I’m writing on behalf of a person of integrity who is running for Rockland City Council.

Penelope York has been my best friend for more than 30 years. We met at Rockland High school. As well as a quick and smart sense of humor, Penny is organized, methodical, contemplative and curious, and an incredible success story. She is the person who bagged your groceries at SHOP ‘n SAVE, made your coffee at Dunkin’s, took care of your grandparents at the nursing home as a CNA. She took home “Best in Show” for the chalk drawing contest at the very first Solstice celebration, and she was appropriately recognized as the Lobster Festival’s Miss Congeniality. She is an award-winning professional executive. She weaves her own salty roots with an expansive dream of what’s possible. She is a gifted storyteller and has honed her skill as a story-listener.

Upon meeting her, one might think “She is too good to be true” but rest assured, she’s not. Penny York is many, many things, and all of them are true. She is generous, inquisitive, thoughtful, articulate, and precise. She is gifted at teasing out the best of all possible things to put it to use in service of others. Over the years, I have witnessed Penny become a truer and more vibrant version of herself. She has built her professional and personal strengths to be of effective, efficient and whole-hearted service to others. I see this in action daily, as she manages her child’s complex and often misunderstood medical needs, as she advocates on his behalf with medical professionals, family members and school. At the same time, she is teaching him to advocate for himself.

I also saw this in action when our good friend lost his housing, and we lost sight of him as a result. A spark ignited in the eye of my best friend. She has worked quietly and steadily toward understanding the pitfalls in housing. Penny is harnessing the energy of the love she has for her hometown and is merging her immense skillset to create and support viable solutions for the housing crisis facing our citizens, as well as all of the other details she’s learned about our city.

Seeing “Penelope York” on the ballot is her next step in advocating for the people who have difficulty being heard, and often times can’t even find the microphone through which to speak. Not only is she advocating for the people, she is advocating for the city itself. In my opinion, Rockland residents would be wise to accept what Penny York is offering and focus on clear goals for the protection and betterment of the city of Rockland and its citizens. Our community is poised for great things and Penny has a proven reputation for getting big things done effectively and collaboratively, with an open heart and a lot of laughter.

Teisha Hufnagel

South Thomaston