Thank you for visiting my page. I am running for Town Council and I would appreciate your response. For 7 years I fought hard for you as a Town Council Member and three years as a Vice Chaiman. Twenty Five years before that I was a Police Officer in Kittery and a 911 Dispatch Supervisor. I was an instructor at the Maine Criminal Justice Academy and for one year, I was the Chief Constable in Lebanon going after out of state registration violators. as a test pilot program. I am very versed in Maine Law and I know what can be done legally.
Much has been said about me, by those I have arrested and prosecuted, family members of those people and many of the good people of Kittery. If you choose to listen to the grumbling of a few, so be it, but if you choose to go by your heart and know I ruffled feathers by challenging stupidity, then I would love to have your vote. Below are my accomplishments.
Successfully Stopped the 900 units on Dennett Rd.
Led the Charge to save over 100.000 per year on street lights by having the Town convert them to LED. The Fire Chief led the Program.
Got the Town to provide Fire Fighter Workers insurance that I discovered they had none.
Donated Council Salary to Traip Robotics and other organizations
Kittery Freebie Barn Supporter
Fought for lower sewer costs.
Supported Ken Lemont with the Senior Circuit Breaker program
Supported School Sidewalks
Supported fair pay for our teachers, law enforcement and fire fighters.
Initiated LED speed limit signs
Member of the Library Building Committee, EDC, Recycle Scholarship, and the CIP
Channel 22 Creation
much much more.
A recent letter from the five employees of the DPW who uncovered wrong doings and misdeeds by other employees and supervisors.
Thank you to the Portsmouth Herald for the heading. Thank you to the five members of the DPW who showed courage to share their support for me and help set the record straight! They are the real heroes for trying to fix Kittery!
Kittery was unfair to Chuck Denault. We support him.
Oct. 18 − To the Editor:
We, the undersigned former Kittery, Maine, town employees, support Chuck Denault and his candidacy for election to the Kittery Town Council. Though much has been written by the Portsmouth Herald regarding his abrupt departure from the Kittery Town Council in 2021, very little was published pertaining to the employees that he assisted during that tenuous time.
We would like to take this opportunity to tell our side of the story. When our many and varied individual complaints to our direct supervisor, human resources and ultimately the town manager regarding theft, hostile work environments, retaliation, harassment, co-workers sneaking out of work when the boss was not there, time card fraud, nepotism and mismanagement along with an assortment of other complaints were not resolved or even believed, we had no one left to turn to except Councilor Denault. He advised us that he would personally take the information to the town manager per the town charter. This was well within the scope of his duties as a town councilor and our rights as employees.
Councilor Denault always looked out for the citizens and employees of Kittery and in order to assist us, tried to fix the wrongdoings to benefit those who were subjected to unfair treatment. He was trying to protect us while doing his job as a town councilor. As a direct result of us reporting bad behavior, the retaliation started and among other things, we were told that we could not speak to Chuck nor voice our concerns to the public. This ultimately led to our resignations, one by one, including Chuck’s wife. These were not easy decisions to make. Some of us had over 15 years of employment with the town of Kittery.
Over the past few years, there has been an obvious downturn in morale and a not so stellar reputation of Kittery’s management practices. From multiple town employees moving on to other employment, to the residents becoming divided, the effects of the management problems have been clear and well articulated yet ignored. They were clear then as they are today. It was devastating that the town manager knowingly disciplined the wrong people while we were trying to do what was morally right.
What happened to Former Councilor Denault was unfair and the accusations were not true. The information he brought forward is accurate. He defended us, tried to do what was right and was true to his oath and obligations. If you could see what we saw happening inside, away from the public’s eye, you would truly support Mr. Chuck Denault in his candidacy as we do.
DPW Employees; Daniel Upton, Robert Hames, Daniel J. Colbert, Terry McDonnell, Shawn Tapley
Questions from the Portsmouth Herald.
