By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,463)
“We look forward to working with our neighbors and the entire City of Portland to move this project forward in a thoughtful manner,” Jim Brady, told a crowd of about 200 supporters and volunteers this evening at 58 Fore Street. “We were nervous about this but it has worked out well. It was a long process. We still have a lengthy process ahead of us.”
The unofficial returns with only one district not reporting showed the No campaign winning 62.56 % to 37.50% over the Yes Campaign – a landslide. The anti-change activists won no precints in Portland. The “NO”s won at the East End Community School, by a slim 63 votes. The YES campaign members lobbied hard near the school during voting hours with elaborate signs of scenic views that would be lost forever if Question 2 didn’t pass. The voting public wasn’t fooled by the often misleading and totally misguided campaign that has pitted neighbor against neighbor on Munjoy Hill.
The Yes Campaign was an effort by a band of anti-change activists based on Munjoy Hill trying to stop the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street with far-reaching negative consequences for the rest of Portland. Supporters began gathering at a Room With a View on the Portland waterfront just after 6:00 pm. A large screen was set up attached to a tracking system that projects the results of the votes precinct by precinct. As results came up on the screen a cheer erupted from the excited crowd appreciating the trend toward victory everyone was witnessing. Finally, when it became statistically impossible for anyone but the NO campaign to win, the crowd took time to reflect on what this victory meant to the City of Portland and its future. Among other positives, it’s a sign of voters confidence and trust in the city’s planning department, led by Jeff Levine, and his staff of professionals. The planning office and its board was subjected to attacks throughout this process by Soul members.
“A thoughtful vote from an informed public can reinforce your faith in democracy,” said attorney Nathan Smith, of BernsteinShur.