Thursday, December 14, 2006

The Bollard

December 5, 2006

Fast Food (Discrimi)Nation
Council further restricts popular businesses
By Chris Busby

For the second time in as many weeks, the Portland City Council has passed a law that keeps a popular franchise business out of a specific part of town. And as with last month's restrictions on "formula" businesses, critics of last night's vote are again decrying the haste with which councilors have acted and questioning the data behind their decision.

It was Hooters that prompted last month's vote to limit franchises in Bayside, downtown and parts of the Old Port. [Read that story here.] This time, it was the prospect of a Dunkin' Donuts opening on Stevens Avenue, in the Deering Center neighborhood.

Though councilors tried to portray both zoning law changes as broad measures not prompted by any specific business, it was clear in both cases that members of the public demanding action were equally, if not more concerned about the name and nature of the business – not just its potential impact on the neighborhood. Several speakers at last night's meeting decried Dunkin' Donuts as a chain eatery that serves food poor in nutritional value. One linked Dunkin' to litter – cigarette butts, in particular, because "smoking and coffee go hand-in-hand."

The ordinance is ostensibly about traffic, and it will be applied based on traffic figures associated with the type of business proposed. For example, fast food restaurants, by their nature, have higher traffic estimates than hardware stores or hair salons, and so are more likely to be affected by the law. But as council watchdog Steven Scharf remarked, "it's about class of users, not class of uses."

Just as the prospect of a Hooters downtown led to limits on businesses in other areas, the Dunkin' law will affect parts of town far from Deering Center that have the same "neighborhood business" zoning. Those areas include stretches of Congress Street on lower Munjoy Hill and in Libbytown; part of the Rosemont neighborhood; the intersection of Washington and Ocean avenues; and the intersection of Pine and Brackett streets, in the West End.

The original version of this ordinance was tabled at the Council's Nov. 20 meeting, after councilors expressed confusion about its details and requested more traffic data. That version would have banned businesses that attract more 65 "vehicle trips" during a "peak hour" of morning or afternoon traffic.

The version passed last night bans businesses based on their size. A 2,000-square-foot business can attract no more than 100 "vehicle trips" per peak hour. This ratio of square-footage to allowable traffic volume adjusts accordingly, so larger businesses can attract more than 100 trips and still be allowed in the zones; smaller establishments are more restricted. All the businesses already in the zones have been "grandfathered," though they may be restricted if they attempt to expand.

Dunkin' Donuts' own traffic estimates indicate the 12-seat, roughly 1,600-square-foot coffee shop would exceed the new law's trip limits by about 30 trips, even though it would not have drive-thru service. After the meeting, would-be-franchisee George Valvanis, who owns several other Dunkin's in the area, told the Press Herald, "the project is dead."

"I feel discriminated against," building owner Joe Pompeo told The Bollard. "Basically, they just [devalued] my property."

Pompeo, who previously operated a family-owned pizza shop in the space, said he's had no luck finding a "mom and pop" tenant, and doubts a non-franchise operation could afford to occupy it, much as he supports independent businesses. "I'm all for 'mom and pop,'" he told councilors last night. "You find me a ‘mom and pop' who can pay $2,500 a month.

"Former mayor Jim Cohen, whose Council district includes Deering Center, has been the new law's lead proponent. Councilors Donna Carr and Jim Cloutier also supported it, as did newly appointed Mayor Nick Mavodones and newly elected Councilor Dave Marshall. Councilors Ed Suslovic and Kevin Donoghue opposed the measure; Cheryl Leeman and Jill Duson were absent.

Marshall gave no explanation before casting his vote – "everybody'd kind of commented it to death at that point," he said today. The West End councilor lives and operates a small art gallery at the intersection of Pine and Brackett streets, across from a busy Cumberland Farms convenience store and four-pump gas station. He told The Bollard he voted in support after considering what his neighborhood would be like if that Cumby's generated four times as much traffic as it currently does.

According to figures in a national traffic engineering book referenced by city staff and provided to councilors, that Cumby's attracts 47 trips in a peak traffic hour (a trip is defined as a vehicle coming to or from a business, so a car entering and leaving counts as two trips).

Donoghue questioned how accurate those figures are for any specific neighborhood, since they do not take into account other factors, like the availability of parking or mass transit. Cohen and city planning staff pointed out that site-specific traffic counts of similar businesses can be conducted, at the applicant's expense, if necessary.

Suslovic voiced concern that notice of the zoning change was only sent to affected business owners citywide once – last week. He suggested the proposed change be sent back to the Planning Board for further evaluation. The board voted 4-2 against the original version, with the majority citing a lack of relevant information to support it, but the board never considered the version passed last night. That version was "ramrodded through without giving adequate notice and process," Suslovic said today.

Because the zoning change is a "text amendment," it need only be advertised in a legal notice published in a local newspaper, city staff explained last night. Both proponents and opponents of this zoning change said that practice should be reconsidered.

Suslovic also said he was unconvinced the measure will lessen traffic on the busy street. The city's traffic consultant said about 1,000 vehicle trips are made along Stevens Avenue during peak morning and afternoon hours.

Suslovic said schools in the area cause most of the traffic on Stevens Avenue during peak periods, but the presence of schoolchildren is a big reason many Deering Center residents support the measure.

"This is a terrible intersection already," one neighbor was quoted as saying in a Press Herald article last week. "I think we're going to see a dead child here very soon."

Chris Busby is editor and publisher of The Bollard. He can be reached at editor@thebollard.com.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Press Herald

The new guard



By ANNA FIORENTINO, Staff Writer

Portland Press Herald
Monday, December 4, 2006

"Now we have someone in our peer range that we can go and have a conversation about our city. We can finally listen to meetings from our perspective."

-Justin Alfond

State director for the League of Young Voters

Justin Alfond had never been more excited to wait in line. For once, he was glad to push his way through the crowd. The 31-year-old state director for the League of Young Voters was surrounded by his peers.

Thousands of them.

The day was Nov. 7, and before finally disappearing behind the voting-booth curtain, Alfond was cleared of any last-minute traces of doubt; he knew he'd done his job before even finding out the results of the election.

"An election warden told me that from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. the lines were out the door and 75 percent of the voters where under 30 years old," Alfond said. "It was crystal clear what the League of Young Voters is doing to motivate young voters in Portland."

The next thing Alfond knew, he was officially congratulating four of the five 20-somethings who ran for local office.

As Alfond had suspected, it seemed as though the masses of young people arrived at the voting booths to vote for their peers. Kevin Donoghue, 27, replaced incumbent City Councilor William Gorham in District 1. Donoghue's friend Dave Marshall, 28, won the City Council seat in District 2.

On the school committee Rebecca Minnick, 31, was elected and joined 20-something Jason Toothaker. Stephen Spring, a Green, was unseated by yet another 20-something, Robert O'Brien.

"I think we could be in some sort of history here," said Alfond. "Now we have someone in our peer range that we can go and have a conversation about our city. We can finally listen to meetings from our perspective. Youth apathy is an empty slogan in Portland."

Portland's 20-somethings are part of a national movement among young people to become active in politics.

The Center for Information & Research on Civic Learning & Engagement reported this year's voter turnout rate among 18 to 29 year olds at 24 percent, up 4 percentage points over 2002, the last non-presidential election year. That's a young voter turnout of an estimated 10 million in the last election, according to CIRCLE.

In the 2004 presidential election, Maine ranked fifth in the country for the voter turnout rate in the 18-to-29 age bracket, according to CIRCLE. Though an official count on local young voter turnout for this year is pending, in the last six months, the Maine League of Voters increased its own membership from 3,000 to 6,000 � an indicator of interest.

Many believe the spike in young people's interest in politics � and voting � is due in part to the Internet. Marshall, Donoghue and Minnick all campaigned online, using avenues including Myspace, blogs and personal Web sites.

From the young pols' perspective, their decisions to run were driven by issues that affect them and their peers, to a certain extent. Both Donoghue and Marshall decided to run for the council on the same day, and for similar reasons.

"I saw a need for a greater respect for citizen participation," said Donoghue, who holds a master's degree in community planning and development from the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service. "A (closed) culture has developed on city council, as I've observed. Participation has been seen as perfunctory."

He is currently unemployed, and says the lack of area jobs for young educated people also needs to be addressed.

"Kevin and I started feeling as though the council wasn't respecting work being done by voluntary citizen review committees. We felt it was time to bring in some new voices," said Marshall, a local artist. "The council is heavy in the baby boomer� generation, and solid with real estate interest, but there wasn't anyone speaking on behalf of rest of us."

While baby boomers may know the issues or be more familiar with bureaucracy, the young idealists say they generally have more time on their hands to devote to local politics.

