Thursday, October 27, 2005

City Council District 5: Brian Dearborn

Published in the Current

SOUTH PORTLAND (Oct 27, 2005): Brian Dearborn, a former mayor of South Portland, is running for the District 5 seat on the City Council, to bring “common sense” to the council.

A lifelong resident of South Portland, he ran Bri’s Variety in Cash Corner for 28 years, and has served one term on the School Board and two on the City Council, including one year as mayor in the mid-1990s.

He is now an assistant manager at the Falmouth Wal-Mart getting back into local politics because of “the biggest issue in South Portland with everybody I’ve talked to: spending.”

He wants the city to be affordable for senior citizens and young families. “Spending is out of control,” he said.

Though he wouldn’t be specific about how he would reduce spending, he suggested city and school departments combine purchasing power to save money, and consolidate services such as transportation, maintenance and finance. He supports regionalizing services, but only after the city has streamlined its own operations.

He wants to update zoning to reduce the burden on owners of older homes on smaller lots, who must now seek extra approvals when making changes to their homes, because they no longer conform with the city’s zoning laws.

Dearborn also wants the councilors to be “more receptive to people,” and adhere more closely to the council’s standing rules of order. “They have to disagree respectfully,” he said.

He also supports education, particularly the students in “the middle” – not the top 10 percent of the class or the bottom 10 percent.

And Dearborn wants the city to consider traffic more carefully when considering development proposals, citing expected increased traffic on Broadway from the U.S. Postal Service distribution center and the Wal-Mart Supercenter project. From where he lives, in Country Gardens, “we’ve got to cross five lanes of traffic – if we can get across.”

Dearborn, a dog owner, thinks the ad-hoc dog control committee “has done a good job,” though he has what he termed a “personal” problem with allowing dogs to be off-leash: Once his own dog needed 21 stitches after being attacked by an off-leash dog that was not under full voice control.

“If the city’s going to put constraints on dogs, they should have a dog park,” he said. “There’s got to be a compromise there somewhere.”