By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,420)
“Portland’s Future” is holding an informational meeting on Tuesday, September 22 at Bernstein Shur, 100 Middle Street, 5th Floor in the West Tower at 5:30 pm. It’s intended to recruit volunteers and brief those interested in the importance of defeating Question 2 – an anti-Portland effort – on the November 3rd ballot.
The “Souls” of Portland, a band of NIMBY’s based on Munjoy Hill, have devoted themselves to defeating the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street by CPB2, a development company, managed by Jim Brady. The almost ten acres of valuable waterfront property was sold to Brady by Phin Sprague, Jr., of Portland Yacht Services, for redevelopment two years ago.
The poorly written referendum proposed by the Souls would, if passed, pit neighbor against neighbor with conflict over what constitutes blocking a view and what does not. The potential for court battles are not out of the realm of possibilities!
Adding a flag pole to a front yard or a porch to a home could be construed by the proposed Task Force as blocking a view and therefore denied. If the economically vital EIMSKIP, shippers, on the waterfront had been subjected to the scrutiny of the Souls, it could have been scrapped. Most of the Souls campaign against the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street has been based on insinuation and misinformation rather than on the facts. Misinformation that the Souls hope will scare voters into believing this is a bad idea for Portland, rather than the amazing asset it will be for Portland.
The short-sighted Souls approach is an insult to the educated and experienced planning staff at city hall. Portland stands to lose jobs, diverse housing and a strong economic tax base if this anti-Portland referendum is passed on election day. Some of the Souls are the same visionless group that failed in their opposition to keep the popular and child-friendly Maine Narrow Gauge Museum and Railroad from its current location at 58 Fore Street – NIMBY’s now on steroids!
As Orlando deLogue, former City Councilor, has pointed out – this is much more than about ‘scenic views’ on Munjoy Hill. Question 2 affects all of Portland. The Souls have “missed the larger picture…It’s a city that meets an array of regional needs…it needs a growing tax base to sustain itself.” This referendum is about much more than the views from Munjoy Hill; it’s about the entire city of Portland and its future growth. (Please visit Post # 2,377 herein for the fuller text of deLogue’s comments.)
“Portland’s Future” is a PAC that formally introduced itself on August 19th, Post # 2,392, that can be read herein. It’s purpose is to defeat Question 2 on the November 3rd ballot.
You are invited to attend this meeting to find out the truth behind the referendum and how you can help defeat Question 2 on November 3rd at the ballot box. It’s an opportunity for the public to play an important role in seeing that this redevelopment goes from the drawing board to a realty! If you can attend, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP.
(editor’s note:) The October 2015 issue of MAINE has an depth article “A City on the Edge,” featuring Casey Prentice, one of the three members of CPB2LLC, along with photographs. Not to be missed!