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Mayor invites Portland residents to discuss issues, policies

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Mayor invites Portland residents to discuss issues, policies

PORTLAND — Mayor Michael Brennan will host an informal public discussion of city policies and issues on Thursday evening, the first of what could be an ongoing series of such forums.

"This is a bit of an experiment, and we're still trying to think through the format," Brennan said Monday. "But we'd like to try to continue (the discussions). I have a lot of opportunity to talk with the public in structured settings, but this is deliberately unstructured."

Dubbed "Meet The Mayor," the forum will include a presentation by Brennan on some of the city's major priorities, including implementation of its economic development plan; Portland ConnectED, a community coalition to improve education for city students from early childhood to adulthood; and a city initiative to create healthy and sustainable food systems.

Following the presentation, Brennan will invite members of the public to share their opinions and ask questions about issues affecting the city. They may range from large-scale projects to "nuts-and-bolts issues," he said, "such as traffic and street paving. I hope we can spend a little time discussing where the city should be placing more attention."

Brennan noted that large challenges loom for the city, including the continued loss of state revenue-sharing, controlling property taxes, finding a permanent site for the Portland Adult Education Program, and the proposed $71 million renovation of five elementary schools.

Meet The Mayor is scheduled for July 11, from 5-6:30 p.m., in Room 209 of City Hall.

William Hall can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or whall@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @hallwilliam4.