October 29, 2012

Competition thrives in three Portland City Council races

By Randy Billings rbillings@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PORTLAND - Three seats are up for grabs on the City Council.

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Nicholas Mavodone

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Wellington "Wells" Lyons

Additional Photos Below


AGE: 52

PERSONAL: Married, three grown kids and one grandchild

ADDRESS: 79 Chenery St.

EDUCATION: No college degrees

EMPLOYMENT: Operations manager at Casco Bay Lines

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Five terms on the City Council, two terms on the Portland Board of Education



AGE: 33

PERSONAL: Not married, 2-year-old daughter

ADDRESS: 75 Beckett St.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's in political science with a minor in modern European studies from University of Massachusetts - Amherst; master's in community planning and development from University of Southern Maine's Muskie School of Public Service

EMPLOYMENT: Administrator at Spectrum Cos.

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Two terms on the City Council

WEBSITE: kevindonoghue.blogspot.com


AGE: 40


ADDRESS: 30 Eastern Promenade, Apt. 3

EDUCATION: Bachelor's in international relations from Stanford University; master's in environmental management from the Yale University's School of Forestry

EMPLOYMENT: Owner, Pollard Builders

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Elected to the Blue Hill Planning Board and served on the Blue Hill comprehensive planning committee.

WEBSITE: city-on-a-hill.net


AGE: 30


ADDRESS: 97 Danforth St.

EDUCATION: Bachelor's in political science from Middlebury College in Vermont; J.D. from Loyola University Chicago School of Law

EMPLOYMENT: Co-owner, Rogue Industries


WEBSITE: wellslyons.com; facebook/lyonsforcitycouncil


AGE: 34


ADDRESS: 41 Pine St.

EDUCATION: Fine art appren-ticeship at the University of Southern Maine

EMPLOYMENT: Executive director, Maine Artist Collective

POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Two terms on the City Council

WEBSITE: facebook.com/marshallvote


AGE: 34


ADDRESS: 22 Pine St.

EDUCATION: Studying political science at the University of Southern Maine



WEBSITE: shaneboyington.blogspot.com; facebook.com/electshaneboytington


Five-term incumbent Nicholas Mavodones Jr., 52, is being challenged by 30-year-old Wellington "Wells" Lyons, an attorney and co-owner of Rogue Industries, for the at-large seat representing the whole city.

Two-term incumbent Kevin Donoghue, 33, is being challenged by 40-year-old Justin Benjamin Pollard, the owner of Pollard Builders who ran unsuccessfully in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate, for District 1, the area east of High Street, including downtown, Munjoy Hill, Bayside and the islands.

Two-term incumbent David Marshall, 34, is being challenged by 34-year-old Shane Boyington, a college student with a background in social work, for District 2, the area west of High Street, including the West End, Arts District, Parkside and University of Southern Maine neighborhood.


The at-large seat, representing the entire city, pits experience against new energy and vision.

Mavodones is seeking his sixth term on the council. He served four years as an appointed mayor and ran unsuccessfully for the post last year, largely on a status quo platform. He is making a similar case now.

But Lyons points out that Mavodones only received 15 percent of the vote with that message in the 15-way race.

As a small-business owner, Lyons said he hears from other business people that City Hall is not responsive, so he wants to make sure everyone's voice is heard. "I will return phone calls," he said at a Portland Community Chamber forum.

Lyons notes that 97 percent of businesses in Maine are small businesses, yet the council does not have a small-business owner as a member. With his law background, he said he would analyze policy and say how it will affect the bottom line.

He would work to bring free wireless Internet to the downtown area, a small but significant gesture that could help Portland become a hub of entrepreneurs and innovation in the technology and app-development fields.

The city should develop a local investment bond program, according to Lyons' website.

While Lyons points to his youth and energy, Mavodones points to his "broad range of experience," which includes two terms on the School Board and a decade as the operations manager of Casco Bay Lines. He also serves on the council's Finance Committee and leads the Housing and Community Development Committee.

Mavodones believes the city has done a good job of attracting and retaining businesses, noting the city's growing "best place" accolades by national groups. The council has a role to play, but he says the city's economic development plan puts the mayor at the forefront.

City employees, who have seen their workloads increase as staffing has decreased, need to make sure they provide predictable and reliable customer service, he said, quickly adding that the city isn't doing "a poor job."

Mavodones said education is a top priority, noting the city's capital budget calls for the replacement of Hall Elementary School and upgrades to others, and he plans to see those through.

In addition to investing in schools, Lyons said the city needs to keep young families from leaving Portland, as well as do a better job of promoting the city's "global education." More than one-fourth of students are from other countries.

He also believes METRO, the Greater Portland bus system, should double its marketing budget to try to increase ridership. More benches and shelters are needed to make riding more convenient, he said. He also noted the need for more bike lanes.

Lyons is deeply critical of the city's habit of using tax breaks to help finance developments, especially parking garages. These efforts -- known as tax-increment financing districts, or TIFs -- should be used to help neighborhoods, not corporations, he said. Any incentives should be directed toward small businesses.

(Continued on page 2)

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Additional Photos

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Justin Benjamin Pollard

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Kevin Donoghue

Gordon Chibroski

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Shane Boyington

Gordon Chibroski

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David Marshall

Gordon Chibroski


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