During Marshall's campaign, he cut his work schedule at Portland West in half in order to introduce himself to his potential constituency. He plans to remain working part-time during his time in office.

The remaining council members are at least a dozen years older than Marshall and Donoghue. It's no secret; the sitting councilors are savvier and more experienced � similar to former Portland city councilor Peter O'Donnell.

O'Donnell said the council last had a 20-something on board 25 years ago. While the City Clerk's office had no record of the ages of past committee members, O'Donnell has a trustworthy frame of reference: he was that last 20-something elected to council.

"Both young, new city councilors deserve a huge amount of thanks for generating interest from the youth. Many of us have been trying to generate the young vote for a long time, and no one succeeded. They've shown they can inspire young people to get out and take action," said O'Donnell, who was on the council in an almost unbroken chain of years since his first election.

"Hopefully, they will be able to keep the young voters engaged."

O'Donnell said other than the two new members and himself, the only other 20-something elected to Portland City Council was Bruce Taliento, in the 1970s. Taliento passed away in 1999. "There are many more young people on the hill every year. Every decade more and more of the old families I grew up with move off. The demographics have clearly changed," O'Donnell said.

"There seems to be more people who are single, in their late 20s, early 30s, living in the city." In 2000, people in their late 20s and early 30s made up Portland's largest age group, according to the Census Bureau.

Years ago, O'Donnell said, his campaigning strategy consisted mostly of hanging out at what was then the hub of activity, Coluccis Hilltop Market in the East End. The concept didn't change for Marshall and Donohue, but the locale did.

Marshall and Donohue hit this year's hot spots near their constituencies: The League of Young Voters events, neighborhood meetings, area colleges and certain bars like the White Heart, where political conversation is abuzz.

"Instead of traditional approaches you have to have a go out on the streets. I worked doing voter registration at the University of Southern Maine. I got like 12 people registered who would have otherwise voted in their hometown absentee. I let people know they could register on voting day," Marshall said. "Mostly, I did mailings, went door-to-door, and tried to incorporate artwork into my campaign."

Marshall designed his own campaign postcards and posters as part of his out-of-the-box approach. One showcases a vibrant painting of City Hall.

"People responded well to a political poster of City Hall. It was 'graffitiesque.' A lot of young people who aren't usually into political signs simply took to it because it was attractive," said Marshall.

Marshall's platform was what he called the "West End basics:" a universal need to increase the affordable housing stock and to improve policing in his district, particularly in the Parkside neighborhood.

Donoghue campaigned around the city on his bicycle.

"I gave up driving years ago, when I was studying in Holland, for a more convivial lifestyle," said Donoghue, who hopes to better Portland's public transportation system. He is a renter who helped draft a preliminary proposal for an affordable housing measure called inclusionary zoning.

Both 20-somethings were joined by young people throughout the city to oppose the Taxpayer Bill or Rights, commonly called TABOR. (Herds of 20-somethings affiliated with The League and the Green Party crowded in bars leading up to Election Day to collectively oppose the bill). It all sounded eerily familiar to O'Donnell.

"At the time I first ran there was a concern from the people about taxes and development," O'Donnell said.

But once elected, the political game was a completely different animal.

"My fellow councilors advised me to wait six months before speaking on the council," recalled O'Donnell. "I was terrified sitting up there that first night."

Likewise, Marshall plans to ease into his position.

"I will take the go-with-the-flow mentality. I'll focus on what's on the plate for the council for a while, before I bring any issues to the table," he said. "There is no need to fill it anymore."

That's where the two friends turned politicians differ in their approach.

"My feet have been wet for years," remarked Donoghue. "The only different now is that I finally get to cast a vote."

Staff Writer Anna Fiorentino can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Bollard

November 17, 2006


Meet the new boss... : Incoming Portland Mayor Nick Mavodones (photo/courtesy Mavodones)

Greens make Mavodones Mayor of Portland
"Awkward" political horse-trading determines post

By Chris Busby

City Councilor Nick Mavodones will be Portland’s next mayor, thanks to Councilors-elect Kevin Donoghue and Dave Marshall.

Marshall and Donoghue were the swing votes in the city’s most hotly contested mayoral showdown in recent memory.

Granted, that’s not saying much – past mayoral selections have been largely a matter of course, the post determined by seniority on the nine-member body and amicable turn-taking. This year’s outcome was determined shortly before the brief caucus at which councilors select who among them will run the meetings, appoint the committees and cut the ribbons. The vote was unanimous, the comments brief and boring.

But the contest between incumbent Mayor Jim Cohen and recently reelected at-large Councilor Nick Mavodones was either man’s to win after last week’s election. Councilor Donna Carr, who would be next to ascend to the post according to the body’s traditional order, opted not to seek it, citing work commitments associated with her day job at UnumProvident.

There’s been a flurry of private politicking over the past 10 days, as sides aligned and all eyes turned to the two young Greens – either of whom, according to Marshall, could have given Cohen an unusual second consecutive year with the gavel. Councilors Cheryl Leeman, Ed Suslovic and Dr. Carr were presumably willing to support another term for Cohen; Councilors Jim Cloutier and Jill Duson were presumed to be in Mavodones’ camp.

So until Donoghue and Marshall – who are friends and former housemates – both agreed to support the now four-term councilor, Mavodones didn’t have the votes for his own second term (he last held the post six years ago).

To win the two over, both Mavodones and Cohen offered Donoghue and Marshall the committee assignments they wanted. Donoghue said he’s been assured seats on the Community Development Committee, the Housing Committee and the Transportation Committee, which he hopes to chair. Marshall hopes to chair the Public Safety Committee, and wants seats on the Finance and Appointments committees.

Each councilor generally serves on three of the three-member committees and chairs one. Mavodones is expected to make his committee assignments in the coming weeks.

Donoghue, the incoming District 1 Councilor (the East End, downtown and islands), said he decided to support Mavodones because he was elected by the entire city, not just the voters in one of the five city electoral districts. (Cohen represents District 5: the Deering, North Deering and Riverton neighborhoods.) Donoghue supports a change in city government that would allow voters citywide to elect the mayor. Unless and until he himself wins a citywide City Council race, Donoghue said he would not accept the post.

Local Green party politicians have made it a point of pride to champion open government and eschew the kind of backroom political deal-making that can put personal ambition over the public’s best interests. Donoghue, co-chair of the city Green Independent Party, said he did feel “uncomfortable” taking part in the horse-trading that led to Mavodones’ mayorship.

“That was awkward, but at the end of the day, I feel the rationale I chose speaks to ideals I hold for the city and where I want the city to go,” he said, referring to the elected mayor idea.

Mavodones, 46, is a divorced father of three, currently partnered with the principal of the elementary school on Peaks Island. He is the incoming president of the Maine Municipal Association, the statewide association of towns and cities that lobbies state lawmakers. By day, he works as the operations manager for Casco Bay Lines, the island ferry service that's been rocked by internal discord and management unheaval of late. [Full disclosure: this reporter's wife, Bollard contributor Meghan Busby, works for Mavodones at CBL.]

Like Cohen, Mavodones has a reputation as a mild-mannered, thoughtful decision-maker. Cohen nominated him for the mayorship himself at tonight's caucus, and the two amiably shook hands following the unanimous vote.


Chris Busby is editor and publisher of The Bollard. He can be reached at editor@thebollard.com.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Portland Phoenix

Young guns

K-Don and Dave on being city councilors, playing politics, and what Wharf Street should look likeBy: SARA DONNELLY

11/15/2006 6:43:37 PM

NEW ADDITIONS: Marshall + Donoghue

When Kevin Donoghue and Dave Marshall are sworn in to the Portland City Council on December 4, they’ll be more than a decade younger than the youngest of our sitting councilors.

Marshall, 28, and Donoghue, 27, will also be the first Green Independents to sit on this nonpartisan board, this in the wake of Greens on the school committee throwing their budding party heft around, and they’ll head into their new jobs as longtime close friends who encouraged each other to run. Marshall and Donoghue shared campaign literature (including an “East Side/West Side” postcard portraying them as hippie political thugs), held campaign launch parties in tandem, and intend to represent the voice of young Portland in the council chambers.

The Portland Phoenix sat down with the incoming councilors from the east side’s District 1 (Donoghue, a grad of USM's Muskie School) and from the west side’s District 2 (Marshall, a painter) the Friday after Election Day, to talk about politics, the Greening of Portland, and how sweet it is to be the swing vote.

You both pulled something of a coup winning your council seats. Kevin, you beat Will Gorham, an incumbent who’s spent years as a community leader on Munjoy Hill, and dave, you won in a three-way race against an opponent (Michael Patterson) who’d received the outgoing incumbent’s backing and another (Cyrus Hagge) who’s a well-known power player in Portland.
How did you win?

