SOUTH PORTLAND — Councilor Tom Blake has been unanimously nominated by councilors to be the city’s next mayor.
Councilor Brad Fox nominated Blake, a councilor-at-large, at the Nov. 9 City Council workshop to serve the one-year term, which would begin in December. The council will hold a formal vote Monday, Dec. 7.
If elected, it will be Blake’s third term as mayor. During eight years on the council, he was mayor in 2009 and 2013.
Blake will complete final term as city councilor at the end of next year. Councilors are allowed to serve for a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms. On Wednesday afternoon, Blake said 2016 will likely be his last year on the council.
“I’ve always been pretty good at cutting the cord and moving forward,” he said.
Blake will replace Mayor Linda Cohen, who was just elected to a second term on the council after serving one term as mayor.
“Tom is no stranger to the position of mayor, having served as such in the past,” Cohen said Wednesday. “He’ll put his own touches on the position going into a year with a lot on the council’s plate.”
Issues facing the council include development of a new economic development plan; the ongoing effort to implement more environmentally sustainable infrastructure; a lawsuit filed by Portland Pipe Line Corp. that challenges the city’s tar sands ban, and the enactment next March of a 5-cent fee on single-use bags and a ban on polystyrene.
If elected, Blake said Wednesday, “one thing I’ll really focus on next year is getting work done that needs to be done. I want us, as a team, to buckle down. I like progress, moving things forward, and reaching positive conclusions, as long as we do it together.”
South Portland is an “absolutely wonderful city,” that makes serving as mayor a third time even more flattering, Blake said.
“There’s certainly a very humbling feeling, to be able to represent 25,000 people and over 1,000 businesses,” he said. “To be able to represent the community is quite an honor, and it humbles me.”