Portland, Maine City Council

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City Hall in September 2011

The Portland, Maine City Council is the legislative branch of government for the city of Portland, Maine. It is a nine seat council, composed of representatives from the city's five districts as well as 4 councilors elected citywide. Beginning with the Portland, Maine mayoral election, 2011, one of the four at-large councilors became a full-time elected Mayor of Portland. 7 of the 9 City Councilors are elected for three year terms, while the 2010 re-creation of the elected Mayor serves for four years. In 2012, the Council and city voters approved a charter change to create a one-time term of 4 years for one at-large city councilor due to an error in the Charter Commission process. Jill Duson won the 4-year seat.

The Council is officially non-partisan, though councilors are often known for their political party affiliation. In 1923, the system changed from a strong mayor system to a weak, largely ceremonial mayor position due to the influence of the Maine Ku Klux Klan, which resented the perceived growing political power of ethnic and religious minorities.[1]

The Portland City Council meets at Portland City Hall, an historic 1909 building on Congress Street.

Current Councilors (2015-2016)[edit]

  1. Mayor: Ethan Strimling, Democrat, elected in 2015 election (since 2015)
  2. District 1: Belinda Ray, Democrat (since 2015)
  3. District 2: Spencer Thibodeau, Democrat (since 2015)
  4. District 3: Edward Suslovic, Democrat (since 2010)
  5. District 4: Justin Costa, Democrat (since 2014)
  6. District 5: David Brenerman, Democrat (since 2014)
  7. At-Large: Jon Hinck, Democrat (since 2013)
  8. At-Large: Jill Duson, Democrat (since 2001)[2]
  9. At-Large: Nicholas Mavodones, Democrat (since 1997)[3]

Mayor (at-large): Ethan Strimling[edit]

Main article: Ethan Strimling

Ethan Strimling is a former State Senator and Executive Director of LearningWorks, a non-profit organization in Portland's West End neighborhood. Strimling was elected mayor in 2015 against incumbent Michael F. Brennan and Green Party member Tom MacMillan. Strimling had previously run unsuccessfully for mayor in the 2011 contest, finishing second to Brennan.

District 1: Belinda Ray[edit]

Belinda Ray was elected in 2015 to represent District 1 following the retirement of Kevin Donoghue. Ray is a resident of Portland's East Bayside neighborhood, having lived there since 2004. She helped found the East Bayside Neighborhood Organization (EBNO), and served sequentially as Vice President, President, and Community Organizer of EBNO.[4] Ray was elected to succeed Donoghue as the District 1 councilor in a five-way race in which she garnered 39% of the vote.[5]

District 2: Spencer Thibodeau[edit]

Spencer Thibodeau (born March 18, 1988) is a real estate attorney and native of Portland, who was elected in 2015 to represent District 2 following the retirement of David Marshall.

District 3: Edward Suslovic[edit]

Main article: Edward Suslovic

Edward Suslovic is a former state representative, ceremonial mayor and city councilor. He was elected to represent District 3 in 2010, defeating Will Mitchell, son of Democratic nominee for Governor Libby Mitchell.[6] Suslovic was re-elected in November 2013.

Past District 3 city councilors include Nathan Smith (1998-2004),[7] Dr. Donna Carr (2004-2007)[8] and Dan Skolnik (2007-2010).

District 4: Justin Costa[edit]

Justin Costa was first elected to the City Council in 2014, when Cheryl Leeman retired. Leeman held the seat from 1984 to 2014. A Democrat, Costa had run for the Maine House of Representatives and been twice elected to the School Board prior to being elected to the City Council.

District 5: David Brenerman[edit]

In November 2014, Brenerman was the only candidate to file signatures for the race and was elected unopposed.

At-Large: Jon Hinck[edit]

Main article: Jon Hinck

Jon Hinck (born 1954) is an at-large City Councilor. A resident of the West End, Hinck served in the Maine House of Representatives from 2006-2012. He ran unsuccessfully for the Democratic nomination for US Senate in June 2012. In November 2013, Hinck defeated fellow Portland attorney Wells Lyons and was sworn-in on December 2, 2013.[9]

At-Large: Jill Duson[edit]

Jill Duson (born 1953) is serving her 4th term on the City Council. She was first elected in 2001 after serving a term on the School Committee from 1998 to 2001. She holds a B.A. from Antioch College, a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a certificate in Senior Executive in State & Local Government from Harvard University, Kennedy School of Government. She served as Director of the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services for State of Maine and as a seasonal employee for L.L. Bean.[10] She resides in the North Deering neighborhood.[11] Duson won re-election in November 2013 over challengers Gregory Smaha and Christopher Shorr.

At-Large: Nick Mavodones[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Peck, Abraham. "Maine Voices: Why Portland doesn't have an elected mayor". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  2. ^ Singer, Jason (October 27, 2011). "Jill Duson: Strong resume, plus life experience". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  3. ^ Singer, Jason (October 27, 2011). "Nicholas Mavodones: Ready for chance to build on his record". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 29 October 2011. 
  4. ^ "Vote Belinda Ray - Campaign Website". Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  5. ^ "Mavodones re-elected to Portland Council, joined by Ray and Thibodeau". Retrieved 31 December 2015. 
  6. ^ "Voters' Guide 2010: City Council District 3". The Bollard. October 18, 2010. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Attorney Nathan H Smith – Lawyer in Portland ME". Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  8. ^ "Donna Jean Carr, 63: Caring doctor and public servant". The Forecaster. November 2, 2011. Retrieved 18 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Bridgers, Leslie (December 2, 2013). "Portland city councilors, including newcomer, sworn in". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 3 December 2013. 
  10. ^ Billings, Randy (October 25, 2011). "Portland's mayoral candidates (at least some of them) rank each other". The Forecaster. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 
  11. ^ Singer, Jason (October 27, 2011). "Jill Duson: Strong resume, plus life experience". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 15 July 2013. 

External links[edit]