Forums planned with South Portland council candidates

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SOUTH PORTLAND — Voters will have two opportunities to meet the candidates running for City Council in public forums scheduled ahead of the Nov. 7 election

The South Portland Land Trust will host a forum Oct. 3 from 7-8:30 p.m. in council chambers at City Hall, 25 Cottage Road.

The second forum, also at City Hall’s council chambers, will be hosted by the South Portland/Cape Elizabeth Chamber of Commerce. It will take place Oct. 12, from 7-8:30 p.m.

There are three seats available on the council, but the seat now held by Mayor Patti Smith in District 2 will be the only contested race. Smith can’t run again due to term limits.

Katherine White Lewis of 153 Mussey St. and Christopher Breen of 114 Margaret St. are vying for the District 2 position.  

Lewis is president of the land trust. She has excused herself from all planning meetings to avoid a conflict of interest, according to a news release from Dugan Murphy, program manager of the South Portland Land Trust. 

The two uncontested seats on the council are held by Councilors Claude Morgan and Brad Fox. 

Morgan, of 75 School St., is seeking a second consecutive term in District 1. He was mayor in 2007 while he served a previous three-year term.

Fox is not seeking re-election; Adrian Dowling is unopposed for the District 5 seat. He lives at 80 Brickhill Ave. and is a member of the Planning Board. Dowling also serves as chairman of the Arts and Historic Preservation Committee and represents the city on two Portland International Jetport committees.

“Last year’s debate revealed a great deal about the candidates’ positions on a wide range of environmental issues,” Heather Drake, vice president of the South Portland Land Trust, said in a news release.  “The use of open space and other environmental issues continue to be hot topics in South Portland and in municipalities throughout the nation.

“Taxpayers want to know their candidates’ views, and that is our intent with this forum.”