Let’s start with the fact that Portland is a successful city, with a trophy case full of national awards and one of the lowest unemployment rates in America.

After taking the oath of office in January, our new mayor will inherit the job of keeping this momentum going. But he or she can’t do it alone.

As the mayoral race comes down to its final days, candidates are making aggressive promises that they will not be able to keep. The City Council will continue to set city policy, as in the past. The city manager will continue to run day-to-day operations, also as in the past. So the new mayor will quickly learn that partnering, teamwork and consensus are required in order to get anything done.

To succeed, our new mayor will have to be proud of the city, optimistic about its future, respectful of our city manager form of government and know how to collaborate with the City Council. Maybe the most important thing the new mayor will do is define the role, set the tone and repay the public trust in a thoughtful, ethical way.

I’m supporting Nick Mavodones to be Portland’s full-time, four-year mayor. No other candidate can match his knowledge and experience with city and school issues. No other candidate can match his record of public service. He is trusted and respected throughout Portland, as he well deserves to be.

Nick is not promising miracles. His goals are more jobs, better schools and a healthier community. I think he can do it. Let’s give him the chance.

Tom Valleau

Portland

Like some people in Portland, my wife and I were confused, and a bit apathetic, about the large number of candidates for mayor. Then we had the benefit of a visit with Ralph Carmona. Instantly, his compassion and understanding of the need to heal our wounded populace won us over.

When he quoted Robert F. Kennedy on suffering and wisdom, we knew that the city of Portland had a candidate who was not the usual politician or office seeker. Here instead was someone whose business, life and organizational experience had taught him that serving and helping people are really what holding political offce should be about. Ralph has the ability to motivate and energize people, and he has the rare ability of being able to elevate the level of discussion.

These are the qualities we need for this high-profile, but low-power position. Please vote for Ralph Carmona on Election Day.

David Victor

Portland

Why Jill Duson for mayor? Because relevant experience and a deeply held commitment to ethical, effective governing are the hallmarks of her career and her life.

During her tenure as director of the Bureau of Rehab Services in Maine’s Department of Labor, she eliminated the 11-month waiting period for services and brought a $2 million deficit into balance. This is a bureau of 150 people, 11 offices statewide and a $24 million annual budget.

She accomplished this turnaround by bringing in all the department heads, listening, collaborating, finding the bottlenecked areas and empowering them to do their best work. She laid out the goal, worked to support their efforts, set concrete objectives, established timelines, and followed up to assure they had met the expectations. And the job got done. That is relevant experience.

If you’ve ever listened to Jill’s life story, starting with her courageous, hard-working mother and others in her community who fought to improve their circumstances and make City Hall wake up and pay attention, you know the deep passion she has for effective government that serves everyone. Her vast work experience in long-term care advocacy, with the Home Equity Conversion Project in the Bureau of Maine’s Elderly, working in D.C. with the Commission on Legal Problems of the Elderly, and the Legal Aid Assistance Association, as well as her lengthy service to the city of Portland all highlight her personal commitment.

With Jill Duson as our mayor, you will have a leader ready to work on Day One, effective on day one, and willing to forgo credit for the reward of results. Please join me in making Jill your No. 1 choice.

Rep. Anne Haskell

Portland

The long list of qualified candidates for mayor requires a little more research to find which candidate will do the job effectively. I would like to point to one candidate that I believe rises to the top of the list: Michael Brennan. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. He has a long and distinguished record of public service as a state representative and senator in Augusta. He knows his way around the halls of the State House, a skill the mayor must possess.

2. He does his homework on complex issues. We need that kind of knowledge and commitment.

3. He is not afraid of making hard decisions — after checking all of the facts. As Senate majority leader, he constantly faced those challenges.

4. He thinks miles ahead. His forward thinking led to Maine’s first AIDS/HIV patient housing program, funding for the English Language Learner programs in Portland, some of the country’s first legislation to establish a school laptop program, reduce the negative effects of No Child Left Behind, grant universal health care and fund senior colleges. Many of the initiatives Michael has seen through are national and international models. He will bring the same progressive vision to the office of mayor.

5. He cares about our citizens. His work as an educator, social worker and affordable housing developer are examples of his commitment to the people of Portland.

I think that after researching his background, experience and accomplishments, voters will find Michael to be their first choice.

Dick Farnsworth

Portland

Between ranked-choice voting and 15 candidates, Portland voters have their work cut out for them to make informed choice(s) Nov. 8. Portland is an outstanding place to visit and live, and one candidate, Jed Rathband, wants to maximize our place on the state and national stage.

It is hard to imagine Maine without the vibrancy of all Portland has to offer. Our city needs a strong spokesperson and someone who can work effectively with our new city manager, City Council, and Augusta to attract business, provide housing, improve transportation links, and streamline operations at City Hall through the use of technology and increased responsiveness.

