Letter: Under-40 renters shouldn't be Portland councilors

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Pursuant to the Portland City Charter, the only requirement to be a city councilor is that an individual be a resident of the city for a period of at least three months. I find that irresponsible and unconscionable. An outsider could move to Portland and be elected with “outside money.”

The following should be required to become a city councilor: be a resident of Portland for at least five years, be a U.S. citizen, be a registered voter, be a home owner, not have any felony convictions, disallow “outside campaign funding” and most importantly, be at least 40 years of age.

It is extremely concerning having young and inexperienced people elected to the City Council. My city councilor is only 25 years old. Owning a couple of business suits and being “classroom smart” does not qualify an individual nor substitute for years of life experience. These young people vote on our $330 million combined budget and some don’t even own their own home. Every financial decision that is made affects every homeowners’ property taxes.

The City Charter needs to be changed with updated requirements to be a city councilor. Where are the quality experienced candidates like James Cohen, Nathan Smith, Jim Cloutier, Tom Kane, George Campbell?

Janet Daigle
Portland

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