Kevin Donoghue I think platform matters. I think we put the issues forward that the voters think needed looking at. The housing crisis has been suffering from gross inaction. Issues of sustainable development and the creative economy have been spoken to, yet I think voters are looking to move on these issues rather than merely acknowledge these issues.

Dave Marshall I really targeted young voters and I’m in charge of the youngest district in the city, probably in the state (the West End and Parkside). I’ve been in the district for eight years; I’ve been a long time community builder and advocate and I knew the youth vote would give me the swing vote I needed. When I was doing doors, I just connected with everybody. I knew that the youth vote was important, but I really found inspirational the number of people across all demographics that were behind my campaign and had confidence in it.

You are both active members of the Green Independent Party — Kevin, since 2004, Dave, since 2000. The City Council is ostensibly nonpartisan, but do you plan to push a Green agenda anyway, like Greens Stephen Spring, Ben Meiklejohn, Jason Toothaker, and Susan Hopkins sometimes did on the Portland school committee?
DM We have very similar viewpoints and very similar values but I don’t think that we’ll end up having the same position all the time. But for the issues that over the years have come up, we’ve been able to see eye to eye on most of them, or compromise.
KD We think really well together, so when we begin speaking about an issue, it may come from different directions, but I think our thought processes are really complementary so that we can reach reasonable conclusions between one another.

Does that mean you are a team, that you will work together?
KD It’s an intellectual friendship.

Have you heard from the state or city Green parties? Do you expect they’ll pressure you to push the party platform?
DM We have very little connection with the state party. As far as pressure, I just think that we have values that are consistent with the values of the state party in that way. They’ll be there but I don’t see any pressure on what we’re doing. Kevin and I are really the leaders of the Green Independent revolution at this point.

You are?
KD Well, compared to . . .
DM We no longer have a higher ranking Green in the country.

You mean former State Representative John Eder?
DM We’re two out of nine [city councilors]; [Eder] was one out of 151 [state representatives]. It was a very difficult position for him to be in. He got beat up every time he was there. We’re two of nine.
KD And we’re the swing votes.

Swing votes? But you said you won’t necessarily work as a team.
KD There are identifiable factions [on the council], not parties, and these factions are clearly played out in who’s lobbying us to be mayor.Let’s talk about that. Traditionally, the councilor with the most seniority who has not served as mayor gets the ceremonial position; that would be donna carr. But word is jim cohen might want it for a second term, and nick mavodones, who served as mayor years ago, might want another crack at it.

Have you already gotten phone calls from city councilors about who should be next?
DM Yeah, on the morning of the eighth, I had turned off my phone [after the results were in] and when I woke up I had eight voicemails — one from the city manager’s office, wanting me to go in and meet with them; one from [city councilor] Jim Cloutier, his secretary saying that he wants us to go to his community development committee meeting; and that night I had a call from Cheryl Leeman. [Also] Karen Geraghty. Actually it was Jim Cohen who was the first one to pull the trigger.
KD Nick [Mavodones] did call me the same morning. Councilor Cohen called. Neither of them mentioned the mayor, but it was clear to us from the get-go that we choose the next mayor because Cohen was relying on [outgoing councilor Will] Gorham’s vote to be mayor.

You’ll need to help the council choose a mayor. Have you decided who you want to vote for?KD We’ll decide after we have a date for the caucus.
DM I haven’t had a chance to talk to Nick yet. We talked to Cohen this morning and he told us his interests and we talked about potential committees and so...

So you’re going to use this to lobby for committee appointments?
DM Yeah, well, there are certain committees that we’re interested in having seats on. So it’s a good chip to use. So I’d like to speak with Nick. Certainly Cohen has values — based on sustainability of Portland, transportation, creative economy — that we see eye to eye on. But I want to hear from Nick to see where we see eye to eye on.

City councilors serve on three committees and chair one. What committees do you want to serve on?
KD I hope that we are not put on inconsequential committees because we are new. I hope that our talents are recognized and we’re given the opportunity to use our talents for the city of Portland and that means meaningful committee assignments.

Which ones?
KD Community development, housing, transportation. And I’ll chair any one of them, even community development.
DM My experience working with youth offenders gives me the experience to be chair of the public safety committee, which now has an opening. And I’m also interested in being on the finance committee and, also, appointments. As Cohen said, he wants us to have a good idea of who we’re voting on before we go in. I think he just wants to avoid a circus in front of the public. We’re holding our cards close.
KD Sort of.
DM We told him and we told Nick what committees we want to be on and we’ll see what plays out from there. I’m certainly not going to spill the beans before that meeting.
KD Because we can get public commitments of committee assignments at that meeting if we are not confident that we got what we need.

Ok, before i let you go, i want to ask what the two of you think should be done to encourage Portland’s nightlife. Kevin, you ran against councilor Will Gorham, who made a name for himself by pushing a tripling of the seat tax on bars in the Old Port and in general operated on the premise that the bar scene after hours is dangerous and needs to be contained. No one on the council seems to have much of a clue about what the 30 and younger crowd wants for nightlife. What do you think should happen?
KD I’d repeal the Old Port overlay zone, no more seat tax.

You'll get free drinks forever.
KD Yeah, what else is new?

You'd get rid of the overlay altogether?
DM Altogether.
KD I’d even consider changing the way we clear out the Old Port as well. I believe that our 1 am policing strategy creates drunk driving. Fist fights are a lot less dangerous than drunk drivers.
DM Yeah. It doesn’t matter how many cops you put on the streets, it doesn’t matter if you put them in riot gear or not . Even if you put 100 cops down there at 1 am, even if you have 1000 drunk people coming out into the street, there’s still going to be the same issue where [the police are] not going to be able to handle it. The real key is to spread out when those people leave the bars so they’re not all leaving at the same time. You know, going to the Old Port and having a beer at 12 o’clock and you have to get it down by 12:30 and then they turn on the lights and start screaming at you to get out the door. You get out the door, there’s 13 cops standing across the street with their arms folded, and you take a step onto the street and you get hosed down by the city’s street cleaner. That’s just not the best way to handle nightlife.
KD It’s a good way to make people not want to come back to our city. It’s poor marketing.
The Forecaster

New ruling class; A younger generation gets into local politics
By Kate Bucklin (published: November 16, 2006)

PORTLAND – Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall decided they were going to run for City Council in March.

Shortly thereafter, Marshall kicked Donoghue out of his Pine Street home.

“I found him a new place to live,” Marshall, 28, said this week as he and Donoghue relaxed and talked at Sebago Brewing Co. in the Old Port.

Donoghue, 27, moved to Munjoy Hill and began preparing to run for the District 1 council seat. Across town, Marshall plotted his campaign for the District 2 seat. Both of them won, and are among four young, political neophytes elected last week who have the potential to change the face of Portland politics and government.

The others are newly elected School Committee representatives Robert O’Brien, 27, and 32-year-old Rebecca Minnick.

Both Donoghue and Marshall are active in the local Green Independent Party, which Donoghue is credited with helping to resurrect, but their decisions to run were more personal.

For Marshall, who grew up in Augusta and whose prior elected office, he jokes, was president of his eighth-grade class, the decision to run was made when the council OK’d a series of statues outside Hadlock Field.

“That made me angry enough to run for council,” Marshall, an artist, said. His gripe was with the council’s rejection of a Public Art Committee recommendation against accepting the bronze statues depicting a family going to a Portland Seadogs game.

“They put together this group of community members, from the arts community, and then largely ignored them,” Marshall said.

Donoghue said he did not have a specific moment of clarity. Instead, he had an urge to do what he went to school for. “Maine gave me an excellent education, but no opportunity to use it,” said the recent Muskie School of Public Service graduate.

“Kevin creates new bus route maps in his spare time,” Marshall said with a laugh. Only he wasn’t joking. Donoghue has created a new routing system for Metro. And he has plans in the works for other city services and land, too.

Their approach to campaigning was grassroots. Marshall knocked on 70 percent of the doors in the West End, asking people to vote for him. Donoghue, a Beverly, Mass., transplant, also toured his district and gained visibility by getting a seat on the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization board.

When voters went to the polls Nov. 7, they overwhelmingly supported the two young men who now represent Portland’s entire peninsula.

Marshall beat Cyrus Hagge and Michael Patterson for the West End and Parkside seat. He received almost 1,900 votes – 500 more than Hagge.

In District 1, Donoghue upset incumbent Councilor Will Gorham by about 600 votes, 1,815 to 1,218.

Marshall said he is excited to represent his district, and especially to try and make local politics interesting for a new generation.

That is a goal for Donoghue, too, who said he wants to make what is happening in City Hall relevant to the twentysomethings living on Portland’s peninsula.

“The Portland Peninsula is my whole world, and I want to shape my environment,” he said.