Jed Rathband has my enthusiastic endorsement as the next mayor of Portland.

Sean Dundon

Portland

Jed Rathband is admittedly not as experienced in world of politics as Ethan Strimling or Mike Brennan. He has neither the friends (nor the enemies) in Augusta that Strimling or Brennan tout as their greatest credential. But Jed is a natural, something that all the experience in the world cannot give you.

I especially like Jed’s plan to make 25 calls a week to recruit new businesses to Portland. These will not be cold calls, but instead targeted calls made to businesses looking to move to greener pastures.

Now let’s talk about what this means for Portland. At 25 calls a week, Rathband would make roughly 1,200 calls a year. If he succeeds with 1 percent of those calls, Rathband would bring 12 new businesses to Portland each year.

If each of those businesses employs 10 people, that would be another 120 jobs. At an average salary of $40,000 a year, that would create an additional $4.8 million a year earned, taxed and spent in Portland.

Over his tenure, Rathband would bring $19.2 million to Portland. And that’s at a 1 percent success rate, which is lower than the return on direct mail. Surely Rathband can do better than a postcard. If Rathband were successful on 10 percent of his calls, that would generate not $19.2 million, but $192 million.

We are always permitted to vote for the established candidate with years of political experience and a desk drawer full of favors, both earned and owed. Surely that’s what most of us do in most elections and we get the same results year after year. But this is a new position. Give yourself the freedom to vote for an exciting candidate with real ideas and the energy to make this position work for Portland.

Austin Smith

Portland

On a recent Sunday, my wife and I invited a group to our home for a Q&A session with mayoral candidate David Marshall, which turned out to be both lively and informative.

Among the issues facing Portland at this time, many were questioned and addressed satisfactorily: high taxes, the homeless situation, attracting new business, increasing the population (to at least the prior level of 75,000), maintaining the city’s historical character, etc.

Then, in The Press Herald’s Oct. 18 issue was a column by Hilary Bassett, executive director of Greater Portland Landmarks, which primarily addressed the preservation of Portland’s future as an historic city (Maine Voices, “Core principles needed to guide Portland’s future as historic city,” Oct. 18).

In reading Ms. Bassett’s admirable position on the preservation and protection of the city’s landmarks, I found many parallels between her objectives and Mr. Marshall’s answers to questions concerning the same issue. His interest in this matter is on a par with that of the Greater Portland Landmarks, in that he believes that the originality and quaintness of Portland can be a strong, effective draw for new business.

Along these lines, Mr. Marshall is also proposing the reinstallation of trolleys that would harken back to Portland’s history, and at the same time present the city with a cleaner, more efficient and traditional means of linking neighborhoods around the inner city. Again, he and the participants in this Q&A session were enthusiastic about this addition to our historical profile.

As both Ms. Bassett and Mr. Marshall espouse, Portland is an historical city, with a working harbor that still maintains many of its buildings from the early 19th century, and as such is a vital advantage to our lucrative tourist trade, as well as for attracting new business.

It was reassuring for me to see that two of Portland’s leaders have something in common that is very valuable to maintaining and building a “sustainable Portland.”

Frank E. Reilly

Portland

I am writing to encourage the citizens of Portland to vote for David Marshall as Portland’s next mayor.

I have worked with David extensively on many different city-related subjects, and have found him consistently fair-minded and diligent. In fact, his dispassionate analysis of issues combines with a low-key ability to resolve conflict and defuse contention.

Even more important is David’s open-minded attitude toward new ideas, such as the ingenious “streetcar” initiative which he has carved out as a part of his platform.

Portland needs his combination of fresh vision and hard-nosed dedication to get things done.

William Wilson

Portland

Portland is about to elect a mayor for the first time in nearly a century. While not a “strong” mayor, the position will carry significant weight in the policy arena. This is important because popularly elected officials are generally considered to possess mandates for implementing their ideas.

Who, then, will benefit Portland the most in this regard? Should we elect a newcomer, whose entry to Portland politics just happens to coincide with the allure of a salaried position? Should we elect someone who espouses vague and amorphous goals? Or should we support someone with a proven track record in city politics, whose commitment isn’t tied to a paycheck, who pushed for the elected mayor position to begin with, and who imagines promoting a more robust local economy by way of a real, achievable, and sincere dedication to clearly stated goals?

Only a candidate of the latter sort will truly be accountable to those responsible for their election. If you agree, David Marshall is the candidate of choice.

As a seasoned politician whose efforts led to the creation of the position now sought by so many, his commitment to Portland is beyond reproach. Through his commitment to lay the groundwork for more robust public transit in the form of a modern streetcar network, Portland can begin to reap the many benefits associated with transit-oriented development in a measurable way.

For a better Portland, we need better transit. For better transit, we need Marshall.

Patrick Venne

Portland