Name: Charles Denault
Education: R.W. Traip Academy, Hesser College and Franklin Pierce, Maine Criminal Justice Academy
Occupation: AACS/CCTV manager at Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Political or civic experience highlights: Former vice president Kittery Sports Boosters, Orchard Grove Cemetery vice chairman, former Kittery town councilor and vice chairman
What is the biggest problem Kittery is facing and how you would solve it?: Lack of honesty. Take for instance the Kittery transfer station and all the homes that surround it that are on well water. If it was not for a concerned Kittery employee who is no longer working in Kittery, who told me about the town covering up the discovery of PFAS. He said, Kittery was not releasing the information that PFAS were found at in the test wells at the Kittery dump. How long did Kittery know about the cancer-causing forever chemicals in peoples’ wells? How much did it cost Kittery to date after it came out and needed to mitigate clean water for residents that surround the dump? Has anyone realized that water travels underground in aquifers? How far is this PFAS traveling and are other residents affected? How about the wildlife that drink the water around the dump or Spruce Creek that see the run-off. This is big and how long before residual affects start manifesting. Kittery needs to be honest with the residents and look into the source and mitigate the cleanup and recover the cost of providing clean water. We should see if superfund cleanup program would assist us. The window of opportunity is about to close as the Navy Yard as it is taken off the cleanup list and perhaps reducing our chance to mitigate our PFAS issue. Kittery needs to investigate the origin of the PFAS at the Kittery Dump and in many of the drinking wells. It is widely known that items in Kittery’s landfill came from the shipyard through the 1960s and ’70s. What is Kittery’s plan going forward?
What would be your top three priorities if you are elected?: 1. I will attend council meetings, engage in discussions, ask question on the issue and keep the public informed. Kittery councilors work for the residents, not developers and special interest groups. A councilor needs to be able to be reached and available to handle constituents concerns. A political councilor needs to listen and use common sense on issues. If the code fails, then it needs to be changed. Applying compassion and empathy to problem solving is a way forward.
2. Transparency. Yes, it is a buzzword but the practice needs to be applied to the practice of running the town. We need to keep the people informed by instituting a quarterly mailer to let people know what is coming up. We have time with agenda items to ensure the public is informed. Especially if it is something that may be a hot button topic. Truth is the foundation for a good relationship. Citizens can handle mistakes but do not lie to them.
3. Work, work, work. As a councilor, I went door to door, met with those who liked me and those who did not. I listened to all the concerns. It is not about being a Democrat, Republican or an independent; it is doing things for the common good of all Kittery citizens. We may disagree or have a different take on it, but if I do my research on the issue, ensure the truth and perhaps reach a common ground, keep the public updated, we can move mountains. Nobody trusts government and they tell us the real facts after the fact. Rubber stamping has got to stop.
Should the town work to create below market rate housing, and where is the best site?: We need to come to our senses with below market housing. It cannot happen given the current standard practices. If the land was given to Kittery, a developer built the houses for free, the lumber and infrastructures were the only thing bought, then it could happen. There are no guarantees that after someone bought the house, it would not be sold for fair market value. Kittery is losing her charm by over developing and it will never be seen again. The schoolteachers can’t handle the influx of more children, and they certainly are not paid enough along with the police and fire, and everything will see rises of issues and the ripple effect is not added to the equation of build build build. Kittery needs to be careful, because without intelligent oversite, housing and apartments could become Section 8 properties. Remember, nonprofit organizations do not pay taxes. The malls are a prime spot for adding housing. If we do it right, these malls could have apartments above the stores, entered from the back, add more housing but the developer’s do not do this out of the goodness of their hearts, they do it for their investors. Remember when you heard the 300-unit apartment housing was going to have 10% work force apartments for $1,100 or so. The cheapest apartment is $2,248 per month according to Seacoast Residences Inc. Costs have required the developers to recoup their money. This is why we need to be careful of buying into the buzzwords. We need more senior housing units first.