For the past few days, the two have been enjoying their newfound authority. The morning after celebrating victory at Brian Boru, Marshall said he had eight voice-mail messages on his cellphone from people who had never bothered to call him before.

Since then, Donoghue said, “we’ve been having fun watching our cell phones race across the table.”

“We’ve been celebrating for days,” Marshall said.

“I’ve been keeping my eye on the Old Port,” Donoghue joked. “It’s my district now.”

School Committee

The youth trend extended to the School Committee races as well, at least in the West End.

Robert O’Brien, who turned 27 this week, pulled an upset in District 2, beating incumbent Stephen Spring by fewer than 200 votes.

O’Brien is a sixth-generation Portlander, but the first in his family elected to office.

When he decided to run for School Committee this summer, the Muskie School student and Central Maine Power Co. employee didn’t know if he’d have time to wage an effective campaign.

“Then the fever takes over,” O’Brien said. His first public debate was a little unnerving. But he went with common sense, the Bates College graduate said, and also advocated for Reiche School every chance he got.

O’Brien is president of the West End Neighborhood Association and lives on York Street with his fiance, Stephanie Dickens. He does not have children, but O’Brien said he is comfortable with school issues.

“Some people are older in years, but they lack the naivety and youthful energy that is sometimes needed,” he said.

Donoghue, Marshall, O’Brien and Minnick are scheduled to be sworn in Dec. 4.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net.
The Forecaster

New ruling class; A younger generation gets into local politics
By Kate Bucklin (published: November 16, 2006)

PORTLAND – Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall decided they were going to run for City Council in March.

Shortly thereafter, Marshall kicked Donoghue out of his Pine Street home.

“I found him a new place to live,” Marshall, 28, said this week as he and Donoghue relaxed and talked at Sebago Brewing Co. in the Old Port.

Donoghue, 27, moved to Munjoy Hill and began preparing to run for the District 1 council seat. Across town, Marshall plotted his campaign for the District 2 seat. Both of them won, and are among four young, political neophytes elected last week who have the potential to change the face of Portland politics and government.

The others are newly elected School Committee representatives Robert O’Brien, 27, and 32-year-old Rebecca Minnick.

Both Donoghue and Marshall are active in the local Green Independent Party, which Donoghue is credited with helping to resurrect, but their decisions to run were more personal.

For Marshall, who grew up in Augusta and whose prior elected office, he jokes, was president of his eighth-grade class, the decision to run was made when the council OK’d a series of statues outside Hadlock Field.

“That made me angry enough to run for council,” Marshall, an artist, said. His gripe was with the council’s rejection of a Public Art Committee recommendation against accepting the bronze statues depicting a family going to a Portland Seadogs game.

“They put together this group of community members, from the arts community, and then largely ignored them,” Marshall said.

Donoghue said he did not have a specific moment of clarity. Instead, he had an urge to do what he went to school for. “Maine gave me an excellent education, but no opportunity to use it,” said the recent Muskie School of Public Service graduate.

“Kevin creates new bus route maps in his spare time,” Marshall said with a laugh. Only he wasn’t joking. Donoghue has created a new routing system for Metro. And he has plans in the works for other city services and land, too.

Their approach to campaigning was grassroots. Marshall knocked on 70 percent of the doors in the West End, asking people to vote for him. Donoghue, a Beverly, Mass., transplant, also toured his district and gained visibility by getting a seat on the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization board.

When voters went to the polls Nov. 7, they overwhelmingly supported the two young men who now represent Portland’s entire peninsula.

Marshall beat Cyrus Hagge and Michael Patterson for the West End and Parkside seat. He received almost 1,900 votes – 500 more than Hagge.

In District 1, Donoghue upset incumbent Councilor Will Gorham by about 600 votes, 1,815 to 1,218.

Marshall said he is excited to represent his district, and especially to try and make local politics interesting for a new generation.

That is a goal for Donoghue, too, who said he wants to make what is happening in City Hall relevant to the twentysomethings living on Portland’s peninsula.

“The Portland Peninsula is my whole world, and I want to shape my environment,” he said.

For the past few days, the two have been enjoying their newfound authority. The morning after celebrating victory at Brian Boru, Marshall said he had eight voice-mail messages on his cellphone from people who had never bothered to call him before.

Since then, Donoghue said, “we’ve been having fun watching our cell phones race across the table.”

“We’ve been celebrating for days,” Marshall said.

“I’ve been keeping my eye on the Old Port,” Donoghue joked. “It’s my district now.”

School Committee

The youth trend extended to the School Committee races as well, at least in the West End.

Robert O’Brien, who turned 27 this week, pulled an upset in District 2, beating incumbent Stephen Spring by fewer than 200 votes.

O’Brien is a sixth-generation Portlander, but the first in his family elected to office.

When he decided to run for School Committee this summer, the Muskie School student and Central Maine Power Co. employee didn’t know if he’d have time to wage an effective campaign.

“Then the fever takes over,” O’Brien said. His first public debate was a little unnerving. But he went with common sense, the Bates College graduate said, and also advocated for Reiche School every chance he got.

O’Brien is president of the West End Neighborhood Association and lives on York Street with his fiance, Stephanie Dickens. He does not have children, but O’Brien said he is comfortable with school issues.

“Some people are older in years, but they lack the naivety and youthful energy that is sometimes needed,” he said.

Donoghue, Marshall, O’Brien and Minnick are scheduled to be sworn in Dec. 4.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

MAINE VOICES

Portland gets a pair of city councilors it needed

By Victoria Mares-Hershey
Portland Press Herald

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

While standing in Reiche School watching the new voters line up to register and vote for the first time, I thought it was David Marshall's time to win.

He is my 28-year-old neighbor on Pine Street. He started campaigning in Portland, door-to-door, hand-to-hand on July 10. He knew that his young face and his profession as a fine artist could present some stereotypes that would challenge his ambition to become a city councilor.

He embraced all of it, passed out cards with his campaign information on one side and en plein air (painting in the open air) art scenes from around Portland on the other.

Teens came to help pass out literature and put up signs. He talked to them about all the issues, including his stand against TABOR, which lost.

As David said, "Matt Baldwin, who works in this pizza joint, said he found himself explaining TABOR to people. He said, 'I heard myself speaking like you, Dave.' If he was empowered to feel he could make a difference, that makes me feel good."

WATCHING THE VOTE
David stood in Reiche until the very end of the voting night. He saw twentysomethings and people of every color. Down the hall were some teens with their hats on sideways, greeting him like he was a rock star.

They knew him as the Dave who directs Service Works for Portland West, where adolescents can do community service as required by the court for first-time, nonviolent offenders.

He knew the elderly woman in the rectangular rain hat and the guy wearing sandals in November, the parents, the teachers, the neighbors. He had taken community service teens to shovel the walks of the elderly, clean sketchy spaces and make them habitable, clean the graffiti off walls and deliver toys and coats to people in need in the middle of winter.

He said, "When I was standing in Reiche between 5 and 8 p.m. and the voter registration line had 50 to 100 people in their 20s, I felt good."

Wednesday morning I received an e-mail from Maine native Sandy Wright, sending out the message on his list-serve to friends his age from Maine who are scattered around the country. He had read that Kevin Donoghue in the East End and David Marshall in the West End had won their City Council races.

"We didn't weigh into this fight like we should have," wrote Sandy. "We should be thinking about reaching out to the new City Council players. They are both in their 20s and may be some help."

David and Kevin have come to the end of one long journey, the election campaign, and the beginning of another. Seated in the art gallery of the small, historic house on Pine Street that he renovated with his own two hands, David called up when he started thinking about running.
He had been active in speaking out against the war and frustrated as it just became worse in human costs abroad and at home in local communities stripped of valuable, if meager safety net programs.

WHY IT'S IMPORTANT

Then it got very local for him after a City Council hearing where many people turned out to speak.

"That's how it started. We had come from a City Council meeting, where we felt that the process and the people were not being respected by the council. Kevin said, 'Dave, are you angry enough to run for City Council?' I said yes. Elected officials are not listening. We need input."

By Wednesday, David Marshall and Kevin Donoghue had sat in on their first council event, a meeting of the Community Development Committee. David knows something about that. He was a poor art student when he decided he would buy the dilapidated house where he had an apartment.

He had watched rents going up and feared he would have to leave Portland. Saving every dime from his job and eating beans and rice for months, he arrived at the closing looking as if he were starved.

He brought out a self-portrait, signed with the year 2000, to prove it. He was gaunt. "At the closing the owner said, 'You look a little thin there,'Ý" laughed Dave.

His father, who had told him that starving himself to buy a broken-down house was a foolish move, came from Augusta to work the phones and the streets on his son's behalf.

