September 19, 2017
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Portland City Council sends choice of two school bonds to voters

By CBS 13
Updated:
WGME | BDN
WGME | BDN

PORTLAND, Maine — After months of discussion, Portland City Council decided Monday night to send two of three proposed school renovation funding plans to voters this November.

Many city councilors call this a compromise in order to get something on the ballot.

The first is a $64 million plan that would renovate four elementary schools: Presumpscot, Longfellow, Reiche and Lyseth.

The second is a $31.6 million plan that includes new construction for Lyseth and Presumpscot schools. The city would then also apply for state funding to renovate Reiche and Longfellow schools.

Each item is separate. Voters will have an opportunity to vote yes on both questions or no on both, which was an issue of concern for some speaking during public comment at the hours long meeting Monday night.

After the vote, Councilor David Brenerman said it’s what they had to do to get either proposal on the ballot.

“I had preferred that we had one bond for four schools, but I think we have to compromise sometimes,” Bernerman said. “That’s how things get done in government. So sending two bond issues to the voters — we’ll find out what they really think.”

Sending two competing bond proposals to voters was a compromise struck between Mayor Ethan Strimling and Councilor Nicholas Mavodones after the $64 million bond came one vote shy of the supermajority it needed to pass. Six of nine council members, including Brenerman and Strimling, have been vocal supporters of the larger bond, while councilors Jill Duson and Mavodones argued for the smaller one.

Bangor Daily News writer Jake Bleiberg contributed to this report.


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