PORTLAND — Nicholas Mavodones wants to hold a series of public forums on issues confronting the city, and plans to bring back the City Council’s Legislative Committee to defend Portland’s interests in Augusta, the re-elected mayor said Monday.

Mavodones, an at-large councilor who is starting his fourth term as mayor, spoke during the council’s annual swearing-in ceremony at noon at City Hall. The School Committee held its inauguration at 4 p.m., also in the City Council’s chamber.

Mavodones — inaugurated for a rare, but not unprecedented, second consecutive term — said the public forums would focus on topics such as economic development, sustainability and youth issues, with a goal of producing a report that “will not only guide us through what I expect will be another very challenging budget process, but also will help us map out the future success of the city over the next several years.”

Mavodones said he envisions the forums as a way to get ideas from the public on matters such as attracting and retaining businesses and drawing young people to Portland and keeping them in the city. He would like the forums to be held around the city in the next four months or so, he said.

As for the Legislative Committee, Mavodones appointed himself chair and said it would consist of five of the nine councilors.

“With the deficits in Augusta, it is paramount that we maintain a vigilant watch on potential changes that may impact our city and our core values,” Mavodones said in his inaugural speech.

He said the panel “will need to be resolute in the essential tasks ahead and ready to meet on relatively short notice” to respond to action in the Legislature.

Mavodones said he hadn’t expected to serve another term as mayor.

Before the council caucused to select the mayor, Councilor Cheryl Leeman indicated that she had the necessary five votes wrapped up.

Leeman said Monday that continuity was one reason that Portland voters approved a proposal on last month’s ballot for a full-time mayor, popularly elected to a four-year term, instead of a councilor selected by his or her colleagues for a one-year term.

So Leeman said she suggested that Mavodones serve another term, and persuaded councilors who had planned to vote for her to back him instead.

Also sworn in Monday were Councilors John Anton, Jill Duson and Edward Suslovic. Anton and Duson were re-elected on Nov. 2. Suslovic, a former mayor who lost a re-election bid for the council three years ago, was elected to a new term.

During the School Committee’s inauguration, Kate Snyder was sworn in as chairwoman. She’s an at-large member who was elected to a second three-year term in November.

At-large member Jaimey Caron, who also was elected to a second term, was sworn in as chairman of the Finance Subcommittee.

Also sworn in was Laurie Davis, a former Portland school administrator, who was elected to the District 3 committee seat. She replaced Peter Eglinton, who was committee chairman and didn’t seek re-election.


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