How should the town should address the future of the business park zone? What kind of development do you believe should be allowed there, if any?: The citizens do not want the 900 units or development of the business park that affects Kittery. It was obvious that there is a lot of resentment to that type of project. In retrospect the 300 unit was a mistake that some of us supported. A homeowner cannot fill wet lands so how does a business developer get special exceptions to build in a swamp. I will never understand how that happened. There is about 80 acres there yet to be developed. Maybe turn it over to the Kittery Land Trust and protect the area. Secondly, or make cluster housing. With an average lot size of 2 acres per house and taking into consideration, sidewalks and driveways and parking areas and perhaps a recreation area, A developer can easily place 25 to 35 homes in there, protecting much of the wet lands as roadways weave in and out through them, adding needed housing and avoiding destroying Kittery as we know it. There are many ideas I heard of and some are atrocious. Kittery needs more homes, and the developer’s should not be held hostage over what they can or can’t do, but Kittery needs to be proactive and homes in the business park are allowed and it would be low impact. We cannot cut corners, bending rules or lose Kittery’s charm to get tax revenue to keep spending. Kittery can have a crystal ball by looking at what happened to other small towns by over developing and wanting the cash. We cannot sacrifice what Kittery is about over greed, because once we lose Kittery, it is gone forever.
What needs does the town need to address in the next budget cycle?: Smart budgeting. We need to be pro-active. Anything that generates revenue needs to be aggressively pursued. Take for instance building permits. As soon as the building permit is closed, the value of the property increased. The assessment needs to start immediately. I have often wondered how many permits are still open and occupancy permits were never granted in a timely fashion, how many properties have waited until the next assessment of the property was done for the town to start getting the proper taxes on the property? How many building lots are not even on the tax map? Out of state plates! This unexpected revenue cost Kittery’s thousands of dollars per year and the loss is even felt at the state level with sales tax and income tax. A person has 30 days to register their cars in Maine and obtain a license. Failure to do this is theft. It affects social programs, taxes, schools etc. They most likely do not pay taxes since they cannot be taxed and law-abiding citizens end up paying their share of taxes. When new properties are developed the taxes should pay down the tax rate and not be applied to budgets as more money to spend. Taking a smart approach to the budget, we can make changes, even slightly is more than is done now. A way to cut cost is to standardize office supplies and buy in bulk. Every year before the end of year budget, we need to freeze spending. If you did not get it when you needed it, you do not need it and work force reduction through attrition.
What steps could the town take to address traffic congestion and a lack of parking, specifically in the area of the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard gate?: Thousands of your tax dollars on the Joint Land Use traffic study. What happened? Nothing. What was the money spent on? A town councilor wanted an ordinance that required a vehicle to be full of workers in order to drive through Kittery. Kittery needs to be honest, open-minded and attack a problem that has existed for over a half a century. Finding common sense ways to address the issues and not make demands of the federal government with no teeth. Perhaps a citizen committee, populated with locals, shipyard workers, senior management and Kittery department heads, and stop finger pointing and playing the blame game. Why not see how other communities handled it. Maybe a parking garage and trolley workers in and out of the yard using the existing train tracks. The shipyard has instituted flex shifts that eased traffic. Ideas like turning Walker Street into two lanes and prohibiting parking on weekdays. Two lanes in and two lanes out or even sync the Navy yard traffic lights to Kittery’s. Open the Navy gates up early or permanently or have DOD police officers directing traffic as they did for decades to ensure Kittery residents are not inconvenienced and allow the traffic flow. This shipyard is an economic juggernaut to the communities around the yard. We need to have honest reasonable negotiations not try to bully the yard and keep the discussions transparent. Kittery needs to initiate steps towards that goal. The shipyard is here to stay and if it is not, we are in deep trouble.
Kittery Town Council 2021 candidate’s questionnaire
Name: Charles Denault Jr.
Address: 11 Melanies Court Kittery, Maine 03904
Occupation: AACS/CCTV Systems Manager Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Retired Sergeant of the Kittery Police Department
Education: Traip Academy Graduate, Maine Criminal Justice Academy
Civic experience: 7 Years Town Council, 3 years Vice Chair, Santa Claus, Sports Boosters,
Orchard Grove Cemetery Trustee, Boy Scouts and Recycling Committee.
