Candidates are ‘deeply invested’

To the editor,

Linda Cohen and Richard Matthews both have meaningful municipal-level governance experience and policy expertise. They are deeply invested in our community and can be counted on to listen, respond to constituents, engage in critical thinking, prioritize collaboration, respect city staff, be fiscally responsible and serve faithfully.

Few people know how local government operates better than Linda. She currently serves as both town manager and town clerk of Monmouth (a role she is relinquishing at the end of this year). She has served as city clerk in both South Portland and Portland, as a South Portland councilor and mayor, and on the South Portland Civil Service Commission. In each of these roles, as voiced by her peers and constituents, Linda has served with distinction.

Richard can always be counted on to be there for the community and for our children. As current chair of the South Portland Board of Education, he has successfully guided our school system through the challenges of the pandemic, championed the new middle school, required diversity training for board members, and worked collaboratively with school and city staff. As chair, he facilitated a budget deliberation process that was described by the superintendent as, “… represents a continued focus on maintaining the highest quality education, while recognizing the needs and interests of taxpayers to control the cost of education.”

I cast my vote for Linda Cohen and Richard Matthews and urge you to do so as well. We need their level of expertise, experience and integrity on the South Portland City Council.

Sari Greene

South Portland

Support for two candidates

To the editor,

Misha Pride is the right choice for city council. He understands how important it is to have a city that is sustainably minded, supports diversity and fosters a sense of community between city government and residents, and among all who live in South Portland.

He‘s an environmentalist who backs his values with action, actively supporting the One Climate Future Plan, creation of the Clean Air Advisory Commission, Open Space Acquisition Committee and funding of the land bank. He’s testified on behalf of the city to the Maine Legislature in support of the emission bills that improve the safety of the air we breathe

He’s also making housing in South Portland affordable, advocating for affordable housing as a member of the Metro Regional Coalition, supporting greater revenue sharing to reduce the property tax burden on South Portland residents with the Mayors’ Coalition and serving on the board of Greater Portland Family Promise, a nonprofit aimed at homelessness prevention.

Mayor Pride brings thoughtfulness and compassion to his service on the city council. Re-elect Misha Pride for city council.

Please support Margaret Brownlee for South Portland City Council. Margaret grew up in Maine, just across the bridge in Portland, and has all the qualities that make Mainers who we are as a community and state – kindness, respect for others, hard work and determination.

She’s used these qualities to benefit South Portland through her work to establish and serve on the South Portland Human Rights Commission, advocacy for diversity and inclusion, and her support for LGBTQ+ and BIPOC Mainers. I enthusiastically support her for city council. Vote for Margaret.

Anne Carney

Cape Elizabeth

Candidate serves with ‘compassion, integrity’

To the editor,

I enthusiastically support Misha Pride in his campaign for re-election to the South Portland City Council. Misha serves our city with compassion and integrity, and recently as Mayor, he leads with the sort of grace and patience that both holds space for our vibrant and active community, and produces real progress.

Misha stands for the things South Portland cares most about: sustainability and confronting climate change; protecting our air and green spaces; lowering property taxes, homelessness prevention, and housing affordability so that our children and grandchildren and those seeking to make South Portland their home are welcome. These are the principles of a forward-thinking leader who listens to and cares deeply about his community.

Misha is the kind of leader we can all be proud of. Please join me in supporting his re-election to South Portland’s city council.

Victoria Morales

South Portland

Candidate has a ‘vision’ for schools

To the editor,

I am writing to express my support for Adam Hamilton for school board.

He has lived in South Portland for most of his life. He volunteers with numerous organizations and works with kids. He is a parent of a South Portland student. He works hard in his business of fire safety systems.

Adam’s first concern is for the children’s education. Right now in Maine, about 50 percent of students who graduate high school and go on to secondary education have to take remedial classes. They have to pay college rates for those classes. Adam has a goal of working to try to help the schools remedy this issue.

He has a vision of South Portland schools being at the top of the ladder here in Maine. Certain politicians in this city are behaving like bullies trying to convince Adam they have the power to decide who gets to run for office and who doesn’t. Even going to the length of sending threatening emails.

Adam isn’t a quitter and because his desire is to see our schools be the best and his goal is not political he is not letting the bullies win.

I urge everyone to vote for Adam for school board.

Kandi-Lee Hoy

South Portland

Candidate has ‘ continuously impressed’

To the editor,

Margaret Brownlee is an excellent candidate for the city council. I have had the pleasure of working with Margaret at the Maine College of Art and Design where she serves as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer.

