Election letters

To the editor,

Like most voters, I’ve watched with grave disappointment as America’s politics have become deeply polarized over the last few years. I’ve had a front row seat to the chaos. I’m a Kennebunk native who has spent nearly a decade working with elected officials on health and education policy in Washington, D.C., and in state legislatures across the country.

This fall, voters in District 34 should vote to send Joe Rafferty to the Maine Senate. Joe is not only a respected community leader, but he has unique experience that Mainers need in Augusta. As I’ve worked over the last few years to advance state and federal policy focused on reversing America’s child obesity crisis, it’s clear that we need more physical educators in office.

As a Kennebunk High School graduate, I know Joe’s character and temperament. I also know what a skilled strategist he is on the football field. Augusta needs more strategic, forward-thinkers to solve Maine’s big challenges. Voters should send Joe Rafferty to Augusta.

Ben Goodman

Washingon, D.C.

To the editor,

Today is Oct. 12, and I have already cast my vote for Joe Rafferty for Maine State Senate District 34. I voted for Joe because as someone who’s retired from teaching and has spent time in the trenches, he knows intimately how important it is for public schools to provide an education that does not allow students to slip through the cracks. He recognizes the need for affordable health care for all, and wants to focus on expanding Maine jobs that provide a living wage. What’s not to love about those interests?

The alternative candidate to Joe Rafferty is Mike Pardue, aka, the Kennebunk town manager. I can speak only for myself. I want a town manager whose time and attention is spent on Kennebunk business, not in Augusta and on state issues, which, let’s face it, in the midst of this pandemic are going to be even more time consuming than in a regular year.

As residents, we are paying for a full-time town manager which, including more than $25,000 to his retirement account, is more than $186,000. The town will subtract from that package only the $14-$17K stipend that the senate seat pays. I don’t make $25,000 in a single year for my full-time work, and Mike gets more than $25,000 toward his retirement alone for his full-time job. I don’t begrudge him his salary and benefits. I recognize that managing a town as large and complicated as Kennebunk is a big job that deserves a salary that reflects the size and responsibility of that job.

If he is elected to the senate seat, I do begrudge him getting his full-time pay and benefits for part-time work. He can’t be in two places at one time. Between his salary and his retirement, not to mention any benefits, if Mike Pardue were to win the senate seat, the town of Kennebunk will be shelling out more than $170,000 to Pardue for doing his job part-time. I can’t imagine that managing the town of Kennebunk is a part-time job. Which town employees are going to be picking up the workload that Mike can’t do when he is out of town? Will those employees be fairly compensated for doing the work Mike can’t because he’s in Augusta? Is that going to be another expense for the town of Kennebunk to pick up because Mike Pardue wants a second job? If he can do his job in just part-time hours, then let’s pay him for what is a part-time job.

In addition, if I lived in one of the non-Kennebunk towns that is in District 34 (Berwick, Acton, Lebanon, North Berwick and Wells), I definitely would not want to be represented by someone whose full-time job was managing a town other than my own. My gut tells me that is a distinct conflict of interest.

Lisa Eaton,

Kennebunk

To the editor,

Much has been said over the recent presidential debate and how our president went about embarrassing himself and our country, in front of the entire free world. While his rude behavior and constant interruptions, along with unfounded fabrications and distorted truths only hurt his cause, it may have been the vice presidential debate that truly tells it all.

It appears that the most telling and incriminating comment was actually offered by Vice President Pence, during his debate with Sen. Harris. During that debate he dropped his little zinger, making sure there was no time for Harris to respond, when he stated “you and your colleagues tried to impeach our president, over a (simple) phone call.”

As we all know, this was no simple phone call, but instead a total misuse of power and a complete violation of the sacred oath that every U.S. president is required to follow. For a president to use his office and unique position to lean on a foreign country and withhold previously allocated federal funds via an illegal exchange “Quid Pro Quo” merely to dig up any dirt on his political opponent, says a lot about this administration and our president’s lack of integrity.

It also clearly brings to light the (low) depth this administration will go to in order to promote their own agenda, no matter at what cost to the American people or damage to our Constitution and way of life.

Jim Thompson

Kennebunk

To the editor,

I am writing to support Rep. Henry Ingwersen for re-election in Maine House of Representatives District 10.

Henry has been an enormous help to my wife and I during his tenure in the Legislature. Since it was discovered that our farm was contaminated with PFAS chemicals, Rep. Ingwersen has worked to help craft legislation that would help us recover from the devastating losses we’ve suffered.

He is a tremendous asset to our community, and we strongly urge the voters of Arundel, Lyman, and Dayton to join us in supporting him once again.

Frederick Stone

Arundel

To the editor,

I invite the voters of Maine House District 10 – Arundel, Dayton and part of Lyman – to join me in supporting state representative Henry Ingwersen for re-election. When the pandemic breached Maine’s borders, Henry wasted no time reaching out to our community’s elders, networking to secure delivery of groceries or prescriptions and assistance for those isolated at home.

Henry remains committed to representing all constituents regardless of political identity. Consistently he demonstrates a dedication to carefully weighing how legislation might impact constituents before casting a vote; a testament to the level of critical and independent thinking voters deserve in all candidates for office. Because of this he has earned bipartisan voter support.

But I think what I value most about Henry is the humility, devotion and openness with which he engages constituents, genuinely listening with respect and patience to the concerns of those he serves. I’m left with a renewed understanding and respect for how he came to a decision even when we disagree. This is a standard all public servants should strive for.

His integrity and temperament make state representative Henry Ingwersen uniquely suited to serve the people of District 10. Please vote for the kind of leadership we deserve – vote Henry for 10 Nov. 3.

Kirstan Watson

Arundel

To the editor,

I write in support of Mike Pardue for Senate District 34 supporting the betterment of our region for all who live and work here. I also wish to dispel some of the misinformation offered by Dan Sayre, chair of the Democrat Party in Kennebunk, recently shared in this publication.

Mr. Sayre appears to equate municipal and state government decisions to the decision of who gets the last swing on the playground during recess. Adults working together for the good of all don’t have this sort of challenge. They work together to afford mutually beneficial results. This has been the hallmark of Mike Pardue’s leadership style during his diverse professional career as a public servant and manager.

Mike Pardue works a seven-day weekly schedule – in the office, at home and, yes, even on Sunday golf outings by cell and email. To suggest that the business of Kennebunk will be significantly compromised is simply a misstatement. If anything, Mike will step up the hours of dedication and service to both areas of responsibility to assure all are served and provided for. He has experience in his professional life as public safety director leading both police and fire/medical services in a local, Maine city. Image the competing priorities of each division. All handled with tact, diplomacy, care for the best interests of each.

I met personally with sitting Sen. Bob Foley (both House and Senate tenure) concerning time commitment, expectations and realities of service. His real-life, real-time experience differs significantly from that offered by Mr. Sayre. Additionally, today’s remote working environment shared by many businesses and the public sector (Kennebunk’s select board) further diminish any risk or “short shrift” as suggested by Mr. Sayre. It just isn’t so and to suggest as such presents yet another deviation from the truth.

Mike Pardue brings experience in the private sector and public sector as a leader, manager, and visionary. He has demonstrated keen decision-making, rational deliberation and execution of a strategy that serves a broad array of stakeholders. I knew those strengths when, along with our vice chair, we brought Mike’s name to the select board for ratification as our town manager. The results have been amazing.

Mr. Sayre is wrong. Mike Pardue deserves your vote. In fact – Dan Sayre has said multiple times that even he would vote for Mike Pardue … if he ran as a Democrat.

Dick Morin

Kennebunk