Community Newsletter

Issue #344

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In this Issue:
Photo: South Portland Parks hosts multilingual hike at Hinckley Park.

Upcoming City Council Meetings and Update

Tuesday, October 10 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (IN PERSON)
Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 PM - City Council Meeting (IN PERSON)
Note: There is no City Council Meeting on October 3.

See the City Calendar for all scheduled City Council and board meetings + locations/links to participate. All agendas and packet material can be found on BoardDocs. This material will be posted by 4:30 PM on Friday the week prior to the scheduled meeting. 

Update on City Council Meetings: Effective September 12, the public may make comments during City Council meetings in person only. There will be no regular hybrid/Zoom option to comment, but occasional hybrid meetings may be scheduled.
We invite South Portland community members to participate in Council meetings Tuesday evenings at 6:30 PM at City Hall (25 Cottage Rd.) If you cannot make a meeting but would like to express your thoughts on an agenda item, you may
contact your City Councilors.
If you would like to watch a meeting live (no commenting option), you can tune to SPC-TV (Spectrum Channel 2 or 3) or watch the livestream online at: https://bit.ly/SPCTV_Live

If you cannot watch live, a recording of every Council meeting is available starting a few days after the meeting at: https://bit.ly/SPCTV_Videos

November Election Updates

 Candidate Forums - The City is aware of the following upcoming candidate forums and interview series that the public may be interested in participating in to learn more about candidates running for City Council and School Board seats in the November election. The City does not organize or sponsor these events, nor does it take a position on the support of specific candidates, but shares this information in the interest of public information and voter education. For more information, visit the website of the hosting organization.
City Council Candidate Forum
Hosted by the League of Women Voters of Maine
25 Cottage Road, City Hall (Council Chambers)
October 2, 2023 | 6-7:30 PM
For more information: https://www.lwvme.org/civicrm-event/1695 
City Council Candidate Forum
Hosted by South Portland Land Trust
25 Cottage Road, City Hall (Council Chambers)
October 16, 2023 | 6-8 PM
For more information: https://www.southportlandlandtrust.org/upcoming-events/2023/10/16/city-council-candidate-forum 

Candidate Interview Series
The South Portland, Cape Elizabeth Community Chamber will be posting a series of interviews with candidates on their Facebook page.
 Absentee Ballots - The City Clerk would also like to remind residents that absentee ballots may now be requested for the November 7, 2023 election. You may request your absentee ballot online here: https://apps.web.maine.gov/cgi-bin/online/AbsenteeBallot/index.pl  Ballots will be mailed when they arrive (around October 7). At that time, in-person absentee voting will be available at City Hall during normal hours of operation. The last day to request an absentee ballot without special circumstances is Thursday, November 2.

Sample ballots will be available soon, and a copy will be posted on the City's website. Reminder: for this election, all voters will receive the same ballot style, and all district races appearing on your ballot may be voted on, as all City Council and School Board members are voted at-large and not by district.

Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Event - October 14

Call the Public Works Department at (207) 767-7635 or visit https://www.southportland.org/departments/public-works/hhw for more information.

Dog Licensing & Resources

Dog Licensing: Dog Licensing for the 2024 year begins October 15! All dogs must be licensed per state law. Dog licenses expire annually on December 31. Licenses can be renewed online. Click here for information and the link to renew online.

On- and Off-leash Hours at Willard Beach: October 1 through April 30, dogs must be on leash between 10 AM and 3 PM. During these months, dogs may be off-leash between 6 AM and 10 AM, and between 3 PM and 9 PM. All rules must be followed. Learn more here.

Resources for Dog Owners - This web page includes a compilation of resources for dog owners, including information about why it's important to always "Scoop the Poop."

Comp Plan: Upcoming Engagement Opportunities

Learn more at southportland2040.com.


October Events

Sunday, October 8 - Fire Prevention Week / Fire Department Open House. 10 AM - 1 PM at the Cash Corner Fire Station, 360 Main St.

Monday, October 9 - South Portland Human Rights Commission hosts the City's Indigenous Peoples Day event. 3-5 PM at the Redbank Community Center, 95 Macarthur Cir W.

