Mayor Taking Steps to Improve Business Climate in Portland; Announcement to Come Next Month

Mayor Brennan: "I intend to keep my campaign promise to improve the business environment in Portland."

By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,008)

While the Mayor did not want to be specific, he did acknowledge that there are problems within the city’s planning and licensing offices. That includes the office that issues food permits to new businesses – many of whom are angry at how they have been treated by city staff over the past few years.

In a telephone conversation this afternoon, Mayor Brennan said that since January he has been interviewing several consultants with the purpose of hiring one of them to “work with the planning and licensing” offices to review issues that have come to his attention and other city officials. Within the next month, the Mayor said he expects to have an announcement on the subject.

Lee Farrington, owner/chef of the popular FIGA restaurant, Congress Street said upon hearing the news: “I’m thrilled the city is looking into a way to assist the small business owner. If there had been a list of what I had to do to get through the process, I’d have opened months earlier. Some writen guidelines would have helped.”

“I campaigned on improving the business environment in Portland and I intend to keep that promise,” said Mayor Brennan.

Tammy Munson, Director of the Inspectors’ Office, did not return a phone call to mhn.com

editor’s note: During the four years that mhn.com has existed, the editor has heard from many small, food businesses who’ve been extremely frustrated with their experience with the city, but many have refused to become public because of fear of retaliation from the city.