Androscoggin County Commission District 1: Martel challenges Plourde

Oct. 27—AUBURN — Edouard Plourde, who appointed a year ago to fill a vacancy on the Androscoggin County Commission, is being challenged for the District 1 seat by Republican Bret Martel in the Nov. 8 elections.

District 1 covers a large section of Lewiston.

Plourde, 70, was appointed to the seat last year following the resignation of Noel Madore. A college graduate, the Democrat has served on many boards, including as a Lewiston City Council, L-A Rotary Club member, Androscoggin Land Trust treasurer, Auburn-Lewiston Municipal Airport board past chairman and the USM L-A advisory board. He is serves on the board of Museum L-A.

Martel, 39, is a graduate of Edward Little High School in Auburn. He has a fiancee and two daughters. He says his family and children serve as his motivation for everything he does.

Martel is co-founder and director at The Kindness Collective of Maine, a privately funded, nonprofit organization that helps support domestic violence survivors, struggling veterans and the general homeless population in Lewiston.

The winner of the election will fill the remaining two years of the Madore's term.

: The county provides services that affect Lewiston and Auburn and 12 other towns. The total cost for this is budgeted at $16 million in 2022.

This amount is paid by fees, reimbursements, and a tax levy to each town according to its valuation. The services, their cost and the way they are administered are a mystery to most citizens. I am running for commissioner to represent Lewiston's District 1 taxpayers by citing needs and concerns, and to make sure the county is efficient and effective in what it is doing.

I want to bring a fresh perspective and attitude focused on improving the everyday lives of the families in Androscoggin County. We need new leadership at the County level to make the necessary changes to prevent citizens from becoming victims. I will work hard to lessen the vast spectrum of pain and suffering created by the influx of deadly drugs trafficked into our community by out-of-state gangs.

: Right now, the cost of paying and retaining personnel is becoming difficult to control. Managing this requires skill, sensitivity and the ambition to be resourceful when evaluating the needs. Other cost savings could be had by streamlining some functions and by collaborating more with member towns. I will serve with transparency, honesty, integrity in my role as county commissioner.

: The biggest issue facing Androscoggin County is drug trafficking, and the associated violence that has become far too common place in our community. We need to support our sheriff's department and district attorney by giving them the funding, tools and ability to properly police and enforce our laws. I will work to improve the quality of life in Androscoggin County with policies and budgets that exercise a goal-oriented approach in this and every challenge facing Androscoggin County.