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Portland residents will have 13 questions to vote on in November

It's a big ballot for Portland residents in November with eight recommendations from the Portland Charter Commission and five citizen initiatives.

PORTLAND, Maine — The Portland Charter Commission has been working for about a year and has presented its recommendations to the city council. Now, those recommendations are eight questions on the November ballot.

One of them is the question of whether to restructure the city government.

"We would see many changes within the governance structure of the city," Portland Mayor Kate Snyder said. 

Snyder shared with her constituents that she is not in favor of these changes and that she will not be seeking reelection next year.

"My position on the proposed governance change is not steeped in my own self-interest," she said.

The proposed changes would add a year to the term of the mayor and give the mayor veto power. It would also add three members to the city council, from nine to 12 people.

"There's always improvements to be made, but I think this way to go about restructuring is not the way to go," Snyder added.

Other than the eight questions put on the ballot from the Portland Charter Commission, there are also five citizen initiates. That includes Question D, which asks if voters are in favor of eliminating tipped credit wage and increasing the minimum wage.

Restaurant workers said this would be bad for the industry.

"Workers oppose tip credit elimination because we in the industry understand the unintended consequences that come with this," a tipped worker said in a news conference on Tuesday.

Tipped workers add that those consequences include increased counter service and automation at restaurants, which would eliminate half the staff in a full-service restaurant.

They said it would also mean prices are restaurants would go up.

It's not just the employees who oppose this. Some restaurant owners do too.

David Turin, owner of David's Restaurant, said the tip credit affects not only the restaurant industry but also food delivery, ride shares, and other services.

All 13 questions will be on the ballot on Nov. 8, and Snyder is reminding voters to do their research before heading to the polls.

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