At a well-attended annual meeting that began with an outdoor cook-out on the empty lot beside the St. Lawrence Arts Center on Munjoy Hill, a new slate of officers was elected to run the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization for the next year.
Jay Norris was re-elected president. Colin Apse was elected vice president. Colin who has been on the Board for years replaces Paula Agopian as VP. Board members elected include: Elaine Mullins, Nick Johnson, Barbara Vestal, Brian McHugh, Ben Thornton and Wayne Valzania.
Prior to the announcement of the winning ballot, Agopian and Norris had an intense encounter. Agopian a former unsuccessful candidate for council candidate on two occasions, accused Norris of mismanaging some financial matters. Furthermore, she believes that Norris wants to buy the rights to the formerly published “Munjoy Hill Observer” for his own purposes. Norris responded appropriately and addressed her charges responsibly. Agopian stormed away.
One women commented anonynmously that the MHNO “Is an activist group for personal gain and it is not usually in the best interests of the community.” She said that she was not going to the annual meeting because of that perception of hers.
Agopian and a group from the Hill plan to meet with city manager Jon Jennings Friday, June 29, about the parking situation on the Hill. She believes that it is time for the city to distribute resident parking stickers. Past city surveys have indicated that the margin between those who favor that step and those who don’t is so narrow as to make such a step unnecessary.
Joey Brunelle, a member of the MHNO, attended the annual meeting this evening. He is running to replace City Councilor Nick Mavadones who has held office for over twenty (20 years. Portland has changed a lot in that time. Only a select few have benefited during the Mavadones tenure – such as real estate developers and the well-to-do tourists while social services have been cut, rents have skyrocketed, taxes and fees have increased and life has gotten harder for ordinary folks.
“I want a Portland that works for the many, not just the few. We need a councilor who believes in economic justice, social justice and transparency, a councilor who puts ordinary folks first,” said Joey in a recent press release. (See right photo.)
It was Councilor Nick Mavadones who gave his unforgettable “Chicken Little – The Sky is Falling In” endorsement of Mayor Ethan Strimling in a dramatic press conference on the steps of city hall. Mavadones was opposed to the re-election of Mayor Michael Brennan (D) as Mayor in the last city election. And now conservative Mavadones opposes the Mayor on most everything he supports.
Mavadones has been in office for over twenty (20) years. Maybe – just maybe – he bears some responsibility for the problems the city faces today and back when Michael Brennan was Mayor.