Portland Voters May Consider 2 Citizen Initiatives, After All

Aug 11, 2017

Portland officials say it’s possible that two citizen-initiated referendums will appear on the ballot this November, after all.

Groups that gathered signatures in support of rent stabilization and rezoning initiatives were initially told that, due to an error by the city clerk’s office, there wouldn’t be enough time to hold public hearings and submit the questions to the public 90 days before the election.

Portland spokesperson Jessica Grondin says the city has now discovered that the 90-day requirement might never have actually gone into effect because it never went before the voters, as required by the Maine Constitution.

“So, if that is the case, and again we’re still researching it just to make sure everything is 100 percent official, if that is the case then that would mean that it was void and that the 60-day requirement is still in effect,” she says.

That would allow just enough time for the initiatives to appear on the ballot this November.

Grondin says the City Council will hold a workshop as soon as possible to discuss the findings and, if necessary, consider other options for getting the two initiatives on the ballot.