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I’m Mike Hurley and I am running for the Belfast City Council. Even without anyone else for you to choose from I am still running. Four years ago I was elected to the council after two years out of city government and these four years have been a productive time. I came back primarily because the economy locally was not in good shape. I believed then and I still do that the city should be an active supporter to stoke the fire of job creation and get Belfast moving. The City can’t start jobs but we can support the essentials that are the foundation of a healthy local economy; first by hiring the city economic development director Thomas Kittredge and that has been a tremendous success, helping to underwrite the fledgling and now vibrant Main Street program Our Town Belfast which brought stable energized support and organization to the downtown, supporting the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce was also critical to creating a joint force that has shaped and built the success we are seeing today. We helped make the soil fertile and so much has taken root in the last four years. I still want more.
I grew up in a big working class family torn by divorce with my saint of a mother struggling and working four jobs at a time to provide her six children a home, my grandparents worked in tire factories, cleaned houses, worked in factories and on the railroad. I know what it is to be poor and fight to pay bills. I know how a paycheck makes a difference in how we live. So I’ve had a special place in my heart to make it better here for people and for their children hopefully to have good jobs to stay or to come back home. I feel we are making progress on this front. But I want more.
But we can’t just work- work- work. All along I have supported things that make it fun to live here: The Belfast Street Party, Celtic Celebration , Belfast Summer Nights, The Farmers Market, New Years By the Bay, Art Walks, Belfast Free Range Music Festival, and so many great events put on by an army of groups and volunteers. Belfast is famous for having something going on all the time. I want more.
The council and city has had some great successes: working with Front Street Shipyard to make their entry here a possibility and a success, building the Harbor Walk, and doing the many years of complicated work to both find a permanent home for the Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad and starting on the Rail Trail. We still have more to do.
Here’s what I promise to keep working on for Belfast
· Finding the best solution for the challenge of the organization and funding our schools,
· Bringing small private business, residential, and offices to the Belfast Maskers/ Railroad Depot property on the waterfront. We will continue to work on this complex redevelopment and I promise to do my best to “get it right.”
· One of my first efforts as council member was the failed attempt to bring an event center, performance space, or auditorium to Belfast. We still need a space for celebrations, concerts, events, meetings, conferences: I’ll keep trying and I hope the council will help find a solution for this missing piece of Belfast’s social and business life.
· Building the Passy Rail Trail.
· I promise to listen to the people of Belfast and work hard to make your voices heard.
· There’s more but the list could get way too long.
When I ran for Council my signs had flames printed on top of my name. Why? I am on fire for Belfast. I have been for more than thirty years. I’m older, I am wiser, I am definitely more tired, but I still want more for Belfast and I am still on fire. I am asking you to please vote for me to show your support. I’ll do my best to not let you down. Thank you. Mike Hurley