Franklin Countys First News

Farmington resident announces candidacy for commissioner

Fenwick Fowler

FARMINGTON - Fenwick Fowler, a longtime Farmington resident and local leader has announced his candidacy for County Commissioner for District 2, covering Farmington, New Sharon and Chesterville, running as a Democrat.

Fowler was born in Fort Fairfield, graduated from Brewer High School in 1969 and the University of Maine at Farmington in 1973. He lives in Farmington with his wife, Fran. They have a son, Joseph, currently living in Los Angeles, California, and a daughter, Mattie, living in Portland, Oregon.

Fowler worked for more than four decades at Western Maine Community Action. For 16 years he was department head of housing, weatherization and community development. In 1991 he became Executive Director of WMCA and held that position for 24 years before retiring in 2015.

While at WMCA, he built strong partnerships that identified and solved local problems. Fowler especially enjoyed working with the area's faith communities to help develop affordable housing, to grow the ECU emergency heat fund, and to bring community college programs to Franklin County. He believes that all of us collectively are smarter than any one of us individually. Together, he says, we can make our community stronger.

“I am running for County Commissioner because I believe the Franklin County Commissioners need to be active leaders helping our community recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. Such leadership includes: Working with economic development organizations to secure broadband access throughout our community. Working with local non-profits serving those citizens who are struggling to recover from the loss of jobs, education, and regular social contact. Working closely with first responders to help them continue their support to those in greatest need.

Our fastest growing demographics in Franklin County are people who are over 60 years of age. The majority of us would like to continue living in our own communities. Supporting organizations locally that help elders remain independent is one important role of government. In the past three years the current County Commissioners have cut over $200,000 from nine organizations that help seniors thrive. I believe that Franklin County could be the best region in Maine to grow old in. As commissioner, I will work to rebuild these organizational relationships and make our cooperative efforts an economic engine for the future.

For over fifty years I have lived and worked in Franklin County assisting people and changing lives. As a team at Western Maine Community Action we helped our economy recover from the loss of Bass shoe, the downsizing of International Paper, the dismantling of Forster manufacturing. Our work through the Career Centers, our partnerships with the Chamber of Commerce, with area educational institutions, with the faith community and local businesses, have made a difference in people's lives when they needed it most. Now during this challenging time we need to renew our efforts to step up and help our entire community.”

If you wish to learn more about Fen Fowler or to donate to his campaign, please visit his website at fenfowler.com

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23 Responses »

  1. Fen has consistently demonstrated that he cares about peoples well being.
    I trust this guy.

    Thanks for stepping up again Fen.

  2. Fen would make a great commissioner. He is a fair, honest and caring individual.

  3. This is the best and most hopeful news of 2020.

  4. Sounds like a very caring candidate, if elected i see budget complaints forthcoming.

  5. I have known Fen Fowler for over 30 years. He will a great county commissioner. His experience as Executive Director of WMCA is invaluable. His roots in Aroostook county and his decades in Franklin County speak to his appreciation for the people of rural Maine.

  6. Fenwick will be a wonderful County Commissioner because of his previous extensive experience working with the WMCA, as a Team Member then as the Executive Director. Fen has a keen sense of fairness and honesty, along with having a great knack of identifying with people from all scopes of life and various age groups. Fen is very caring and a great listener, he will represent and serve our locality very well.

  7. This is wonderful news for the people of Franklin County. Fen is an intelligent, honest and caring man.

  8. While Fen Fowler is a nice enough guy, he's exactly what this county does not need. After coming off a job working for a non-profit and making in excess of $100, 000 in the last years of his employment, he has no experience in the business world, and it takes a good financial mind to deal the the complexity of the local budgets. (Town-School-County) Yes, he's worked with the financially challenged folks of this area: the organization received some of their funding from the county, and towns. The present commissioners have tried to eliminate passing out thousands of dollars to non-profits because the towns have had to tighten their belts. So the non-profits turn to the county. And in many cases, these same non-profits have double-dipped, getting tax dollars from both the towns and the county in the past.
    Between the town's expenses, the continued acceleration upward on the school budget, and even the county's increased budget, tax payers are being choked to death.
    As a tax payer, I object to some of the town/county's spending on certain items. If I choose to donate to the Animal Shelter or the Red Cross, I can do that on my own. But to be forced to donate through my taxes for things I don't want to support, it's unfair.
    I greatly fear the county's spending will increase if Fen Fowler is elected to the Board of Commissioners.

