Lawmakers Say State Representative was Denied Access to State-Run Career Center
Some state lawmakers from the mid-coast aren’t happy with the LePage administration.They claim they were barred from holding a labor-related event in a state facility. The Rockland Career Center is open to everyone. ” It’s a public building, it’s paid for the people of the State of Maine,” said Representative Ed Mazurek, from Rockland. Representative Andrew O’Brien from Lincolnville says he’s been denied access by the LePage administration. O’Brien is out of town, so fellow lawmakers are speaking out for him. ” The letter was asking the governor to come and take a tour of and meet some of the people who are seeking jobs to hear their side of what they’re going through,” said Representative Joan Welsh of Camden. The statement, O’Brien says he received an email from a Department of Labor staff member saying the commissioner’s office decided not to grant his request to use the career center for an unemployment meeting because of concerns about the limited amount of space available in the center. Other state representatives say the governor did not respond to O’Brien and they want answers. ” What’s the straight scoop? If the governor knows then he should tell the people, tell the representatives,” said Mazurek. Adam Fisher, spokesman for the Maine Department of Labor says the meeting request was denied due to logistics, not politics. He says O’Brien wanted to host an event that was simply too big for the center. Fisher tells TV 5 they suggested lawmakers move the event to a school or other town building. ” Why hold it at a McDonald’s when you have a career center that’s designed for the job,” said Mazurek. For now, O’Brien and other lawmakers say they’ll continue to do what they can to tackle unemployment. The Department of Labor encourages that, saying representatives are more than welcome to spend time at career centers.