"I spent less than $100 on catering," said David about his Friday art/campaign parties, "and one night I raised $1,000 from artists, truck drivers, people of every age."

Sounds like we need this city councilor.

Victoria Mares-Hershey is director of development at Portland West. She also is a member of the Maine Arts Commission and is a founder and the director of the Institute for Practical Democracy.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

The West End News

Marshall Wins West End Council Seat


Local artist David Marshall was elected on November 7th to represent the West End (District 2) on the Portland City Council. Marshall received 1,893 votes (45%). Cyrus Hagge received 1407 votes (34%), and Parkside Neighborhood Association president Michael Patterson got 874 votes (21%).

Marshall replaces longtime Councilor Karen Geraghty, who chose not to run and who supported Patterson in the race.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Bollard

November 8, 2006

Vote or Quit Bitchin' 2006
Local election coverage

Detail from a joint piece of campaign literature this year: Incoming Portland City Councilors Dave Marshall (left) and Kevin Donoghue.

Young candidates win big in city races
Eder loses historic state House seat

By Chris Busby

The Portland City Council will never be the same. Portland's delegation to the state Legislature, however, looks much like it did years before – Green Independent John Eder, the first elected Green in Maine government, lost his bid for a third term representing the West End to Democrat Jon Hinck; and veteran Dem legislator Anne Rand held off a strong challenge in the East End by Green school board member "Zen" Ben Meiklejohn. But more on the state races in a minute.

Next time you're in Council Chambers, take a look at the portraits of past mayors lining the wood-paneled walls. With few exceptions, these people are all over 40. Most look like they've never been to a rock show, much less a punk rock show, and none of Portland's mayors over the past 40 years has been registered in a political party that starts with "G."

Now consider that two registered Green Independents, ages 27 and 28, are about to take seats representing the heart of Maine's largest municipality on the City Council. Kevin Donoghue, 27, has won the District 1 City Council seat, representing Munjoy Hill, Bayside, the Old Port and much of downtown, as well as the islands in Casco Bay. Across town, his friend Dave Marshall, 28, has taken the District 2 seat, representing the West End, Parkside and neighborhoods near the University of Southern Maine.

You'd have to go back to the late 1990s to find two councilors of such relative youth serving simultaneously on the nine-member body. Perhaps by no accident, those councilors, Peter O'Donnell and Karen Geraghty, represented Districts 1 and 2, respectively. But they were in their mid-to-late 30s at the time.

Donoghue bested incumbent Will Gorham, 57, by almost 600 votes, taking over 47 percent of the total to Gorham's nearly 32 percent (all results are unofficial as of this writing, but are not expected to change significantly). The third contender in this race, Kirk Goodhue, 54, mopped up the remainder – though, notably, he won on Peaks Island, where he's well known as an island real estate broker and past resident.

Marshall got over 45 percent of the take in his three-way race against Cyrus Hagge, 53, and Michael Patterson, 41. This seat became open when Geraghty made a last-minute decision not to run for a fourth three-year term. Though Hagge and Patterson both got a late start as a result of Geraghty's timing, Geraghty said last night she didn't think the timing of her withdraw was a significant factor in the race.

The sentiment among city officials and other observers at post-election gatherings last night was that Marshall simply worked hardest for his votes, as did Donoghue – they knocked on more doors, made more phone calls, and sent out more postcards than their more experienced opponents.

The results were similar in the Districts 1 and 2 School Committee races, though age wasn't likely as much of a factor. In District 1, first-time candidate Rebecca Minnick, 32, bested Mavourneen Thompson, 60, by taking about 60 percent of the vote. This contest may have had more to do with geography, as Thompson is a Peaks Islander (like Goodhue, she won the Peaks vote), and Minnick a mainlander who lives on Munjoy Hill, where the bulk of the District's voters reside.

Robert O'Brien, who just turned 26, beat District 2 incumbent Stephen Spring, 42, by just over 200 votes. Spring's opposition to weighted grades in high school class rankings, an unpopular stance that led to a rare school board policy reversal, may have been a factor in his defeat, in addition to O'Brien's persistent door-knocking and status as a neighborhood organization president.

In the at-large races – covering the entire city, not just parts of the peninsula – youth was not a factor. City Councilor Nick Mavodones cruised to a fourth Council term with 54 percent of the vote. Challenger Christina Feller got about 30 percent, and Andy Verzosa had about 15 percent of the tally.

Sarah Thompson was elected to succeed at-large school board member Jonathan Radtke, who backed her bid. Thompson took just over half of all the votes cast, with former District 4 School Committee member Teri McRae finishing second with 30 percent, and young Green Kevin Gardella getting almost 20 percent in his first run for office.

Gorham's loss puts Portland's mayorship in serious contention, with at least three councilors vying for the largely ceremonial, but politically significant, post. If Gorham had won, there was talk that Mayor Jim Cohen, the District 5 Councilor, might serve a second year in that position. The councilor with the most seniority, but who has yet to serve as mayor, is customarily chosen for the post in a Council caucus held shortly after the election – though custom is not the only factor at play. Gorham had spoken of deferring that honor until 2009 for reasons related to his volunteer work.

With Gorham out, that makes District 3 Councilor Donna Carr the next in line, and Carr intends to pursue the post for what will be her third year of Council service. Problem is, Mavodones, a former Portland mayor, is interested in wielding the gavel again next year, and Cohen hasn't necessarily given up the idea of extending his reign. Donoghue and Marshall are in for a crash course in city politics over the next couple weeks, as councilors jockey for influence over the mayorship and their preferred committee assignments.

Though both the Council and School Committee races are officially non-partisan, party politics has played a big role of late on the school board, and may well again when that body caucuses to choose leadership next week. The board's four-to-five Green-to-Dem ratio didn't change with yesterday's election – Spring lost but Minnick, co-chair with Donoghue of the Greens' city political committee, won. Meiklejohn, now the board's most senior member, is gunning for the board chairmanship. His success or failure in that effort could well be a sign of how partisan the new board will be.

Meiklejohn came within striking distance of denying Anne Rand a ninth term in Augusta, collecting 43 percent of the vote to Rand's 57 – a difference of about 400 votes in District 120, which includes the East End and most of downtown. Rand now returns to the House of Representatives, where she began her lengthy run in state government two decades ago.

Eder's four-year run as the state's first and only Green lawmaker ended in a close contest with Hinck, a Donkey Partier with a strong environmental record and similarly liberal views on social issues. The unofficial results in District 118 gave Hinck the edge by just over 100 votes – 1,630 to 1,532, or about 51.5 percent to 48.5 percent. This will be Hinck's first term in Augusta, though he's already had ample experience lobbying and working with state legislators on eco-issues.

Veteran Dem legislator Herb Adams nearly lost his seat representing Parkside and Bayside this year. Before the absentee ballots were counted, Adams led Green challenger Matt Reading by a handful of votes, less than 10. But his lead widened considerably when the absentees were tallied, and Adams finished with over 150 more votes than Reading, a first-time candidate. Conservative Republican Jason LaVoie got creamed in District 119, taking about 8 percent of the vote.

There were no big surprises in the off-peninsula House contests or the state Senate races, where every Democrat won handily except District 113 incumbent John Brautigam. Brautigam was in a close race against Republican David Elowitch, who nearly defeated him three years ago. Portland's results show Brautigam leading with nearly 53 percent of the vote, but he's less than 200 votes away from Elowitch, and this district contains part of GOP-lovin' Falmouth, where results were not yet available. (That said, Brautigam, a Falmouth resident, won that part of his district last time, albeit by 16 votes.)

Longtime legislator Joe Brannigan is on his way back to the state Senate after his latest stint in the House (he's already got four House and four Senate terms from last century on his resume). He was leading Republican challenger David Fernald 70-30 in Portland's part of District 9 (the district also includes part of Westbrook, but Fernald would have to have gotten every Westbrook vote and then some to make this one close).

Portland's other state Senator, Ethan Strimling, also won handily, with over 67 percent of the vote to GOP challenger David Babin's 18 percent and newcomer Green candidate Kelsey Perchinski's 14-percent take.

Democratic State Rep. Boyd Marley rolled over Republican Sharon Forbis in District 114; Dem Party leader Glenn Cummings crushed Green Murrough O'Brien and Melinda Loring of the Elephant Party in District 115; Charlie Harlow made quick work of GOP contender Jan Gauger in District 116; and Anne Haskell cruised to victory over Green John Safarik and the GOP's David Pelletier in District 117.

Less than 10 hours after polls closed, it was not yet clear whether Democrats retained majorities in the state House and Senate. But it was clear that they retained the Blaine House. With 85-percent of precincts reporting, Democratic Gov. John Baldacci was nearly 10 percentage points ahead of his nearest challenger, Republican Chandler Woodcock, and had claimed victory. Independent Barbara Merrill was third with just over 21 percent, and Green Pat LaMarche had almost 10 percent. Independent Phillip Morris NaPier Thu Peoples Hero hadn't broken the 1 percent mark.

