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Election Spectacular!

Our guide to the polls — local,  state, and national
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 1, 2012

DISTRICT 1

Kevin Donoghue
1. City-owned, proposals to date have fallen far short
2. Yes, if rates are competitive versus the others
3. Keep the same, balance is appropriate between fees/taxes
4. Yes, I support affordable housing everywhere
5. Yes, much of this TIF will finance transit service

Justin Pollard
1. City-owned
2. Yes
3. Keep the same
4. No
5. No

DISTRICT 2

Shane Boyington
1. Sell it
2. No
3. Keep the same
4. Yes
5. No
I dont think “yes” or “no” is ever a complete answer in politics. For example — I think Portland should offer single trash bags at a site or two — 1.00 a bag is a fine price — but for some people a $10.00 group of bags is too much at a time to spend. I feel the same way about the Park — The City should have worked out a plan to sell part of the park and keep park of the park. Im my life “both” is usually the choice I go for. I need more information on the Banking — Ive read good and bad results of that choice. Ive read some stories where local banking would be too expensive. If the local bank is the same price — then great.

David Marshall
1. City-owned: Current proposals from development have too big of an impact on this centrally located public space.
2. Yes, I support moving the City’s money to a Maine-based financial institution or to a municipal bank created by the City.
3. Decrease, the fees on trash bags are regressive and have the biggest impact on those that can least afford the cost.
4. Yes, we need more housing of all types.
5. Yes, if there is clear public benefit such as the funds for transit from Thompsons Point.

CITY COUNCIL AT-LARGE

Wellington Lyons
I’m a fifth-generation Mainer, small business owner and progressive Democrat. I’m running for City Council because I want to move Portland forward — towards a more sustainable, more progressive city. There is a transformative potential in local politics and local policy, and cities like Portland are currently the institutions best suited for implementing progressive change. If we’re going to succeed as a city, we need to adopt the policies that will bring us into the 21st Century. We will do this by actively recruiting entrepreneurs and skilled workers by offering the amenities a successful, innovative city provides — affordable housing, a working bus system and world-class bike lanes, municipal wireless internet, and responsive city government that works for all of us. We can’t wait for the change to come from the state or federal level — it’s our future, and it’s what we make of it.
1. City-owned
Keep it a city-owned property and improve it! Sometimes the sale of public properties to private owners makes sense. In my opinion, Congress Square Park is not one of those properties. While I would love to see a ballroom that brings in conventions and weddings, it shouldn’t be at the expense of our public space. I support reinvesting in Congress Square Park in many of the ways identified by Calvin Dunwoody in this recent article — http://portland.thephoenix.com/news/143150-reimagining-portland/ I would also support further investing in our parks by adding municipal wireless to our public spaces and eventually the entire downtown. Few things would improve our city more. Home Internet access remains prohibitively expensive for many residents, and by offering free access in certain locations we can expect market rates to go down, saving us all money. In addition to making our parks and outdoor spaces more accessible (who wouldn’t want to work outside on a nice day?) free Municipal Wi-Fi in the downtown would mark our city as a leading tech-friendly environment. The reality is that our economy has shifted, and manufacturing is no longer the backbone of our economy. Ideas are. Information sharing and idea production is the business of many cities. To effectively share ideas, we need effective and inclusive access to the Internet.
2. Yes
We should not support the major financial institutions that wrecked our economy. I do all of my banking through a local bank. In addition to moving our finances to a local institution, we should consider innovative municipal finance opportunities, such as microbonds. In light of increased personal savings rates, a well-earned distrust of big banks and a volatile stock market, people are looking for alternative ways to invest their money. Our city should explore ways to actively develop and promote Local Investment Bonds that will offer a low-risk opportunity and a fair rate of return. These bonds would be marketed within the community, offered in low denominations and targeted to finance specific projects that residents can choose to support. Portland already has an Aa1 creditworthiness rating from Moody’s — our obligations are “judged to be of high quality and subject to very low credit risk.” Innovative, transparent and consumer-friendly investment possibilities could transform the way small projects are financed in our city and benefit residents across the board.
3. Keep the same but also make the bags available for purchase one at a time.
4. Yes
There is a critical need for affordable housing in our community. I’m also in support of making the Clifford school a mixed-use development, so long as affordable housing remains a component. Of course, we also need to recognize that the addition of market rate housing can free up the housing supply for low-income rentals, and we should therefore continue to support the construction of market rate apartments to relieve housing supply pressures.
5. No
Absent a well thought out TIF policy, no. I support a moratorium on all new TIF projects until a thorough framework is developed for evaluating which projects are truly deserving of tax breaks. Tax increment financing was originally developed to encourage development in blighted areas. In Portland, our TIF policy has turned into a free-for-all for developers, who claim that they need a tax break to build sidewalks or else they’ll take their market-rate apartments elsewhere. The city currently has no meaningful policy for evaluating which projects deserve lower tax rates. This is unfair to all taxpayers, but especially to the homeowners already paying high property taxes. My TIF policy would prohibit TIFs for tenant shifting, as was the case with the Pierce Atwood TIF. It’s hard to see what the public got for the $2.9 million City Hall handed out there, and now we have empty office space in the heart of Monument Square.

Nicholas Mavodones
Did not answer.

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