PORTLAND — The city’s current mayor, Nicholas Mavodones, wants to stay in the job beyond the end of the year.

Mavodones plans to announce his candidacy today, joining a crowded list of people vying to become Portland’s first popularly elected mayor since 1923. That list grew this weekend when Jill Duson, an at-large city councilor, posted a picture of her candidate registration papers on her Facebook page.

Prior to a charter change that was approved by voters last fall, Portland’s mayor was selected by the City Council from one of its nine members for a one-year term. The post has been essentially the same as a council chairman, with the mayor running meetings, appointing committees and representing the city.

The charter change makes the post a full-time job, with a four-year term and a salary of about $66,000 a year. The charter change also gives the mayor a budget veto, but that decision can be overridden by a vote of six councilors.

Mavodones – who has served as mayor four times, including the past two years – opposed the charter change, arguing that the budget veto would be easy to override and would leave the mayor with little power. He also opposed the ranked-choice voting method that will be used in November, in which voters will rank their choices for mayor.

If no candidate has a majority after the initial votes are cast, the lowest vote-getter is dropped and the candidates that his or her voters ranked second are awarded votes. The process continues until one candidate has a majority.

Mavodones argued that the system is too convoluted.

Duson, a former mayor, posted the picture of the papers she filed, but made no formal announcement. Attempts to reach her over the weekend and Monday were unsuccessful.

Duson had supported the charter change for an elected mayor.

Candidates register with the city to raise money and set up a campaign organization. Petitions that candidates will file to get a spot on the ballot won’t be available until July.

In addition to Mavodones and Duson, 10 people have officially registered as mayoral candidates.

 

Staff Writer Edward D. Murphy can be contacted at 791-6465 or at: [email protected]