Is this another of city manager Jon Jennings temper tantrums?
He’s been under immense pressure lately – what with trying to find housing for the asylum seekers warehoused at the Portland Expo. This brick thing though – this is big. Huge actually.
But the brick is still in place today.
That is the controversial brick at the seven year old memorial to fallen firefighters outside Central Station on Congress Street.
On a radio show yesterday morning, Jennings said that he wanted his brick removed from the memorial. The target of Jennings’ anger is the intelligent, well-liked and responsible Chris Thompson, president of the local firefighters union. A popular young man. Jennings accused Chris of launching a political fear campaign to incite the activists on Munjoy HIll into opposing Jennings’ budget proposal about retiring Engine 1 on Munjoy Hill.
On the other hand, even Councilor Media Mavadones was extremely generous to Chris in his description of him at a recent city council meeting.
The NIMBY’s of Munjoy Hill have their own special way of rising up against city hall decisions – the rise up against the installation of the narrow gauge railroad at 58 Fore Street years ago will hopefully never happen again. Was Chris Thompson born? The NIMBY’s didn’t need Chris or anyone else to organize them. They know how. The city manager should be grateful he wasn’t here.
However, the narrow gauge plans seem to change just like the weather. Its lease for the museum building ends this October and they are looking for venues willing to warehouse some of their train equipment until better times return. Another source at the railroad said its lease is up the end of August. Who knows?
Now Jennings is charged with the responsibility of finding housing for asylum seekers from the Congo and Angola. Us community of renters know the challenges therein herein – Jennings is finding out that is something to be genuinely angry about. Not at Chris Thompson.- another popular Portland leader who got in his way?