House District 91

Simmons seeks to protect fisheries, improve tax base

By Beth A. Birmingham | Oct 11, 2018

Waldoboro — Waldoboro Republican Abden Simmons is seeking reelection in House District 91 in the November election.

District 91 represents Friendship, Waldoboro, Washington and part of Union.

Simmons is completing his first term in the House, and is running against former House member Jeffrey Evangelos, an independent from Friendship.

Simmons, who serves on the Waldoboro Board of Selectmen, is a commercial fisherman. He has been chairman of the town's Shellfish Committee for more than 15 years, was a member of the Waldoboro Planning Board for six years, and has been the director of the Maine Elver Fishermen's Association.

He was also appointed by the state of Maine to serve on the Soft Shell Clam Advisory Council and the Green Crab Council, and served on the Department of Marine Resources' Advisory Council.

Simmons said he is running for reelection because he feels there is a lot of unfinished business in Augusta.

"The first two years are really a learning process, and I've learned a lot," he said, adding that now he hopes to have the chance to go back and make some good changes.

Although Simmons believes Maine does not have a big issue with gun violence, he believes across the country it comes down to people letting somebody know of any situation that may become volatile.

On the topic of adequate, accessible health care, Simmons said the only solution he saw was "throwing money at it," but wondered where that money would come from.

"I'm not really keen on taxing people more," he said, suggesting the need for a broader tax base and creating solid jobs to help keep the younger generation here.

Attracting businesses to come to Maine to create more jobs and generate more revenue is a partial solution, Simmons said, to the need for property tax relief.

Simmons said there should be an overhaul of the schools in Maine because the "lion's share of funding goes to the richest schools -- it should be reversed."

Proper rehabilitation facilities, combined with a job skills trade program of sorts is what Simmons thinks will assist in addressing the area's drug crisis. He said the cycle isn't being broken, and effective rehabilitation can't happen in a short period of time.

His passion is for the commercial fisheries, and he said the nearly $700 million industry must be protected.

With Waldoboro being number-one in the clamming industry and Friendship being number-three in lobster landings, Simmons said, without those fisheries the area would be crippled.

Courier Publications reporter Beth A. Birmingham can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 125 or via email at villagesoup.com.

Comments (0)
If you wish to comment, please login.