By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,493)
Just after noon today Ethan Strimling and two new city councilors were sworn in at City Hall by Katherine Jones, City Clerk. Strimmling won the Mayoral race against incumbent Mayor Michael Brennan last month. It is a four-year term. Councilor Nick Mavadones was returned to the City Council for another term as well.
A round of tributes to outgoing city councilors David Marshall and Kevin Donoghue were given by councilors Jon Hinck and Nick Mavadones; Donoghue for his work on housing and Marshall for his work on environmental issues. This round of thank yous was in response to criticism for a lack of recognition to the outgoing Greens at their last city council meeting. Mayor Strimmling thanked outgoing Mayor Brennan for his commitment to the City of Portland. Councilor Costa paid tribute to Mayor Brennan as well saying he was a role model for him. It was a Lovefest rather than a Slugfest not often seen before at City Council meetings – all that was missing was a holiday toast with some bubbly!
New rules for how city council meetings will be run were introduced and passed by the Council. Future city council meetings will start at 5:00 pm rather than at 7:00 pm as previously. There will be a public comment period on non-agenda items starting at 7:00 pm, following a dinner break for the Council at 6:30 pm. City council back-up material will be available the Wednesday before the Monday meeting rather than the Friday before as has been the practice in the past.
At a press conference following the ceremony/meeting Mayor Strimling said that his address tonight at Ocean Gateway will be composed of “broad strokes.” He also wants to find out what City Councilors want.
Asked what he thought of last night’s New England Patriots loss to Philadelphia Eagles, Strimling said: “No comment. I’m a Giants fan!”