Friday, October 13 Coffee & Climate: How to Talk About Sustainability. 9-10 AM (Virtual via Zoom). 

Join in for this month’s Coffee & Climate: How to Talk About Sustainability! John Hagan from Our Climate Common will share strategies for effective communication when it comes to talking with neighbors, friends, and colleagues about climate change and sustainability. Learn tips to better navigate meaningful conversations and engage more people in climate action.

Saturday, October 21 - Zombie Dash. 5:30-6:30 PM (Mild) and 6:30-7:30 PM (Thrill Seekers) at Hinckley Park. Registration in advance is required.

Saturday, October 28 - Trunk or Treat. 11 AM - 3 PM at the South Portland Community Center.

Willard Beach Update

Willard Beach Water Quality Updates:
  • This year, the City extended its swimming water quality testing past the Maine Healthy Beaches regular Labor Day end date, through the end of September.
  • As is standard practice for communities participating in the Maine Healthy Beaches program, the City will discontinue its monitoring and reporting of swimming water bacteria levels during the off-season. Testing through Maine Healthy Beaches (and the related flag system, signage and postings) will resume around Memorial Day.
  • The City’s Water Resource Protection department will continue its process of gathering information and taking steps to improve water quality in our waterways and at the beach.
  • Remember, when it rains, it’s poor™. If there has been a significant or long-duration rain event, water at Willard Beach may be contaminated. Contact with the water is not advised for 24 hours after a heavy rain.
  • Avoid playing around the stormwater outfall near the main Willard Beach entrance, as discharge from the pipe can contain elevated bacteria levels.
  • Check out these fun and informative Facebook videos from South Portland Parks and Rec for more information about Willard Beach water quality:
™Upper Merrimack Watershed Association

City News & Updates

  • Thank you to everyone who attended last week's very successful Age Friendly Resource Fair! It was fantastic to see so many community members learning about services and resources from the dozens of vendors who attended.
  • Our Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department hosted its first ever multilingual hike this month at Hinckley Park (pictured at top), and it was a wonderful event. Thank you to all who joined for some wonderful time connecting and exploring in nature.
  • Alert from the Finance department: Please note that the cutoff time for new vehicle registrations, including private sales, is 15 minutes prior to closing (4:45 Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, and 5:45 Tuesdays).
  • Alert from South Portland Bus Service: The Fare Deal half-price fares promotion ends September 30. Fares return to full price October 1.

Work With Us!

Join our team! The City of South Portland offers competitive pay and a robust selection of employee benefits, including an excellent health plan with affordable family coverage, matched retirement options, dental, vision, life, income protection, long term disability, flexible spending accounts, a condensed workweek for many positions, and more!

The City is proud of its talented and dedicated workforce and provides employees with a strong team environment; stability; a positive, family-friendly workplace where work/life needs are valued and supported; and the support, encouragement and tools for successful careers. 

The City values diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and embraces sustainable operations. Consider a job with the City of South Portland!

Coming Up at the Library

The South Portland Library regularly holds fun and engaging events for all ages. Check out books...and all the library has to offer!
Get connected with South Portland Schools! Stay up-to-date with SPSD news, School Board meetings, sporting events and more at: https://www.spsd.org/

Calling all SPHS Red Riots Alumni!
SPHS Alumni are welcome to join the new SPHS Alumni Network! This will allow alumni to reconnect with our schools, be invited to more events on campus, and be able to share life experiences with current students through career exploration activities.  SPHS Alumni can sign up here, or reach out to Gretchen McCloy (mccloygr@spsdme.org) or Bryna Latham (lathambr@spsdme.org) for more info.  

Conservation Corner

Submitted by Barbara Dee, Chair of the Conservation Commission
Hello, my name is Shara Dee and I'm very happy to serve as the City of South Portland's Communications Officer!

I'd love to hear your feedback on our newsletter and other City communications, so feel free to send me a note any time at news@southportland.org.
The City of South Portland Community E-Newsletter includes information about City sponsored events, projects, and special announcements from South Portland's non-profit community. It is a compilation of the best available information at the time of publication. Events are subject to change without notice in the time between publication of this e-newsletter and the actual event. To send information to be considered for inclusion into this newsletter, send to news@southportland.org.
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