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November 1, 2022 at 6:00 am · · Comments Off on Election day is next week. We encourage you to vote and make your voice heard!

Election day is next week. We encourage you to vote and make your voice heard!

On November 8, 2022, Portland voters will consider 13 ballot questions, consisting of five proposed Citizen’s Initiative questions and eight proposed Portland Charter Commission questions. These 13 questions, an unusually large amount for any one election, would significantly threaten Portland’s long-term viability. Specifically, four of the five Citizen’s Initiative questions, which are sponsored by the Maine chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America, would drive rents up, make it harder to live in Portland, force restaurants to hire fewer workers, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars. They are:

Question B – An Act to Reduce the Number of Short-Term Rentals in Portland: This proposal would restrict short-term rentals, such as Airbnbs, in Portland to only those that are owner-occupied, tenant-occupied, or is one unit of an owner-occupied duplex. Further, it would reduce the cap on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals from 400 to approximately 170. Additionally, it would increase the fees for all short-term rentals.

Question C An Act to Protect Tenants in Portland: This proposal would reduce the allowable increase for cost of living to 70% of CPI annually. Further, this proposal would remove the allowable annual increase due to an increase in property taxes. Additionally, this proposal would increase notice for rent increase and lease terminations from 75 days to 90 days.

Question D – An Act to Eliminate Sub-Minimum Wage, Increase Minimum Wages and Strengthen Protections for Workers: This proposal would raise the minimum wage to $18 per hour on January 1, 2025, while expanding the definition of covered employees/employers to include tax drivers, rideshare drivers, and delivery services. Further, this proposal would impact hazard pay at $27 per hour during declared states of emergency. Additionally, this proposal would eliminate the tip credit by January 1, 2025, so all employees previously eligible for tips would instead be paid $18 per hour.

Question E – An Act to Restrict Cruise Ships in Order to Reduce Congestion and Pollution: This proposal would require cruise ships to obtain a permit from the city that limit the number of passengers who may disembark to no more than 1,000 people on a given day, in aggregate.

A competing referendum question, Question A – An Act to Regulate Short-Term Rentals in Portland and Prohibit Corporate and Absentee Operation of Short-Term Rental Properties, would retain the 400-unit cap on non-owner-occupied short-term rentals, but would limit registration for non-owner-occupied short-term rentals to only local residents (those residing within 20 miles of Portland), single-member LLCs owned by local residents, or units where a local resident has been designated to be available 24 hours per day to respond to complaints about a unit.

Voters will also face eight questions proposed by the Portland Charter Commission’s Amendments to the Portland City Charter. They are:

Question 1 – Preamble and Land Acknowledgement: This amendment would revise the existing preamble and insert an acknowledgement that Portland sits on unceded Wabanaki land.

Question 2 – Governance: This amendment would establish an executive mayor, allow the council to remove or censure the mayor, change from a city manager to a chief administrator, increase the number of city council seats from nine (9) to twelve (12), and make several other changes to governance.

Question 3 – Clean Elections: This amendment would create a municipal clean elections program.

Question 4 – Proportional Ranked-Choice Voting: This amendment would authorize the city to use a proportional ranked-choice voting method for elections in which more than one person is to be elected for a single office.

Question 5 – School Budget Autonomy: This amendment would change the school budget adoption process by transferring school budget adoption authority from the city council to the school board.

Question 6 – Peaks Island Council: This amendment would maintain the ordinance establishing the Peaks Island Council as an elected advisory body to the city council.

Question 7 – Civilian Police Review Board: This amendment would replace the Police Citizen Review Subcommittee with a civilian police review board consisting of nine (9) or more members.

Question 8 – Ethics Commission and Code of Ethics: This amendment would require the City Council to form an independent Ethics Commission and adopt a Code of Ethics recommended by the Ethics Commission.

Election day is next week. We encourage you to vote and make your voice heard, as these questions could affect Portland for years to come. Absentee voting is currently underway. Maine citizens who are registered to vote may use the Maine Absentee Ballot Request service to request an absentee ballot for the November 8, 2022 General Election. Absentee ballots must be received no later than 8:00 p.m. EDT on Election Day.

August 26, 2020 at 3:39 pm · · Comments Off on MEREDA has New Date & Name for Rescheduled “Spring” Conference: The Chamberlain Model – Back to the Future

MEREDA has New Date & Name for Rescheduled “Spring” Conference: The Chamberlain Model – Back to the Future

We are happy to announce that the new date for our rescheduled “Spring” Conference is October 15th!  We are transitioning the event to a virtual program and reworking the content a bit.

