By Carol McCracken (Post # 840)
Norman Olsen resigned two days ago from his position in the LePage administration said a front page article in “The Portland Press Herald” yesterday, July 21st. The article said that Olsen did not believe he was getting the support he should from the Governor in his role as Marine Resources Commissioner.
In a three page resignation, Mr. Olsen asserted that the Governor had lashed out at Portland because the city does not support him politically. According to the statement, the Governor instructed the former Commissioner there was to be no more collaboration with the City of Portland to develop measures to return groundfishing boats to Maine. Mr. Olsen additionally claimed the Governor said: “Portland was against him and we will not work that city. Rather than work with Portland, we’ll build a new port somewhere.”
According to the same statement, the Governor told the former Commissioner that would be no more collaboration with: the Director of the federal National Marine Fisheries Service to secure emergency federal assistance that acould help return the floot to Maine and no collaboration with the federal government to jointly manage resources in federal waters. Instead, the Governor instructed his deputy legal counsel to find a way for Maine to supersede federal authority outside the three-maile limit.
Mayor Nick M. Mavodones, Jr. responded to the Olsen assertions quickly. The Mayor wrote a letter to the Governor requesting a meeting to discuss those statements “as well as the future of the city and state’s combined efforts to develop and enact policies to help restore the state’s groundfishing fleet.”
The Mayor in the same letter asked the Governor to “clear this matter up publicly by reassuring local business owners and employees that the economic engine of Portland is, and will continue to be, an important priority for your administration, and by meeting with city officials and members of the groundfishing industry to discuss ways we can work together to help bring our groundfishing industry fleet and the jobs and economic opportunity that comes with them back to Maine.”