Thursday, August 11, 2005

Dogs to be election issue

Published in the Current

SOUTH PORTLAND (Aug 11, 2005): Dogs are shaping up to be an election issue in South Portland, with a proponent of dogs on Willard Beach planning to run against a dog-control advocate for the City Council District 1 seat.

David Bourke, who has asked the police department to enforce literally the city ordinance's requirement that dogs not on leashes be "at heel," has taken out nominating papers for the seat being vacated by David Jacobs.

Also taking out papers was Claude Morgan, president of the South Portland Dog Owners Group, who has worked to revise city laws to allow dogs in public spaces.

Paul Nixon, who failed to defeat incumbent Larry Bliss for a Statehouse seat last year, has also taken out papers for the seat. He is in his second term on the city's Planning Board.

For District 2, R. Anton Hoecker has taken out papers, as has incumbent Thomas Maietta.

For District 5, Brian Dearborn, a member of the Community Development Advisory Committee, has taken out papers to run against incumbent James Hughes, who has also taken out papers to run for what would be his second term.

For School Board, incumbent Chairman Mark Reuscher has taken out papers to run again, and William Harris, a member of the Conservation Commission, has as well. Two seats are vacant. Incumbent Lori Bowring Michaud had not taken out papers as of Wednesday.

For the Portland Water District seat representing South Portland and Cape Elizabeth, incumbent John Brady has taken out nominating papers.

Nominating papers are now available from the city clerk's office. Completed forms can be filed no sooner than Aug. 29 but no later than Sept. 12, for the Nov. 8 election.

Clarification Aug. 16:
The position held by David Bourke about dogs' access to public spaces was improperly characterized in last week's issue, in a Page 5 article about candidates for City Council. On Aug. 8, at the City Council workshop, Bourke reversed his earlier position. He now supports the proposal of a city task force studying the issue, which would change the dogs ordinance and then provide enforcement of the changed law.