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Chamber's first legislative breakfast piques interest

By Carolyn Zachary | May 07, 2019
Reps. Scott Cuddy, left, Jan Dodge (speaking) and MaryAnne Kinney, on her left, discuss issues during Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce's inaugural breakfast with legislators May 4 in Waldo.

Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce launched a new program of breakfasts with Waldo County's legislators May 4. Participants filled a single round table at Stonecrest Event Center in Waldo — but though the crowd was small, discussion was lively, and there will be more of these events to come.

"The turnout is terrible," Executive Director Steve Ryan said Saturday, "but everyone says it's a wonderful idea — and keep doin' it!"

Participants included Democratic Reps. Jan Dodge of Belfast, Scott Cuddy of Winterport and Paige Zeigler of Montville, and Republican Rep. MarryAnne Kinney of Knox, along with constituents.

Ryan noted that Sen. Erin Herbig, D-Waldo, helped with planning but had conflicts that kept her away on Saturday. Zeigler had to leave early for his daughter's wedding in Portland.

Ryan later emailed The Republican Journal, noting, "One interesting sidelight is that the representatives seemed to enjoy having time to check in with each other, as well as with constituents."

Chamber member Chris Coleman donated the Stonecrest Event Center for the breakfast, and Paul McCarrier of 1 Mill in East Belfast sponsored food from Weaver's Roadside Variety.

Ryan said future sessions are planned. "A lot of good Chamber members coming together to start something new for our business community," he said. In the future, he said it would make sense to open sessions to the public, as well as members.

Rep. Paige Zeigler, left, with Chamber Executive Director Steve Ryan during the Chamber's first effort to initiate conversation among area business people and their legislators May 4. (Photo by: Carolyn Zachary)
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