As some of you may have noticed, our legislative office is bare. No signs, no window decals, no lights on and no flag out to alert you we are there.
In case this sounds like goodbye, we aren’t going anywhere, but we have moved out of our office. Sen. Linda Valentino and I spent almost four years at our Main Street office sandwiched between the post office and Rapid Rays. It was great to be part of a Main Street community full of festivals, parades and people.
On a practical level, having a physical space for constituent meetings was very useful. We had the only state legislative delegation office in the state to provide you an opportunity to make your voice heard directly to the people you elected. Those conversations can be extremely helpful for us to gauge where some people are at with certain pieces of public policy. Even if we disagree on something, I love hearing from multiple perspectives from our area.
Our landlord has been phenomenal in allowing us to temporarily occupy the space. The silver lining is a new business is moving to our historic downtown Saco in our former space. They should be in place by July. I wish them all the best in their location. I love seeing new businesses come to our community. It’s something to celebrate for sure.
While the legislative session is technically winding down in terms of the number of days, it means it’s a crazy time for us. Oftentimes we are holding sessions from the morning until late at night. We’ve even gone until 1 or 2 a.m. a few times last session. As a result, we are working hard representing you and won’t be able to find another office for a while. If we get a new space, you will be the first to know, especially for office hours.
You can still reach us anytime. Think of it as a virtual office. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org and Linda’s email is email@example.com. If you’d like to talk over the phone, you can call me on my cell, 590-3266. For in-person meetings, we could still meet at various locations. Sign up for a meeting on my website or shoot me a message.
Justin Chenette is serving his second term as state representative for Saco District 15. Outside the Legislature, he is owner of Chenette Media LLC, a multimedia public relations company, and is the president/CEO of the Saco Bay Center of Civic Engagement, a 501c3 nonprofit service organization. Follow updates at www.justinchenette.com, facebook.com/justinchenette and twitter.com/justinchenette.
Beyond the Headlines
Weekly Column featured in The Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier Newspaper by Rep. Justin Chenette of Saco