Contrary to last week’s story (“Chebeague Island in crisis: Money missing, viability in doubt”), Chebeague Island is a high-performing viable year-round community with a rich history of innovation and stability. After Chebeague seceded from Cumberland, the island community has become even stronger with many more people being actively involved in town government. When the island was part of Cumberland there was a town councilor, Planning Board member, a coastal waters rep and that was about it. Now we have five selectmen, five School Board members, seven Planning Board, five shellfish, five coastal waters, seven Sunset Committee, and five on a road committee. Today members of the public attend the meetings of these committees, whereas, islanders rarely attended meetings when we were part of Cumberland. The infrastructure of the town has been upgraded with new trucks, fire trucks, miles of roads paved, Stone Wharf improvements, a fire communication tower and more. One bond has been repaid in full; bills are paid on time; taxes are paid on time; the school is one of the top 25 in Maine; and our nonprofits continue to thrive. The population has increased; new businesses have been created; lobstering has been good; the boat schedule makes commuting easier; our government is transparent, ergo looking into a discrepancy in the books; selectmen come and go; people worry that we have too many people or not enough people; citizens’ opinions differ. That’s all part of being a town; we are doing just fine; and we are still in business making a great community even stronger.
Donna Miller Damon