the fishing tradition in the Gulf of Maine. His other interests include health insurance reform; energy conservation and development of alternative energy sources; tax reform; and development of the community college system and affordable higher education opportunities.
He has recently served on both the Presiding Officers’ Heat and Energy Emergency Task Force and the Wind Power Task Force and will continue to work towards energy independence for Maine and innovative, long-term efforts to create energy security for Mainers.
Rep. MacDonald serves as the House Democratic Lead member on the Joint Standing Committee on Marine Resources.
For more information about the schedule of committee hearings or to sign up for advance notice of public hearings click here.
Serving on Marine Resources will give me the opportunity to better represent the concerns of my district of four islands and a peninsula, all with historical and present-day working connections to the ocean.
Our committee work will be essential to ensuring a viable and sustainable yield of fish, lobster and other organisms from the ocean. We will work toward a balance that will be good for our marine environment, good for our local maritime economy, and good for the economy of the state of Maine.
Click here to see all bills, joint resolutions and orders I sponsored or cosponsored this session, as well as legislative sentiments that honor and recognize people from our district and throughout the state.