Voting at the East End Community School on Munjoy Hill is open until 8:00 pm this evening according to Rachel Bryant, Warden, at the polling station on the east end of Portland. Bryant said that voting has been a “little slow” today. She attributed some of that to absentee voting – presumably because people are trying to avoid crowds at polling places. She also said that some of the regular poll workers did not return this year. although she declined to give a reason for that.
Outside the School was Ron Gan, making his first run for city office – to replace Councilor Jill Duson who is not running for office again this fall. When asked about his views on tenants rights, Gan responded that he did not support the progressive platform that ties “most rent increases to the rate of inflation and would create a tenant/landlord board to consider requests to exceed the limit under certain circumstances, such as major improvements,” a platform written about previously herein.
The bellicose Gan called this a type of rent control he’s opposed to and said he is opposed to a board to review major improvements called for in the People First Portland campaign.
A few years ago, Gan was caught in an awkward position when he tried to develop property he owned on Sumner Court off North Street. Before a city zoning committee, he claimed to own a portion of the dirt driveway leading into the property and which he had also told neighbors on North Street that he owned. In fact, he did not own the portion of the dirt driveway he said he did. That became apparent when someone other than Gan produced the real deed to the property he claimed to own at the city meeting. Gan’s attorney, Robert Jewell, a founder of Portland Trails, appeared stunned at the revelation. Gan developed the Federal Street townhouses. Despite several efforts since to develop property, he has not been successful. He once had a vision for Washington Avenue that no one else shared. Because of the difficulty Gan had with his North Street neighbors, a non-profit, Save Sumner Court, was created to counter his development efforts. (Please see posts herein dated June 22, 2012 for details on this as well as October 2, 2016).
A campaign to review the charter commission “to start the process for removal” of the city manager position was evident on numerous poles near the School. It is a position supported by the Black community and is directed at Jon Jennings, who has been the city manager since 2015. A former real estate developer, Jennings orchestrated the downsizing of the Munjoy Hill Fire Station, supported by Councilor Belinda Ray. The poster says: Your BLM signs, likes and shares are COOL. Now Back it up and Vote for Change.
The in-decisiveness of the Portland City Council last night is an embarrassment to Portland voters.
Unofficial results of the election will be posted on www.portlandmaine.gov when available.
Please see post herein dated June 20, 2020 for more background information on the People First Portland campaign).