Campaign website: www.ourkittery.com/chuck
Favorite movie, book or television show: NCIS
What would be your top three priorities as a town councilor?
• Lowering the tax burden by using smart spending techniques and upcycling measures.
• Reducing the carbon footprint and saving energy by developing a Town test program
to challenge taxpayers to cut their household energy and carbon footprint by a
designated percentage. Reward them with a property tax credit based on a
proven reduction, such as comparing an electric bill from the previous year to a
current electric bill submitted at the end of a one-year test period. Multiple benefits
are realized: proven measurable results, reduction in home energy costs
and citizens become aware that they can personally control their own footprint, thereby
paving the way for future generations.
• Finish the installation of sidewalks to protect our walkers and students especially in the School Districts. End the so-called “sidewalks to nowhere.” The completion of the
sidewalk project has been unacceptable.
What should the town do to address issues related to the coronavirus pandemic?
• I think Kittery did a great job with the current pandemic. We have learned a lot from
this and the science is evolving every day.
• Continue to support CDC and DHS guidelines. Assess impacts to municipal
operations, schools, businesses and resident quality of life by seeking viable
How would you promote civic engagement among residents?
• Promote and sponsor volunteer groups, and/or collective actions, designed to identify and address issues of public concern.
We as a Town should promote and expand civic engagement for older adults as well as our youth. All ideas have a purpose and no idea should be dismissed.
Do you have concerns about taxes in Kittery? How would you address them? Please cite specific actions.
Kittery has realized before the high tax rates and have tried many things to slow it and curb it. As an example, in 1987, the TAX CAP group came into being by concerned
individuals. They sent a message that “enough was enough.” As with everything, it has it pros and cons. This set a ceiling on the taxes that the Town Manager had to manage within.
• We have moved to 100 percent evaluations and to annual re-evaluations and our
assessments are increasing. We increase our tax base and our mil rate drops
however, the assessments rise dramatically. We still continue to see an increase in our
tax bill. As the revenue increases, we continue to spend and raise taxes.
• My simple questions are: Why do we have to spend the increase since we have more
money, and why can’t we lower the mil rate and pass on the increased revenues back
to the taxpayers? We can institute an upcycle program and share purchases?
• Spending freezes work. Having a committee of residents develop a strategy to
lower taxes would be a huge step. Accountability, audits and beneficial suggestions
from employees can bring notable benefits. The employees know where the waste is.
• We need to stop giving our property away and sell it for fair market value. For instance, the Wentworth Dennett School was sold far below market value. I do not want the Town of Kittery to continue to make mistakes of this caliber. We are about to do it again.
• Work Force Housing is a hot topic. Property taxes add to the amount of money the
landlords must charge in rent in order to pay their mortgage and higher taxes. Keeping the
tax rate low brings more businesses, creates more accessibility to affordable housing and helps all residents.
Retail marijuana shops are coming to Kittery. Are you satisfied with the process and regulations in place?
• Maine and Kittery voters have spoken. We are obliged to do what the
• Towns throughout Maine have been tackling the problem and some have found solutions.
What works in some places may not work in others. Retail Marijuana is coming and we
should seek the benefits of having the business and increase revenue in Town. Kittery can make money from licenses, permits, inspections, re-application fees etc.
• Kittery needs to work with our neighboring towns to explore ways to increase sales tax
from retail marijuana establishments.
• I am not satisfied with the restrictive ordinance process that took place. I believe it may be guided by those who want to derail it, those that might have a personal bias against it, or those that might have a conflict of interest with their own business. Current medical marijuana establishments currently have restrictions that are required to be reviewed and enforced. The concerns of traffic problems, crime and other issues that were raised as we embarked on the business of marijuana in Kittery, have not materialized.
Regardless of personal views, the voters of Kittery approved this venue and it is important that we treat them as we do other viable businesses in Kittery.
These businesses are doing great and have not caused any issues when properly placed in commercial areas. I oppose residential locations and believe the process of the planning board and board of appeals need to be strict on these popup locations. It needs to be fair and we need to embrace the will of the voters no matter if we disagree.