As the DEI officer, Margaret has continuously impressed me with her empathy, work ethic, and sincerely warm personality. The candidate has worked hard as the vice president of the South Portland Human Rights Committee to make the city of South Portland welcoming to all individuals regardless of class, creed, ethnicity or gender identity. Margaret would bring her incredible energy and a fresh perspective to the city council.

Seth Goldstein

South Portland

Candidates ‘values are solid’

To the editor,

This letter is to give my support for Richard “Dick” Matthews for South Portland City Council, District 3. Dick lives on the same street where my parents lived for many years. He was a good neighbor, always sharing information and kindness. I find that he is easy to talk to, that he listens and he doesn’t judge. His values are solid, with a strong vision for South Portland that feels right to me.

I worked with Dick on a fundraiser at Brown School when my son was in kindergarten. I found him to truly care about the people of this city -individuals, families and young alike. He was always willing to use his personal time to help bring about success. No matter what the need was, Dick was there.

I think Mr. Matthews will offer great perspective and experience, both things that are needed in these times. Please support Richard Matthews for South Portland City Council.

Angela Lovejoy

South Portland

Ready and willing to serve

To the editor,

I have spoken at council meetings about vacant committee appointments and council’s duty to fill these seats. The list of citizens available, while some may no longer be able to serve, shows dozens. Two reasons are given why appointments are not made: the pandemic and people not available.

I say false. At present Mayor Pride has a seat on the Transit Advisory Committee, vacant for two years – since September 2019, six months before the pandemic. He publicly said if there is “anyone out there” in District 3 willing to serve to “send them my way.”

I did just that, submitting my name from District 3 and expressed interest. The reply was, “I will not be appointing you. I am looking for someone who does not already serve on a city committee.” Now let me get this straight. He says he wants “anyone” and someone volunteers, but that person is not good enough?

I found 16 people who serve on more than one committee; some on three. Is Mayor Pride’s lack of willingness to appoint me because he doesn’t like me? If that is true, is one’s personal bias a good reason to deny a citizen a chance to serve?

If a seat is open for two years and a capable, competent, willing citizen volunteers, shouldn’t that person be appointed? I don’t get it, but is this what we want as leadership in our community?

Rosemarie De Angelis

South Portland

Candidate ‘exactly what city needs’

To the editor,

I don’t believe I’ve ever felt compelled to write a letter of support for a candidate until now. Richard “Dickie” Matthew’s is exactly what the city of South Portland needs as a council member. I have watched him tirelessly give of himself and his time over the years supporting South Portland schools as a school board member and president. Dickie spends a considerable amount of time in our community listening to residents and has his finger on the pulse of our community.

He is honest, open, committed to our city and available to all. I know that if I speak to him about an issue, he will take my opinion to heart while balancing it with others. He truly values and welcomes input from all. He will bring much needed balance to our city council.

For these reasons, I am urging South Portland residents to come out and support Richard Matthews for South Portland.

Susan Swasey Kinney
South Portland

Candidate’s qualifications ‘are vast’

To the editor,

I am happy to endorse Margaret Brownlee who is running for a seat in the South Portland City Council for District 4. Margaret is the best candidate and her qualifications are vast. She listens, learns and brings expertise that is invaluable.

I trust that Margaret has the best interests of all citizens of South Portland and especially those that have historically been pushed to the margins. Margaret will work hard to listen to all voices while uplifting the voices that are too often left out of the conversation. Please join me in voting for Margaret Brownlee for city council, thank you.

Jocelyn Leighton

South Portland

Opinions vary at council meetings

To the editor,

As a citizen who has been attending city council meetings regularly over the past year, I don’t agree with the argument that the council is “lock-step progressive” or does not respect all opinions. During meetings, council members often stay late into the night listening to a wide range of public comments, often taking up suggestions from adversarial callers as well as supportive ones.

Opinion also varies amongst councilors, who already hold positions that I would characterize as moderate.

I’m supporting Misha Pride because of his even-handed, diplomatic leadership approach, his willingness to listen and to evolve. He has proven that he supports South Portland’s climate preparedness through the city’s One Climate Future act, a crucial plan for the climate crisis. He has fought for the health of South Portlanders by testifying to the DEP about fossil fuel tank fumes in our city.

Margaret Brownlee has similarly proven her leadership abilities through proposing and helping to lead the Human Rights Commission, an important committee that brings an equity lens to our community. She has also been active with Protect South Portland. I will be supporting Pride and Brownlee because they have a proven record of service and substantive positions on tough issues.

Sascha Braunig
South Portland

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