Portland groups want direct election of mayor

Posted Oct. 05, 2010, at 5:58 a.m.

PORTLAND, Maine — Supporters of the citywide ballot proposal to directly elect Portland’s mayor are taking their case to the public.

The Portland Community Chamber and the Elect Our Mayor campaign are holding a news conference Tuesday in support of Question 1 on the city’s ballot. It asks Portland voters if they want to directly elect their mayor for a 4-year term. Currently, the City Council selects one of its members for a one-year term.

Supporters say direct election of a mayor ensures accountability to voters, sustained leadership and a strong advocate in City Hall.

But opponents say the present system works fine and electing a mayor would cost taxpayers more at a time city services are being cut.

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