PORTLAND — Embattled City Councilor Dan Skolnik has changed his mind and will seek re-election in District 3.
“Based on events, I am putting my money where my mouth is,” Skolnik said, when reached Monday afternoon. “And I have a big mouth.”
Skolnik has been making headlines recently by going public with his concerns about how he is being treated by his fellow councilors, whom he contends have effectively removed him from office by refusing to communicate with him.
Mayor Nick Mavodones and Councilor Jill Duson have received the brunt of Skolnik’s criticism. Skolnik called Duson a “spectacular dunce” and he claimed that councilors don’t take their jobs seriously.
On Monday, Skonlick said he was sorry for making that remark about Duson. When asked if he planned on issuing a personal apology to Duson, he replied, “I just did.”
Skolnik said he went public with his concerns after waiting nine weeks to get responses to several e-mail messages asking the mayor to place certain initiatives on the council’s agenda.
Before ending his first term in office, Skolnik said he would like to begin a technology push to stream council meetings online and archive them for later viewing. He said he would also like to send a resolution to the state Legislature regarding gun control.
So far, those efforts have fallen short, he said.
“They haven’t told me why they won’t acknowledge my existence,” he said. “They’re just pretending I’m dead. They won’t even look at me in the meeting.”
None of that animosity, however, was on display at Monday night’s meeting. The council unanimously supported a resolution honoring military service members, which will be placed on plaque at the Portland International Jetport – a Skolnik initiative.
Skolnik took out nomination papers for the District 3 seat, but never returned them with the required signatures. The 42-year-old self-described “not very good” attorney said that was because he had a busy year ahead, trying to launch an Internet-based memorabilia business.
But on Monday Skolnik said a lack of support from the Democratic Party establishment in Portland also played a role in his decision. Democrats, he said, were planning to back Will Mitchell, the son of gubernatorial candidate Libby Mitchell, for the seat.
“I thought I was being a team player for the other Democrats,” he said.
Former City Councilor Ed Suslovic is also seeking the District 3 seat.
City Clerk Linda Cohen said Skolnik has officially declared his candidacy, which means voters only have to write in his name, rather than his name and street address.
Skolnik said despite his flip-flop and recent outbursts, he doesn’t believe he will have a hard time convincing voters he is a credible candidate.
“I care about this city. I care about this council,” Skolnik said. “I’m blunt, but I’m sincere.”
He added, “I’m not afraid to rock the boat. And my goodness, does the boat need to be rocked.”
Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Portland City Councilor Dan Skolnik says he has decided to seek re-election as a write-in candidate.