2017-06-09 / Letters

Downtown committee was successful

To the editor:

In reading the article “Board disbands downtown committee” in the June 2, 2017 Kennebunk Post, I would like to point out several inconsistencies with comments that were made against the Downtown Committee.

I went out and recruited members to join the Downtown Committee. Two businesses were represented – one from Main Street and one from Route 1 north. Our monthly attendance from the public was also up because I would go out on a weekly basis and visit establishments. They were invited to attend meetings and participate in our discussions, and some did.

All of the events that the committee held had high attendance and participation rates. In 2016, Coffee with the Chiefs included the Kennebunk chief of police and Kennebunk fire chief.

The first time both chiefs were available to have a question and answer session with the Downtown Committee and the public. The last two Christmas tree lightings, held while I was chairman, had roughly 2,000 in attendance each time. This was well more than double from previous years. Written reports agreed that these were outstanding events.

The committee received constant praise and accolades from town hall staff and the selectmen liaison about the projects the committee had accomplished. There were weekly written acknowledgements during the summer concert series known as Music at The Plaza.

Bands would play on Saturdays at downtown Kennebunk for two hours to entertain the local area. The venue was even expanded to include Shoppers Village, something that had never been done before. As the last chairman of that committee, I continually aimed to include Route 1 north/south, not just Main Street, in events that the committee was planning. This was an idea that was ignored in recent years based on feedback received from merchants along Route 1 north/south.

The committee accomplished much during my 18 months as chairman. Anyone can look back on the minutes and read of our accomplishments and attendance record. I find it ironic now that those who praised the committee, now dissolved the same committee it once praised.

Praise and acknowledgement was also received from other committees for what the Downtown Committee accomplished. By doing that, it cheapens and negates all the hard work each committee member had accomplished. I would like to thank the distinguished committee members who served with me. They were instrumental in making our events a huge success. We were all volunteers.

I hope this puts an end to the disparaging remarks about the work and integrity of the downtown committee.

Ahmed Ciangiulli

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