Portlanders should vote yes on 1 because an elected mayor would change the dynamics at City Hall. The new mayor will only have one boss: the people. And if the mayor doesn't do a good job, he or she can be held accountable at the voting booth.

Will Everitt
Maine State Director, League of Young Voters


ELECTED MAYOR A NO-BRAINER

I was surprised to learn, shortly after moving to Portland, that Portlanders do not have the right to elect their own mayor. As I have learned more about the inertia in City Hall, the failures of our City Council, and the proposals of the Charter Commission, Question 1 has become for me a no-brainer: vote yes.

Portland needs a leader who is engaged. A four-year mayor position with a reasonable salary will create a mayor who can give the time and focus that Portland deserves. The current position, which pays benefits and a stipend over one year, offers little ability to see policy plans through to completion and little incentive to devote adequate time to what should be a full-time job. In a city with a quarter-billion-dollar budget, a full-time elected mayor position is a low-risk, low-cost, and high-reward investment. It's also what we need.

Perhaps most of all, if Question 1 passes, we will be able to directly elect our mayor. What is more fundamental than this right? The mayoral campaigns to come will give voters a chance to scrutinize the candidates, and the candidates a chance to demonstrate their ability to advocate for Portland and for good ideas. We will finally have an elected representative who speaks out for us, and who is accountable to us.

These are just a few of the reasons why I strongly support Question 1. I urge your readers to do the same.

Katie Gray
Portland

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