MEREDA’s Fall Conference – rescheduled from May 2020

The Chamberlain Model – Back to the Future
October 15, 2020 – 8:00 a.m.- 12:00 p.m.

Virtual Event

Join MEREDA on October 15, 2020 for The Chamberlain Model: Back to the Future — safely presented in a virtual environment via LiveStream 8:00am – 12:00pm

Maine’s favorite son, Joshua Chamberlain, laid the groundwork for Maine’s future in a speech given in 1876 to celebrate America’s Centennial. His vision resonates in today’s pandemic economy and provides stepping stones for all of us as we work to create Maine’s future.

Featured speakers include: Senator Angus King, USM President Glenn Cummings, Ed.D, and historian Earle G. Shettleworth.

Dr. Charles Colgan (former State Economist of Maine and creator of the MEREDA Index) will provide an update on the components of the MEREDA Index, and Kim Hamilton, CEO FocusMaine, will set the stage for a moderated discussion about Maine’s future.

Panelists include Scott Wellman, CFO Puritan Medical Products; Amber Lambke, Founder & CEO Maine Grains; Seth Webber, Principal Berry Dunn; Briana Warner, CEO Atlantic Sea Farms. The panel will be moderated by Andrea Cianchette Maker, Esq. Pierce Atwood, LLP.

Registration for this Event is Now Open!

For more information and to register, please click here.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS: Application has been approved for 3 hours of BROKER and LEGAL continuing education credits. Attendees seeking credits will be required to confirm their virtual attendance by completing an exam based on the material presented. The exam will be embedded on the steaming page below the video and chat window. You’ll be able to fill it out right on the stream page as you are watching or at the end of the program.  Click submit once you have completed the exam.  You must receive a score of 85% in order to receive your credits.

Ticket Prices:
Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $75 ea

January 28, 2020 at 7:10 am · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Recognizes Outstanding Members with Annual Awards

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Recognizes Outstanding Members with Annual Awards

Portland, ME: In a ballroom overflowing with the broad spectrum of Maine’s real estate and development professionals, MEREDA President Gary Vogel singled out five individuals at last week’s annual Forecast Conference. If tasked with building a structure, this quintet certainly would be qualified to do so: an architect, an interiors expert, a City planner, a lawyer and an artisan took the stage. Instead of an assignment, Vogel handed out MEREDA’s Annual Awards to this group responsible for significant and lasting contribution of responsible real estate development in Maine in 2019.

Brian Curley, President of CHA Architecture, received the 2019 Robert B. Patterson, Jr. Founders’ Award, recognizing his distinguished contributions and support of MEREDA as a highly effective volunteer, providing significant leadership and guidance. An active and enthusiastic member of MEREDA’s Board of Directors from 2011 to 2019, Curley served as vice president for four of those years; he also served on the Executive and Conference Committees.

MEREDA awarded this year’s President’s Award to Bruce Jones, recently retired from Creative Office Pavilion, and the MEREDA Board in December of 2019. MEREDA relies heavily on its volunteer board and committee members, and Vogel singled out Jones as an exceptionally dedicated volunteer who contributed with energy on every level. Since joining MEREDA in 2010, Bruce served on the Board of Directors for seven years, as the Vice President for four years, co-chaired the Conference Committee, and served on the Executive Committee.

Each year, MEREDA presents the Public Policy award to an individual whose efforts have had a considerable impact on public policy changes to benefit responsible real estate development in Maine. Jeff Levine, Adjunct Faculty at the Muskie School and MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, took home the 2019 Public Policy award. From his willingness to present at numerous MEREDA events, to his passionate and diligent work on the behalf of the City of Portland, this award is certainly well-deserved.

The Volunteer of the Year Award is given by MEREDA’s current President to those who selflessly and tirelessly give their time, talents, and energy to MEREDA and its efforts. In recognition of their invaluable work on MEREDA’s 2019 Spring Conference, Shannon Richards of Hay Runner and Matt Worthen of Eaton Peabody shared this year’s Award. Shannon and Matt spearheaded the development of the 2019 Spring Conference, which fostered a thought-provoking discussion around the future of housing in Maine. The duo also served as the program’s moderators.

MEREDA congratulates these five outstanding members, and thanks every volunteer whose contributions of time and talent make the association’s continued success possible.

Gary Vogel, MEREDA President, Jeff Levine, Adjunct Faculty at the Muskie School and MIT, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, Shelly R. Clark, MEREDA Vice President of Operations, Matt Worthen, Eaton Peabody, Shannon Richards, Hay Runner, Bruce Jones, recently retired from Creative Office Pavilion, and Brian Curley, CHA Architecture.

September 17, 2018 at 7:00 am · · Comments Off on Join MEREDA for another great “meet-and-greet” opportunity, this time on Portland’s Waterfront!

Join MEREDA for another great “meet-and-greet” opportunity, this time on Portland’s Waterfront!

Another great “meet-and-greet” opportunity, this time on Portland’s Waterfront, you are invited to the Maine Real Estate & Development Association’s (MEREDA’s) highly-anticipated Annual Fall Social on October 25th!

MEREDA’s networking events attract key players in Maine’s real estate industry and provide our members with excellent opportunities to interact with the experts.

Join us on Portland’s waterfront for hors d’oeuvres, spirits, and great conversation with colleagues, friends and other industry professionals for our Annual Networking Fall Social on October 25 from 5:00 – 7:00 PM.

Join us for a cocktail or two, and reconnect with colleagues and friends, both old and new!

Before the official “networking” gets underway, MEREDA will hold its Annual Meeting of the Members beginning at 4:45 PM – Members Only


About the Event:

MEREDA’s Annual Fall Networking Social

October 25, 2018 – 5:00PM to 7:00PM

Hilton Garden Inn, Portland Downtown Waterfront
65 Commercial Street
Portland, ME

Registering for this Event:  click here.

Your RSVP is requested by October 18. Payment is expected at the time of registration. No refunds will be granted to anyone who registers, but fails to attend or who cancels after October 18.

Ticket Prices:

MEREDA Members: $45 each | Non-Members: $60 Each
Prices Increase by $10 after October 18.

MEREDA’s 2018 Annual Fall Networking Social is sponsored by Bangor Savings Bank, J.B. Brown & Sons and Preti Flaherty.

July 26, 2018 at 8:00 am · · Comments Off on Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Appointments to Board of Directors

Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA) Announces Appointments to Board of Directors

Dan Brennan, Director of MaineHousing, and resident of Winslow, and Shawn McKenna of Scarborough, Vice President, Commercial Banking, at Bangor Savings Bank, have been elected to the board of directors of the Maine Real Estate & Development Association (MEREDA), a statewide organization of commercial real estate owners, developers and related service providers.

In April, the Maine Senate unanimously confirmed the nomination of Dan Brennan, a member of MaineHousing’s leadership team, as Director of the $1.7 billion financial institution that serves more than 90,000 people statewide annually.  The Senate vote followed a unanimous vote by the Maine Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research, and Economic Development Committee on Tuesday, April 3. He was nominated by Governor Paul LePage on March 19.  Brennan has been serving as Senior Director of Programs, overseeing departments responsible for creating single and multifamily housing, addressing homelessness, managing Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, and administering the federal Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) as well as the Department of Energy Weatherization Program. Brennan received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Maine in Orono and his Master’s in Business Administration from Thomas College in Waterville. He is currently participating in the Maine Development Foundation’s Leadership Maine program.

MaineHousing is a $1.7 billion financial institution that bridges public and private housing finance, combining them to benefit Maine’s low and moderate-income people. MaineHousing brings millions of new private and federal housing funds to invest in Maine to create safe, affordable, warm housing.

In his role as a vice president and commercial real estate lender, Shawn is a creative individual that is eager to thoroughly understand any idea, product, or concept.   Over the last two decades with Bangor Savings Bank, he has held roles as a commercial underwriter, real estate appraisal review specialist, and commercial portfolio manager.  Shawn’s interest in solving problems, conceiving new concepts, and understanding a borrower’s needs comes in handy when working with a multitude of commercial banking clients.

Outside of the office, Shawn is an avid automobile and outdoor enthusiast that enjoys spending time with his wife Traci and their two French bulldogs, Boston and Una.  Shawn currently serves on MEREDA’s Membership & Marketing Committee.

“Both MaineHousing and Bangor Savings Bank have been great supporters of MEREDA over the years and we are pleased that Dan and Shawn have accepted our invitation to sit on the board.  We look forward to their active participation in furthering MEREDA’s mission of promoting responsible real estate development throughout Maine,”  says Shelly R. Clark, Vice President of Operations for MEREDA.

For further information, please contact MEREDA’s Vice President of Operations, Shelly R. Clark at 207-874-0801 or visit