Put Portland on a new list. The most livable walkable, foodie-friendly, best-educated, small city in the country has a new identity: We are an angry town.

Every issue is a close one and seems to need a six-hour public hearing, a one o’clock vote by the City Council and a lawsuit or a referendum before it’s resolved.

People are mad about taxes, mad about growth, mad about housing, traffic, social services and snowplowing – and a lot of them are mad at the mayor.

Must be time for an election.

The race to serve as Portland’s mayor got underway Tuesday with a decidedly not-angry speech by Ethan Strimling, who took out nomination papers Tuesday.

Strimling did not go after incumbent Michael Brennan by name, but he didn’t have to.

When Strimling talked about what the city needs, he was making pretty clear where he thinks the current mayor falls short.

“I’ll listen to all points of view and then help forge a way forward for all of us, together,” he said. “The hard work of listening that doesn’t end up in split votes on our most important issues. The hard work of listening, so that people don’t feel the need to govern by referendum. The hard work of listening, which prevents high profile conflicts that leave us more divided than when we started.”

Did you hear that? He’s going to listen.

Brennan acknowledged Strimling’s presence in the race by walking his signed nominating petitions from his City Hall office to the city clerk’s. This is the third time he has run against Strimling, including the 2011 mayor’s race and the 2008 Democratic congressional primary won by Chellie Pingree, both races in which Brennan finished slightly ahead.

“I think we both know what we are getting into,” Brennan said.

Brennan said he would run on his four-year record: Unemployment is down, property values are up and the city keeps ending up on “best-of” lists.

Strimling promises to roll out his vision for the city, but it probably won’t include many major policy differences with Brennan.

They both support a higher minimum wage, both support emergency aid for asylum seekers, both say we need more affordable housing.

If you really want to see competing visions, compare Strimling’s announcement Tuesday with the one he gave four years ago when he made his first run for mayor.

That time, the issue was the city’s failed economic development policies, which he said resulted in lost opportunities like the non-development of the Maine State Pier.

“That’s why economic development is the key to everything,” Strimling said in 2011. “Once you do that all your other problems go away.”

Four years later, the pace of development is one of the rifts that Strimling says he wants to heal. He probably won’t offer any different goals than Brennan, but Strimling will say that he can do a better job accomplishing them. That might not be good enough to unseat an incumbent in most elections but what he’s got in his favor this time is a general feeling of grumpiness abroad in the land.

Take the minimum wage increase, an issue that is regularly one of the most popular public policy initiatives in polls: Brennan made a priority of giving a pay increase to the people who need it most. He put it on the council’s agenda, assembled a stake-holder group, and got council approval for an increase from $7.50 an hour to $10.10 next year, with regular increases after that.

But people are still mad.

Some people are mad that the rate is going up, and some are mad that it’s not going up more. Some are angry that the council accidentally doubled the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers, and some are mad that Brennan wants to pass an amendment that would keep the hourly rate for waitstaff at $3.75.

The issue won’t be resolved before Election Day in any way that doesn’t leave a lot of people disappointed.

And that’s the kind of thing that a challenger might be able to take advantage of.

There are a lot of people who are mad these days and they don’t have to be mad about the same things to want to make a change.

Greg Kesich is the editorial page editor. He can be contacted at 791-6481 or:

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Twitter: gregkesich