Dunne uses council salary to support essential workers


Showing his appreciation for essential workers, 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne passed out cakes and donuts from a New Jersey bakery last week. Photo courtesy of Sean Dunne.

PORTSMOUTH— 2020, in an understatement, was a challenging year for those in the workforce. Many struggled to keep their job and, for those that did, challenges remained.

When many either lost their jobs or were able to work from home, essential workers continued to enter their workplaces as the coronavirus spread during the shutdown. Trying to alleviate some of those challenges, 1st Ward Councilman Sean Dunne decided to use his January council salary to show appreciation for those workers in the community.

“This year I was trying to draw attention to people who have been working throughout this pandemic that we often take their work for granted,” he said. “Generally, I think they are overworked and underpaid.”

In a visit back to his native New Jersey, Dunne stopped by a well-known regional bakery, Delicious Orchards, and later delivered apple crumb cake and apple cider doughnuts last week back in the city.

Dunne’s donation was well-received by the community, including fellow Council members, who showed an outpour of support through Facebook.

The councilman, elected during the November 2017 race, said he ran on the agenda of bettering Portsmouth and wanted to help others with similar goals in mind.

“It’s not a huge sum of money,” he said, his donation in the ballpark of $370. “It was more to call attention to people that give their time and energy into the community.”

Dunne has used council pay for past projects, such as the Michigan trashcan and the application for the All-American City award. He estimates that he donates around nine of his 12 monthly Council checks, although some projects take more than one check to cover it.

In the new year, he plans on continuing his donations but is still working on identifying causes to support. Dunne said he will likely use his salary at varying points to support the skatepark project and Spartan Municipal Stadium renovations.

Reach Patrick Keck (740)-353-3501 ext. 1931, by email at pkeck@aimmediamidwest.com, or on Twitter @pkeckreporter.© 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved.