Friday, May 12, 2006

Bloggers Bring New Dimension to Local Political Scene

Comments by Portland School Committee member Stephen Spring on his web log became the topic of a Portland City Council workshop on May 8th when City Councilor Jill Duson asked if the School Committee members who voted against the School Committee budget had issued a ‘minority report’. (Four Green Party members on the officially non-partisan School Committee had voted against the school budget in a 5-4 vote.)

School Committee Chair Ellen Alcorn told the City Council that there was no consensus among the dissenters as to their reasons for voting against the budget, and so a ‘minority report’ was not possible.

Spring and several Green Independent Party members who are running for local office recently started their own web logs to get their views into the open. Portland Green Party Chair Kevin Donoghue is using his blog ( to promote his campaign against District 1 City Councilor Will Gorham. Other Green Party candidates with web logs include David Marshall (District 2 City Council) and Kevin Gardella (at-large School Committee).
Duson said that she thought it was ‘odd’ for a public official to put his views on a blog instead of bringing it before the official body. Spring, however, has said that there is no forum for the minority on the School Committee to express its views, hence his comments independent of the board.

Spring has proposed several ideas on his blog ( to cut the school budget and save energy as well. (See below.)


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