The challenge for the Fair Rent Portland agenda to get on the fall ballot just cleared another hurdle The agenda includes long over-due protections for renters in the city of Portland that the city itself has been derelict in providing – particularly because the Housing (Hoax) Committee has stuck its head in the sand of East End Beach as the needs of renters have gone ignored for too many years – as gentrification has overtaken the City.
The signatures delivered to the city clerk’s office on Monday morning, August 7, 2017 were verified by the city according to a press release issued this afternoon by the non-profit. Fair Rent Portland. RFP delivered 2,501 signatures, almost double the required number, to the clerk’s office in order to get the referendum on the November 7th, 2017 ballot.
That action set off a week-long series of emails from the city of Portland acknowledging the city clerk’s office had made a counting error that would prevent the referendum from appearing on the fall ballot, but the city would try to make good on their error. Yesterday afternoon the city announced a second error in the referendum process.
The 90 day requirement that has been at the core of the dispute in past posts herein, is actually null and void because it was never placed on the ballot to be ratified by voters as is required by the Maine Constitution when making such changes. In the same press release issued yesterday by city spokeswoman Jessica Grondin, the city plans a workshop to ensure that two referendums are on the fall ballot. At its August 21st meeting, a September 6th hearing is expected to be set. Got It?!
Meanwhile, Fair Rent Portland, has invited the public to attend its next meeting on Wednesday, August 16th from 6:30 – 8:00 pm at 533 Congress Street, (Think Tank) to get involved and learn more about the referendum. Those attending will be informed on ordinance details and the all important upcoming fundraisers.