By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,313)
Mayor Michael Brennan (D) announced his plans for re-election this morning at a press conference at Ocean Gateway on the Portland waterfront. In 2011 he won the first publicly elected mayoral race in more than 90 years in Portland. His yearly salary is almost $70,000.00 per year.
Introducing the Mayor this morning was Mary Allen Lindemann, owner of Coffee by Design. Lindemann recalled that in 1999 when her first coffee shop opened in downtown Portland, businesses in the area were few and far between. “Today we have a bustling dynamic city,” she said. “He understands what small businesses need.”
In his remarks the Mayor cited some of his accomplishments during his four years as Portland’s mayor. The famously flawed permitting process has been improved, he has formed a coalition of Mayor’s from around the State, he has worked to pass a budget with a property tax increase smaller than in past years. His vision for the City of Portland for the next four years is for a “compassionate city with no one left behind.”
Brennan expressed interest in ” equitable development” which was noteworthy. It was noteworthy because in the group of supporters behind him were Barbara Vestal and Ned Chester, founders of the Souls of Portland. This is the group of NIMBY’s trying to stop the re-development of 58 Fore Street, at the site of the former Portland Company Complex at the bottom of Munjoy Hill. At the recent City Council meeting approving the zone change request of CPB2, the Mayor tried to attach three amendments to the ordinance that would have significantly watered down the developers’ plans; However, only one of the three passed the City Council. What “equitable development” on private property is remains a mystery..
Questions for the Mayor were carefully limited by his campaign manager, Erin Mary Casale; presumable to avoid any embarrassing questions. (Her mother is a member of the SoulsofPortland.)
Although Councilor Ed Suslovic enthusiastically supported Mayor Michael Brennan for Mayor in his first term, since that time he has become increasingly critical of the Mayor. Some expect he will announce his candidacy for Mayor soon.
Nomination papers from the City Clerk’s Office are available as of June 30, 2015. They must be returned no later than August 25, 2015 at 4:30 pm.