Portland voters gave Baldacci just over 50 percent of their votes, with Merrill second (18 percent of Portland) and Woodcock third (16 percent). LaMarche got 14 percent of the Forest City vote, and NaPier half a percentage.

The statewide citizens' initiative known as the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, or TABOR, went down to defeat statewide by a 55-45 margin. Portland voters rejected it 65-35. The ballot question asking Maine voters to clarify the rules for submission of citizen initiatives, Question 2, was approved 55-45 statewide and citywide.

Portlanders helped U.S. Senator Olympia Snowe and Congressman Tom Allen retain their seats. Snowe had 73 percent of the statewide total with most precincts reporting, and Allen 61 percent in Maine's First Congressional District. In Portland, Snowe took 57 percent to Dem challenger Jean Hay Bright's 35 percent and independent Bill Slavick's 7 percent. Allen got 73 percent of Portland's tally, with GOP challenger Darlene Curley taking 17 percent and independent Dexter Kamilewicz about 8 percent in Portland.


Chris Busby is editor and publisher of The Bollard. He can be reached at editor@thebollard.com.
Press Herald

Greens gain seats in Portland voting

By KELLEY BOUCHARD, Staff Writer Portland Press Herald
Wednesday, November 8, 2006

The Green Independent Party gained ground in Portland's municipal elections Tuesday, winning two seats on the City Council and maintaining four seats on the School Committee, according to preliminary results.

The city's elections are nonpartisan, but the Greens have made strides in recent years at the local level in Maine's largest city.
Results at press time did not include Cliff Island.

Two district seats and one at-large seat were open on each nine-member board.
District 1 City Councilor William Gorham, a Democrat, was unseated by Kevin Donoghue, a Green Independent, by a vote of 1,811 to 1,214. A third candidate, Kirk Goodhue, received 791 votes.

The council, like the city, is largely Democratic.

"Finally, the council has a chance to represent the people who distinguish Portland as a great city," Donoghue said. District 1 includes the East End, Bayside, the Old Port and the islands.

In the District 2 council race, David Marshall, a Green, received 1,889 votes while Cyrus Hagge received 1,404 votes and Michael Patterson received 873 votes. District 2 includes the West End and Parkside.

Councilor-at-large Nicholas Mavodones Jr. won re-election with 12,241 votes, while challenger Christina Feller received 6,872 votes and Andres Verzosa received 3,449 votes.

Mavodones, one of four at-large councilors, and Mayor James Cohen said they look forward to working with the first Greens elected to the council.

"We look forward to having two new members on the council," Cohen said. "I hope we're able to all work together on issues of importance to the people of Portland."

In School Committee races, Rebecca Minnick, a Green, won the District 1 seat with 2,064 votes; her opponent, Mavourneen Thompson, received 1,415 votes.

"I want to open the committee to a lot more public input and look for creative ways to keep our neighborhood schools open," Minnick said.

Meanwhile, District 2 committee member Stephen Spring, a Green, received 1,730 votes and was unseated by Robert O'Brien, who received 1,944 votes.
The open at-large seat on the committee went to Sarah Thompson, who received 10,378 votes, while Teri McRae received 6,270 votes and Kevin Gardella received 3,982 votes.

"I'm ready to serve and make sure the community is heard," Thompson said.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Official 2006 Portland League Voter Guide

Portland, ME

November 7, 2006


City Council District 2

Dave Marshall

Endorsed Vote: Yes

The League was founded to inspire new 20 something year olds into the political arena. Dave is a fresh voice whose experience as an artist (hooray and Arts advocate) and local small business owner will fill a major gap in the Council. Over the last seven years, Dave has become a community builder in the West End. Dave is a thoughtful listener who believes in the public process and will also listen to recommendations from city-wide committees. He gets the League’s housing, environmental sustainability, and transportation goals. It is time for a new voice, outside of the power circles, to be elected!

Cyrus Hagge

Endorsed Vote: No

A Portland contributor for 30+ years (work & service on community boards). A collaborator, who gets The League’s issues. We are passing. He already shapes Portland and we urge him to continue.

Michael Patterson

Endorsed Vote: No

Experienced in city politics. Has neighborhood leadership, President of Parkside Neighboor Associaiotn. He’s already part of the Portland decision making circle, so we passed. We only wish there were more seats as he would be a great councilor.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Press Herald Readers Critique Editorial

Reader comments
1-13 of 13 comments:


ian of portland, me
Oct 13, 2006 12:37 PM
I wholeheartedly support Dave Marshall in his bid to represent District 2. Dave has fully enveloped himself in the life of the West End, purchasing and renovating a home, working with the Maine Time Dollar Network at Portland West and reaching out to at-risk youth via grafitti, among others.

Dave Marshall seeks to support people who want to contribute just as much to their community by aiding them in finding affordable housing, ensuring quality education for their children, supporting the incubation of small, neighborhood owned businesses, and more.

Dave Marshall isn't a made man. He hasn't bought his way onto boards. Dave Marshall is your neighbor, equally concerned about the same issues that keep you up at night and excited about the same prospects for change.

Give him a call. Walk down the street and check out his neighborhood art gallery. Above all, vote for Dave Marshall on November 7th if you want YOUR voice to be heard.

tyler of portland, me
Oct 12, 2006 10:24 AM
Will Gorham is totally out of touch with his constituents! From issues in The Old Port to Peaks Island, he has proven to be both unaccepting and unapproachable. While many appreciate a strong willed leader, that leader needs the ability to bring together reather than alienate. Time for a change in this district!

kate of portland, me
Oct 11, 2006 8:06 PM
I intend to vote for Kevin...WG has been very dismissive re concerns I have brought to him regarding affordable housing, increased crime and noise in the East end, encouragement of small business, tax reform, the list goes on and on. Change is long overdue.

susan of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 5:31 PM
David Marshall's work with the West End Neighborhood Association, Portland West, & as a young home owner, professional artist/small business owner are the kind of perspective Portland City Council needs. Marshall's work with the Time Dollar Network, and guidance of at-risk youth in completing community service give him the insight to the every day concerns of Portland residents. He would represent those in District Two who care about affordable, quality housing; neighborhood schools; and improved community policing.

Kevin Donoghue will also provide much-needed perspective on City Council. With a Masters in Community Planning & Development, training in zoning, land use planning, housing, transportation, and public budget policy, Donoghue will bring unparalleled state-of-the- art professionalism in public administration to Portland. Donoghue volunteers countless hours to Portland, sharing his expertise by serving on the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization's Housing, Transit, Ecology Committees; Bayside Neighborhood Association's Streetscape, Trail, Open Space Committees; Portland Housing Committee's Inclusionary Zoning Advisory Group, & Renter Representative on Portland's Transportation Committee. He's brilliant & deeply devoted to a better Portland.

KarboKarot of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 4:14 PM
I'm often torn: On the one hand, Portland's lack of user-friendly progressivism surely helps curb a population explosion that would push out the lower and middle classes of this town. On the other hand, the frequent lack of creative vision from our city's leaders is frustrating to many of the rest of us who yearn for broader and more efficient systems and developments. The fear of all but the status quo is tired. Often, the PPH reflects that same kind of fear, so I'm not surprised by these endorsements. Boring, People. Not only boring, but repressive. It's not just a battle of older and younger, and it'll kick you in the pants if you believe that. Loosen your chains, smile, and embrace the really fresh energy with which other candidates are promising to guide the direction of this city.

Brian Chick of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 3:46 PM
In truly representing the issues and embodying the human qualities I admire most, David Marshall is the most ideal candidate I've ever seen. In any election. Period. All that draws me to Portland, he defines: approachability, neighborly concern (I've seen him intervening in street scuffles between strangers), inspiring artistic energy and vision, connection to local youth (through his work with Service Works), and staunch commitment to the local economy. For real grit like his, Portland has the feeling of a small Maine town like the one I grew up to love.
I know little of Hagge, a late arrival, but already I wouldn't vote for him if this paper puts him in the same class as Will Gorham, a born-again teetotaler who has it out for the drinking establishments that define our lively Old Port, but against a moratorium that blocks a Hooters in the Arts District. In my opinion, forgive Donoghue his inexperience and look at his ideas: we would do well to give him Gorham's seat. Marshall and Donoghue are both young, intelligent, at most middle-class pragmatists that are connected to and representative of us: renters, homeowners, small families, wage-earners, true small-business owners, artists, musicians, and students that make this city vibrant and wonderful.