  9. Well this is one way for WMCA to receive funding. I’m sure they’ll get what they want now. Lol. Be careful with our tax dollars

  10. Wonderful news.

  11. Yeah, We need more Democrat run agencies.....Hey, Maybe he could start a Defund movement with some "Peaceful" Protests........Sure he will work well with Janet Mills and Co.......She's done such a Fabulous Job killing our State in all forms and especially financially.....Thank you may I have another

  12. I have known Fen for many years in a professional capacity as an employee of WMCA. He is thoughtful, caring and a true leader. He is a wonderful mentor and friend and I wholeheartedly believe that he will put the best interests of Franklin County first and foremost. He will take care of it's citizens and ask the tough questions that bring about lasting change for the better. He will have my vote.

  13. Fen's candidacy for county commissioner is a much-needed breath of fresh air. He knows this county from the inside out. For 40 years at WMCA he kept his eye on county needs--for adequate housing, energy efficiency, health care, work opportunities, elder support, food security--and he and his staff brought money into the county to meet those basic needs and make life better for our residents. One dollar of community money leveraged many dollars of federal support. That's the math our fiscal watchdogs should be paying attention to.

  14. I can see the funding returning to those non-profits that pay large salaries to administrators. We, the taxed won't have a say as usual. Another gouging is in store for us , as if the school "thing" isn't enough! As Nancy suggested, if one chooses to donate, that's one thing, but to be forced to give is a shame on our society.

  15. Hey Tax Lover,

    Atleast the dems are putting the tax money into services. Unlike the Republican County Unconservative Commissioners who are putting the tax money in their pockets.

  16. The liberal spenders of Farmington would love to have someone with his background. Just what we need to keep up the spending and insure that the liberal voters can keep their warm fuzzy feelings while us more conservative taxpayers help foot the bill.

  17. I am excited that Fen Fowler is running for County Commissioner.
    With Fen's decades of experience as an executive director of a local nonprofit, he understands the issues and challenges facing Franklin County, from caring for our seniors to expanding internet services to support current and new business. If elected, Fen will be open, honest, fair, and transparent. That's exactly what we need in our next county commissioner.

  18. The current commissioners have had to correct the many problems of past commissioners failures. They have setup our county well for years to come. If Fen gets elected he will resort to the Gary McGrane area of spend and give away the farm to everyone. Let us not go back to those days. Fen might be a nice guy, but he has no idea of how to be a commissioner for the people of our county. Terry Brann for example cares about our county and truly wants what is best. You might not always agree with his decisions, but he has no hidden agendas. He votes his conscience and does not feel he needs to line the pockets of his buddy’s executive non profit. Who in the name of the poor pay the rich and take advantage of the needy. Seems wrong to pay a director over $100,000 a year to help the needy. He must be doing it out of the abundance of his heart?

  19. You can sum all that up with "He will raise your taxes dramatically"

  20. Do you folks ever look in the mirror? It sounds like many are representing as hopeless lemmings driven to financial ruin by “those democrats”.

    The current mix at the county seat is one sided and driven solely by Charlie. Currently one district maintains some autonomy from his control. It sounds as though no one is interested in what the voters want and instead want a “republican” good or bad to run the show. Do Any of you have neighbors with differing opinions? Do you care?
    Stop and look back into the mirror and judge yourself before judging others.

  21. really,
    I'm not a Republucan but I promise you that I'm as "conservative" as anyone you'll likely come across.
    However, that doesn't mean we must be "anti" liberal or Democrat.
    We really should welcome good people with good intentions ,, then hash things out as adults.
    Not easy or pretty.

    What's the saying,
    We don't care how much you know, until we know how much you care.

    Fen has proven he gives a sh*t.
    He likely will seek to restore funding to programs that cost money.
    Let's listen before we condemn someone with a big wet blanket.
    "You" might need some help some day.
    Taxes suk, so does needing help through no fault of your own.
    It happens,,, a lot.

    Everything Is Beautiful.

  22. @Private Planet
    As a registered fiscally conservative Independent, I choose based on quality and values that I assess to be best for me and those around me. That said, I concur that there are times in many lives where help is gratefully appreciated and possibly life saving. No one should consider this wrong as it is part of a wholesome society.

    I’ll never condone those on the take and yes, sadly there are many. If we judge all those in need by the low life slugs on the take then why not judge everyone as criminals...we do know there are many of them.

    As a young man I was a die hard Republican and worked in several state and federal campaigns. As I learned more and the party shifted focus, I too changed my affiliation.

    In Franklin county there are limited news outlets and we can all agree they are not equally biased. I don’t blame folks for the way they think but instead fault their exposure to balanced points of view. Anything can be represented differently if one tries.

    Enjoy the fresh air, work hard and have a great life. Abundance to all!

  23. Thank God we still have people in the world like Fen who are willing to try and make a positive difference for our community. I have known en for over 30 years and have always known him to be insightful about the" bigger picture: and caring about the individual in the community. He has a proven track record.

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