Sunday, August 26, 2007

Task Force to Look at Civic Center Future

The Portland City Council has established a Joint Task Force to plan for the future of the Cumberland County Civic Center on Free Street.

At its August 20th meeting, the Council authorized an agreement between Cumberland County, the Civic Center, the Portland Pirates and the City. Each party will contribute $44,000 to a planning study to be done by Janet Marie Smith of Struever Bros, Eccles & Rouse. She and her firm are responsible for the renovations of Fenway Park in Boston and Camden Yards in Baltimore.

Smith will conduct Phase I of a comprehensive Study and Report, at a cost of approximately $175,000, on the future of the Civic Center, A separate contract for the study will be executed by the firm and the Civic Center, and the four-party Task Force will oversee the progress of the work. Each party will have two representatives on the Task Force, which will be chaired by the Chair of the Board of the Civic Center.

A public forum on the future of the Civic Center will be held on September 25th.

City Manager Appoints Island-Neighborhood Administrator

Portland City Manager Joseph Gray has selected Mike Murray of Gorham as the City’s Island/Neighborhood Administrator.

Murray, who was one of more than 170 applicants, is a former member of the City’s Parks & Recreation Department and was the Downtown District Manager from 1999-2002. The Island/Neighborhood Administrator is the primary point of contact for island and neighborhood associations, and works with City Councilors to address citizen requests for services.

Murray, who has a B.A. in Public Administration form the University of Maine, succeeds Tom Fortier who left Portland to become the Town Manager of Richmond, Maine. Murray officially begins his duties on August 27th, although he will be joining Mayor, Councilors and City staff on their annual visit to the islands to meet with the residents and discuss issues of interest and concern to them. He is currently the General Manager of Conroy-Tulley Crawford Funeral Homes.


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