Chip Stephens Heads North

When Chip Stephens leaves Westport for Maine this month, the Planning & Zoning Commission will have big shoes to fill.

And our town will lose one of its most ardent boosters, and dedicated public servants.

Chip Stephens

The 1973 Staples High School graduate — a Westport resident since the age of 5 — will become code enforcement officer for 2 towns northwest of Augusta. He honed his skills as a 3-term P&Z member, including serving as chair. He also chaired the Village District Regulation Committee, Superstorm Sandy Recovery Regulation Committee, and other groups.

Stephens has worked to preserve Bedford Elementary School (now Town Hall), Cockenoe Island and open space.

Last fall, he was the Republican nominee for State Representative in District 136, against incumbent Jonathan Steinberg.

In addition, Stephens coached Staples High School wrestling, and PAL football, basketball and baseball.

Danielle Dobin — the Democratic chair of the P&Z — says:

Chip has been a larger-than-life tour de force on the commission.

It’s challenging to put into words the love Chip feels for Westport, except to say that he dedicated his heart and soul to this town. His tough-guy presence on the P&Z belies the warmth and love he shows his fellow commissioners. When Chip invites you into his life, you are like family, no matter your politics.

When Michael Cammeyer and I joined the P&Z, Chip took us for a tour of “secret” Westport. He showed us old military sites and hidden parks, and shared stories from his youth.

When my son fell ill at camp up in Maine, Chip wanted to rush to the hospital to help. When I co-chaired the Monster Mash, he showed up to hang massive spiders from the ceiling. The Commission will not be the same without him.

Well said, Danielle! Chip Stephens’ service here has been long, strong, passionate and proud. Westport’s loss is certainly Maine’s gain.

Classic Chip Stephens: Last fall, he ran against incumbent Jonathan Steinberg (left) for State Representative. But when they met outside the polling place at Coleytown Elementary School, they greeted each other with COVID-friendly elbow bumps and — behind their masks — smiles. (Photo/Jack Whittle)

28 responses to “Chip Stephens Heads North

  1. Chip – you will be more then missed. Reading this I feel like I just woke up to find a huge hole on Main Street. Thank you for your passion and dedication to making Westport the best it can be. Augusta Maine just won Lotto.

  2. You will be missed. Wishing you the best of everything.
    Don’t forget the road home if you change your mind .

  3. John F. Suggs

    Ah Chip… I so wish this was Dan’s annual April Fools post… Win, lose or draw, you have never failed to give your all to this town. Personally, I am of the opinion that Barons South was your greatest accomplishment. Thank you for that, you old fart!

  4. Stephen M. Axthelm

    Good luck Chip! You will be missed here.

  5. Thanks Chip for your lifelong service to our community! Best wishes…

  6. Chip, you will be greatly missed. You always made events more fun, whether it was watching a football game together or observing a town meeting. Thank you for all of your time that you have devoted to Westport.

  7. Good luck, Chip. Maine is a fabulous state & they’ll be lucky to have you!

  8. Kevin Carroll

    April Fools Day, right Dan?

    Just in case it’s not…Chip, thanks for everything you’ve done for Westport.

  9. Kristan Hamlin

    I am hoping this is Dan’s annual April Fool’s joke. I suspect it is because, otherwise, he would have mentioned the name of the “two towns northwest of Augusta” where Chip was allegedly going to work as “head Code Enforcement officer”.
    Also, don’t Code enforcement officers in Maine have to have expertise or certification in plumbing, subsurface waste disposal systems, building standards, etc….? I thought Chip’s background was more in the medical-life-science field?
    I’ll reserve judgment until after April 1 passes to decide whether this post is folly. If by 4.2.21 it’s still up, I’ll gush about what a great guy Chip is! 🙂
    ~Kristan

  10. Bonnie Scott Connolly

    Welcome to Maine from a fellow Staples graduate’67. I think you’ll find a lot of Staples graduates up here. Good luck.

  11. Gloria Gouveia

    Oh no! Say it isn’t so! I’ve been dreading this day, but here it is.
    Professional feelings aside, personally I’m truly happy for you, Chip. I know you love Maine nearly as much as you love Westport, and that’s a lot.
    I also know from experience that you are well suited for and will enjoy working in Code Enforcement. Lucky, lucky Maine.

  12. Ronald “Chip” Stephens Thank You! Working with you and John Shuggs to save Baron South was amazing. Sometimes we agreed and sometimes we didn’t…in the end it was and always will be about the best for Westport. Wishing you nothing but the best in Maine my friend…remember this place here is always home.

  13. Werner Liepolt

    Westport loses a dedicated, hard working elected official.
    Many of us lose a spark plug of a neighbor.
    But Maine is a great place, and a lot of Westporters know it.
    Best wishes and fond farewell

  14. Carolanne Curry

    Chip Stephens
    It has been profoundly gratifying experience to have had your presence on the Westport Planning and Zoning Commission. Our historic neighborhood of Old Saugatuck remains an intact community thanks to the many years you dedicated to the honest application of zoning regulations.

  15. Thanks for your service, Chipster. Your passion made the difference more times than I can count.

  16. Chip, it was a life-altering experience running for, and then serving on the P&Z with you – and the best part was becoming friends. No one can question your steadfast devotion to this wonderful Town, I’m just sorry to see your public service here come to an end. Maine wins, we lose.

  17. Mark Friedman

    Chip, thank you for your service to Westport. Wishing you all the best in the great state of Maine.

  18. Michael Calise

    Knowledge of history, conceptual understanding of and reasons for the intricacy’s of our regulations and the fortitude to apply the truth in the public domain are hallmarks of Chip’s tenure. His presence on the P&Z was less about his persona and all about a viable future for Westport. We have lost big this time around. I wish you the best of luck Chip in your new venture. We will all miss your powerful and knowledgeable presence.

  19. You will be missed and your engagement and true passion and service to Westport!

  20. Your dedication, commitment and love of Westport has been amazing and you will be greatly missed!

  21. Pat & Tina Torraco

    A huge thank you Chip for all the years of passion and dedication to Westport. It wasn’t easy but you always kept it real. Wishing you all the best in Maine, our loss their gain.

  22. I’ve known Chip for it seems ages but have not seen him in person for ages as well. My fondest memories involve his ready smile and team working attitude. Enjoy Maine good man.

    • Chip – Absolutely nobody can read for the record like you!
      Thanks for the encouragement while I was learning the P&Z ropes.
      Wishing you lots of happiness, success and empty cupolas in Maine 🙂
      N

  23. Andrew Colabella

    A big set of shoes no one can fill.

    Chip, you protected westport for us to enjoy as you saw as a young person growing up in this town.

    What you saw you preserved for us all to enjoy and see as you did.

    Thank you for keeping westport historic, preserved, green, small town, and safe from reckless over developers.

    Thank you again for keeping those who move to westport in check from taking advantage of our neighborhoods and land from being overdeveloped and keeping the promise that those who helped establish westport honored.

    You were a fearless and fair neighbor who watched me grow up and was always there to guide me, never to fail me or steer me wrong.

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