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Mayors: Cities are Maine's economic drivers, need more state support

5:47 PM, Nov 6, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Mayors of Maine's largest cities were told Wednesday that as new jobs finally come to Maine, most of those jobs will be in their cities.

The members of the Mayors Coalition got that word from former state economist Charles Colgan. The coalition represents the 11 largest towns and cities plus the city of Gardiner. It was formed to give the bigger cities a louder voice in Augusta.

Mayors say their communities are the key to the state's economic future, and they're hoping state government will be more sensitive to the needs of the cities. The Mayors have spent much of their time over the past year trying to stop cuts to state municipal revenue sharing. Those cuts, proposed by Gov. Paul LePage, were scaled back by the Legislature but revenue sharing is still less this year than it was last year. The mayors say they're hoping to at least keep revenue sharing where it is now -- and avoid any further reduction.

As to those job statistics, Colgan said job growth will continue at a slow pace, with Maine not expected to recover to pre-recession employment levels until 2017. He said nearly all that growth will occur in and near the cities and largest towns.

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