Kevin of Portland, Me
Oct 11, 2006 3:32 PM
We are a fortunate city to have a truly motivated body of voters. It points to the kind off politics that a country like ours can strive towards. We have many people with diverse backgrounds running for office. This is the pulse of a healthy political organism.
I live in the West End and thought I would share what I view as an individual with vision for a very live-able Portland. Dave Marshall backs sustainable development, local schools, a high premium placed on the arts in Portland, and a variety of other key issues for a healthy Portland. If we elect a leader like Marshall we can be sure he will be available local advocate as well. He spends large amounts of his free time painting in very public places and never is dismissive of differing views than his own. I have often overheard him talking with people in a way I am sure will serve him well in office. He hears them out. The way I see it that marks this young man as a great choice for the West End seat. He is a good listener yet vocal advocate of ideas that will ensure Portland will not sell out to developers and realtors to make a quick buck. Portland needs people like Marshall. We have a lot to lose if we go with people who see vision as being a short term investment. This is not Marshall’s vision. His vision seems to come from a real care for Portland and its communities.
Talk to this young man. You will be sure of this as well. He is setting the bar high for local politicians.

Lesley
Oct 11, 2006 2:57 PM
Will the Portland Press Herald being coving the other candidates, as well, in the spirit of democracy and fairness? Listing just three is not fair to the other ones not listed.

I would like to hear coverage of the other City Council candidates, including Dave Marshall of the West End, Christina Feller (At Large), Kevin Donahue, and Andy Versoza, gallery owner.

Portland Public Access is airing the debates this month, on Tuesdays at 7-8pm on Channel 2, which is a great way to hear from the candidates themselves! Kudos to them and the League of Young Voters for gettig the word out and fostering democracy!

It might be time for some new voices and perspectives on our City Council. I look forward to the continued coverage and what new direction some of these candidates will take Portland after the November elections! It should be a challenging election!

Thank you!

Matt R of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 2:03 PM
It's unfortunate to see the Press-Herald miss this opportunity to support an informed, inspired candidate like Dave Marshall. We need young Mainers to step up to the plate and help create the Maine we want to see. Dave stopped at my door, and I can tell you that he is committed to finding the best solutions for Portland. He's got my vote in November!

Lisa McNeil of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 1:51 PM
I wonder why the Press Herald always seems to blend with the status-quo. The decision to endorse Hagge and Gorham make me wonder if you know the people of Districts 1 and 2. I wonder if you looked into their backgrounds or if you simply trusted what they told you.
Gorham may attend meetings but does he do anything more than attend? Gorham is usually one of the few council members who oppose housing plans put before the council. He was even heard making derogatory comments about how student housing would have a negative impact on Bayside.
Kevin Donoghue represents the greater population of District 1. More than 50% are under 35; more than 50% are renters; on penninsula the statistic is .83 cars per unit - he rides a bike. Gorham is over 35, a home owner, and he has little understanding of making this city less car dependant, which is in the city plan. He votes down housing projects because he says there is not enough parking, yet he does not work on solutions to make this city less car dependant.
Kevin Donoghue represents the people of District 1. He has a smart approach to urban developement: he co-founded an inclusionary zoning ordinance and designed new bus routes that would better serve the area. He has been to enought Planning Board meetings that he should be a member. Oh yeah, he tried but I guess he did not fit in with the "old boys club".
Kevin will work for a more sustainable future for Portland and he will reach out to all of his constituents in a proactive way, as he is already doing. He will bring to this city a new perspective that is well needed.
As for Dave Marshall, it is clear by how well he is known in the community that he is doing his job. He has great ideas for District 2 and he will be a new voice in the city council. As a young person he can bring to light the issues that concern the young generation dominating District 2. He has been working since June to reach out to his constituents. He was not afraid to run against the incumbent Karen Gerahty. Hagge decided to run after he heard Karen was not going to run. This proves to me that Dave holds the confidence and leadership skills necessary to make lead District 2 and work with the Council to better represent Portland.
I look forward to Kevin Donoghue and Dave Marshall becoming members of the City Council.

Rosa Noreen of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 12:39 PM
I would like to voice my support of David A. Marshall, District 2 candidate for city council. He is a breath of fresh air, bringing professional & generational diversity to this establishment.

David announced his candidacy in June and has been working hard ever since, visiting neighbors in every corner of District 2 and finding great support for his goals and leadership capability. His decision to run was made well before the current councilor announced her that she would not seek a fourth term. David is no slacker!

At 28, David is a dedicated community builder with a solid record of achievement on his own merit. He has lived in Portland for all of his adult life and has seen dramatic changes in his neighborhood. He is remarkably well-versed in the many issues our city faces today. While this is David's first run for office, he has a long history of attending council and planning board & school board meetings, carefully researching not only the issues that our community faces but also solutions that have worked--or not worked--for other cities.

I look forward to experiencing David Marshall's leadership as city councilor for District 2.

Augie of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 10:30 AM
These endorsements illustrate how the PPH is out of touch with the residents of Portland.

Mavodones - Sure, but consider his opponents ...

Hagge - If you own a million dollar house, have oodles of family money and send your kids to Waynflete, he's your man. Otherwise take a look at the other two.

Gorham - The tough guy act has gotten old ... He has thoughtful, interesting and creative opponents who will serve district 1 much better than the incumbent

Schmoe of Portland, ME
Oct 11, 2006 8:56 AM
These schmoes have no idea what they're talking about; they must read the Portland Press Herald.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Press Herald

Dave Marshall is a 28-year-old who balances his free time between the role of artist and candidate for local office. Marshall has decided to run for Portland City Council representing his neighborhood in the West End.

"It's time for our generation to take the torch from the baby boomers," he said. When he's not wearing the hat of aspiring politician, Marshall is creating portraits, still-life paintings, figures and landscapes inside his art studio, dubbed "Pine Street at Night," appropriately located at 41 Pine St. On the Web, his art can be viewed at DAMfineart.com. When he's not hanging at his home, studio or home page, you may find him visiting one of the following sites:
pinestreetstudios.com: "The collective studio and Web site of four West End artists, including myself."

thebollard.com: "The best local investigative journalism."
thewestendnews.blogspot.com: "The local news that never takes a vacation."
portlandbuylocal.com: "The Portland Buy Local campaign was developed by business owners and citizens to educate the public about the importance of supporting Portland's locally owned, independent businesses. "Supporting local independent business makes economic sense."

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Press Herald

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

Geraghty not seeking re-election

© 2006 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


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The city councilor who has represented Portland's West End and Parkside neighborhoods for nearly a decade will not seek re-election in November.

Karen Geraghty, a champion for affordable housing and civil rights since she joined the City Council in 1997, did not return nomination papers to the city clerk's office by Tuesday's 4:30 p.m. deadline.

Geraghty had taken out nomination forms earlier in the election season to gather the 75 voter signatures needed to get on the Nov. 7 municipal ballot.

Geraghty could not be reached for comment Tuesday on her reasons for not seeking re-election. A longtime political lobbyist and prominent Democrat, she recently was hired by the Maine Public Utilities Commission to be director of administration. Commission Chairman Kurt Adams said she starts her new job Monday.

"She's a renowned district councilor known for her service to her constituents," said Peter O'Donnell, a former city councilor who said he worked with Geraghty on the city's domestic partnership and human rights ordinances.

Geraghty, who lives at 15 Briggs St., gained national attention in 2001 when she served as one of only about a dozen openly gay mayors in the country.

In deciding not to run, Geraghty, who was re-elected three years ago with 63 percent of the vote, unlocked the District 2 council seat to three other candidates who turned in nomination papers by Tuesday's deadline.

David Marshall, a community service supervisor who lives at 41 Pine St., will be on the November ballot after an assistant city clerk verified that he had enough nomination signatures.

The other candidates who returned nomination papers for Geraghty's seat are Cyrus Hagge, a contractor and former Planning Board member who lives at 55 Bowdoin St., and Michael Patterson, a Maine Medical Center administrator and Planning Board member who lives at 42 Deering St. Their nomination signatures had yet to be verified Tuesday afternoon.

In other races, District 1 incumbent Councilor William Gorham, a real estate agent who lives at 34 North St., will face two challengers for the seat that represents Munjoy Hill, Bayside, the Old Port and the islands.

They are Kevin Donoghue, who lives at 44 North St. and is a recent graduate of the University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service, and Kirk Goodhue, a real estate agent who lives at 73 Federal St. and on Peaks Island. Signatures for each District 1 council candidate were validated.

Councilor-at-large Nicholas Mavodones Jr. of 127 Wolcott St. returned nomination papers to seek re-election. If his signatures are validated, he will face Christina Feller of 95 Morning St., whose signatures were validated, and possibly Andres Verzosa of 314 Danforth St., whose signatures had yet to be validated.