Re-Elect Charles Denault to the Town Council
Over the last seven years, I believe I have proven that I do what is right. I delivered to Kittery politics honesty, Integrity, commitment and transparency.
I have stood for the citizens and for doing what is fair and right. I believe in keeping the public informed and bringing to the forefront the successes and failures of Town Government.
I believe the people have that right and we need to ensure they know what is going on.
I watch closely the relationships with Town boards and citizen interactions. I work with other Councilors to select the best candidates and those who are willing to get the job done making sure there is no hidden agendas.
I worked on smart spending and questioned questionable practices. I worked with a council that kept the tax rate from climbing and for every citizen of Kittery, even the ones who did not support me.
I supported changes to the KPA to ensure a successful operation of our port. I am outspoken to the lack of fairness for our teachers and shared my opinions to ensure they finally got better raises
I sponsored free Fort Foster Passes for the teachers as a small token for serving our children.
I supported Councilor Ken Lemont’s Senior Citizen circuit breaker program when other showed a lack of support. This circuit breaker contributes over two thousand dollars to help our Seniors pay their taxes.
I fought for Injury Insurance for our Fire Fighters and to see that their pay was finally addressed. I supported the Fire and Police Chief to get better radio communications and their efforts to have an ambulance in Town. and housed at the Fire Station to reduce costs. I believe in the limited full time fire department to augment out volunteers.
I was not afraid to vote against special interest issues such as, questionable non-profits, adult books stores, unnecessary spending and the I oppose the thought process of “it was always done that way” mentality.
I am not your usual politician for I deliver on campaign promises, work hard, ask the questions you want answers for and above all I represent every person in KITTERY.
I will always put Kittery before myself even if it is controversial. Citizens should never be blind sided. This is OUR KITTERY and I am asking for your support to be re-elected to the Kittery Town Council.
Sponsored and initiated LED street light conversion whcih saves the town over $8000.00 per month in fees.
Supported climate and environmental Issues.
I am a channel 22 advocate and volunteer, ie special events, school talent shows, basket balls games.
Committee member of the New Library Building, Recycle Scholarship, CIP and the EDC.
i was the Vice Chairman of the Town Council for 3 years elected by my peers.
Pushed for and obtained Flashing LED speed limit signs and deployment.
Worked on restoring our ponds, private and public.
Supported Kittery Businesses and Fishermen issues.
Supported the Ken Lemont’s -Senior Citizen Circuit Breaker Program. Essentially reducing the property taxes of those who are over 70 by over two thousand dollars or more.
Public Safety Advocate/ Initiated insurance for our firefighters and for increasing Fire Department staff and working towards a limited full time fire department.
Openly supported fair pay for teachers.
Fort Foster passes teachers
Donated portions of Town Council salary to local fund raisers, people in need, Traip Robotics etc.
Initiated transparency with Fire and Police Logs online
Worked for better housing, ADA and renter issues.
Successfully re-instituted the Kittery Energy Committee
Animal Advocate for the humane treatment of animals and ordinances that protect them.
Supported the 168 home owners on the Sewer Abatement Relief issue and help relieve sewer overcharging.
Pushed for lower taxes. The spending needs to stop.
Holding the line of the budget while providing essential services and pushing for smart spending.
Personal shoreline advocate.
Represented Kittery Citizens in Augusta, Maine.
Kittery Freebie Barn supporter-recycling does save money and the environment. It has reduced the impact of refuse being placed in the landfills by over 70 tons. Why isn’t open now. BRING BACK THE FREEBIE BARN and TAKE THE POLITICS OUT OF IT.
Supporter of WOOD ISLAND Restoration-Maritime Museum.
Evolution of Work Force Housing .
Supporter of the Thresher Memorial Project.
I will always put Kittery before myself and I am not afraid to raise issues and I will stand by you and for you.
Worked on and supported the York County Public Works Mutual Aid agreement.
Port Authority Charter. Amendment Proposal and piers.
John Paul Jones Park acquisition..
I am always available to help with any citizens issues.
Above all, I return your CALLS.