On the School Committee, Rebecca Minnick of 53 Sheridan St. and Mavourneen Thompson of 344 Seashore Ave., Peaks Island, will vie for the District 1 seat held by Thompson's husband, Otis. Mavourneen Thompson is a member of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics & Election Practices.

In the District 2 School Committee race, incumbent Stephen Spring of 240 Valley St. will be challenged by Robert O'Brien of 267 York St.

Teri McRae of 619 Allen Ave. and Sarah Thompson of 83 Starbird Road will vie for the at-large School Committee seat being given up by Jonathan Radtke. A third candidate, Kevin Gardella, returned nomination papers and will join the race if his signatures are verified.

David Margolis-Pineo of 138 Glenwood Ave. is the only candidate for Portland Water District trustee.

Although Portland's municipal races are nonpartisan, candidates' party affiliations are expected to play a role in some campaigns.

Staff Writer Kelley Bouchard can be reached at 791-6328 or

kbouchard@pressherald.com


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1-9 of 9 comments:

Rosa of Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 9:44 PM
Dave Marshall is a passionate and informed neighborhood activist who brings to his campaign fresh ideas and a willingness to take input from his community.

He has seen his neighborhood go through many changes in his 8 years of residency and 5 years as a landlord and working artist on Pine Street, and has taken an active role in improving the area through his work with the West End Neighborhood Association and with troubled teenagers doing community service.

I am glad to see him stepping up to the role for which he has unknowingly been preparing for many years.

Dan of Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 8:47 PM
While i think that portland in general, and the west end in particular is going to lose a hard worker and good advocate in Karen Geraghty, we are very fortunate to have such a dedicated and hard working candidate in Dave Marshall. He has already been on the trail for 2 months and has excellent ideas for a progressive future for portland. GO DAVE GO!

Armand of Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 7:35 PM
I have to say that I will certainly miss Karen and her ability to "be a bully" as has been mentioned. It is that ability that has gotten many things done for this city and the West End neighborhood while she has been in office. I must say though that as a West End resident I have no idea who these new candidates are. Guess they're not particularly visible to their constituents. I don't recall meeting any of them..being asked to sign any nomination papers or ever told that any of these people were running. Don't get me wrong I'm not the most politically involved person out there but it would seem to me that if someone were up to represent my district or neighborhood that I would've at least heard their names before if not being able to put a face with them. That's not the case here. Good luck with your new position Karen...I hope it's as rewarding as you have been to the West End and to those of us with alternative lifestyles.

Amy of Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 1:13 PM
Can anyone tell me where I can see the West End candidates speak? I am not familiar with any of them and I would like to make an informed choice in November.

Erin Cianchette of South Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 12:28 PM
I'm so happy David Marshall is running. He is a wonderful and hard working person and I know he will do a very good job as City Councilor. He is intelligent and charismatic, and I have a good feeling he’s going to win the seat this November!

joan of portland, me
Sep 6, 2006 12:21 PM
Hip Hip Hooray, I am tired of Councilor Geraghty's wining and itching at each council meeting. She is rude and carries on and on trying to be a bully. I think too many years on the Council have caused her to lose focus. Let the new people in to try some fresh ideas. I think Kevin Donoghue can do a much better job than Councilor Gorham as well. Although he doesn't have the experience and does tend to ramble at times (sorry Kevin) he brings many new and relative ideas to each council meeting. I look forward to what he can bring to the City.

Phil of Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 12:10 PM
It's about time Geraghty stepped down. The last fiasco with the Sea Dogs statue was ridiculous. This city needs new blood. Peter O'Donnell needs to be the next councilor ousted.

John Eder of Portland, ME
Sep 6, 2006 12:03 PM
New blood indeed! Hooray for Dave Marshall. I can't think of a better voice of the West End than Dave Marshall to fill that seat. I know Dave will do a great job in taking care of street level issues because he know's the district so well. Dave has been going door to door for two months. Good luck. You have my vote Dave!

A
Sep 6, 2006 8:31 AM
Good. Perhaps some new blood will step to the plate and be productive on the council. It's about time that some of the others retire from being professional city council members as well.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Monday, Aug. 28, 2006

Multi-unit sweet multi-unit

Copyright © 2006 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.

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RESOURCES
LOANS

Maine State Housing Authority: www.mainehousing.org/

RENOVATION ADVICE

www.renovatorsplace.com

www.denvergov.org

www.styleathome.com

www.letsrenovate.com

To top of story

In 2001 Dave Marshall bought a pre-1866 West End Victorian that, with a price tag of $129,000, looked pretty good on paper, especially to a struggling artist with an income of $21,000. He chanced a move out of his prime, $540-a-month Congress Street studio rental, and into a two-unit with 50 years of neglect.

Nestled between what he knew to be a "crack house" and a fraternity house, his new home had 2,000 square feet and more than a few potential code violations.

But Marshall, 23, saw something in nothing and made it his own.

Five years and an estimated $42,000 later, his home is appraised at $250,000. In a county where, according to the Maine State Housing Authority, nearly 60 percent of renters can't afford the average two-bedroom monthly rental of $841, Marshall's home is looking really good.

He pays a measly $330 mortgage after collecting a reasonable $630 in rent from his tenant, a fellow artist. It's a generous rental fee that he calls "a contribution to a dying breed of young artists who can't afford to live in Portland."

He's part of a new wave of do-it-yourself generation X- and Y-ers taking on more responsibility than their parents did when they were in their twenties. These young people are pooling together resources to become landlords and gain control over the cost of living in an increasingly pricey urban area.

"A lot of people just getting out of college are investing in real estate. Everyone that I know thinks its better than the stock market; it's a lower risk because you always have rents coming in," said Justin Douglass, associate real estate broker at Reali Realty. "Today's young people want to create their own destinies. They know they get what they put into something." Portland housing costs rose steadily until recently, nearly doubling in price since Marshall invested and making it nearly impossible to find even a condominium for $129,000. Nonetheless, young people are finding ways to invest. Some are teaming up with each other; some are investing in Westbrook or Lewiston/Auburn, where buildings are half the price of those in Portland; some are taking out low-interest MSHA loans, borrowing from their parents or holding off until real estate prices go down.

"Right now a lot of young people are waiting for a drop in real estate cost to occur, in the next six months to a year," Douglass said.

There are currently 26,000 homes up for grabs in Maine according to the Maine Real Estate Information System, compared to about 18,000 last year. Douglass predicts that if the market continues to flood and adjustable interest rates continue to increase, it will create an ideal situation for young people looking to buy. With higher adjustable interest rates, buyers are likely to sell, flooding the market even more. That, he said, will give young people with fixed interest rates their chance to afford market prices and invest in multi-units and condos.

Dan Simpson, public information manager for MSHA, said the program granted nine first-time home buyer loans to those investing in multi-units in Cumberland County in 2004, 10 in 2005, and seven as of June this year.

"That's probably about half of what we will end up making this year," Simpson said, noting that his figures don't account for young people who don't go through a first-time home buyers program.

At 23, Marshall qualified for a first-time home buyers loan and an additional $5,000 to get his new Pine Street handful up to code. Over time the entire neighborhood slowly improved. State authorities moved in on the drug problems next door, and a developer bought the house, sunk money into improvements and sold the units as condos for $200,000 each.

Marshall spent $5,000 to $10,000 every year to get the rundown house looking like new. It took reading up on the Internet about electrical, carpentry and plumbing systems, help from his friends, and endless hours of hard work.

He gutted one of the bathrooms and exposed hidden brass piping, sanded the floors, and replaced panelling with drywall and electric heat with natural gas.

It wasn't easy.

He ripped down a dropped ceiling and unveiled intricate brick work in the living room.

"I pulled off the lathe and dry wall and saw the bricks of a Rumford fireplace with a bread baking oven built into it, used for efficiency leading up to the American Revolution," he said. "They were trying to avoid using British coal."

Though he was excited learning about the history of his home, and though he avoided the cost of reconstructing the chimney, Marshall paid for a natural gas stove and the costs of attaching the flue pipe to the mouth of the chimney on the roof.

"I wasn't about to start jack hammering," Marshall said. "Anytime you get into a little project, you are opening up a can of worms."

Douglass, the associate broker, said one investor he worked with insisted on doing the work himself, and in the process of installing new appliances managed to ruin the pipes.

"My advice is hire a contractor you trust unless you want to work all hours and until 3 a.m.," Douglass said. "A lot of people try to do renovations themselves and it becomes a disaster."

But despite Marshall's problems along the way, he has managed to make his home beautiful and eke out the financially manageable lifestyle of an artist.

"I learned it all on the fly and it paid off," he said.

Staff Writer Anna Fiorentino can be contacted at 791-6330 or at:

afiorentino@pressherald.com


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