By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,451)
Election day, Tuesday, November 3rd is two weeks away. The “Souls” of Portland, a band of anti-growth activists on Munjoy Hill are at it again; — spewing misinformation about the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street in an effort to scare Portland voters into supporting Question 2 on the November 3rd ballot – not that the Souls have ever stopped spewing misinformation about the developers’ proposal to breath life into this historic property and turn it into an important asset for the entire city of Portland.
Please vote NO on Question 2 to insure that Portland will continue to move forward into the future – allowing much needed housing development for all incomes.
Serving as media consultant for the “Souls” is Dennis Bailey, of Savvy, Inc., a Portland pr firm known as the “go to place” if you want to run a “dirty tricks” campaign according to local politicians and others famililar with its history and reputation. About ten years ago, Bailey appeared before the state Commission on Government Ethics & Election Practices on charges a website he hosted was composed of false information. Referred to as The Cutler File, it targeted attorney Eliot Cutler, who was then a candidate for Maine Governor. At first Bailey denied he was a creator of the website, but later recanted. He admitted he was a co-creator of the website that contained “false” information and “probably violated Maine election laws.” Bailey’s penalty was never made public. Currently he is the public relations person for NovaStarCruises..com out of Eliot, It’s the two year old ferry that runs from Portland to Nova Scotia during the tourist season. Bailey lives on Munjoy Hill.
Fast forward. Now the “Souls” are promoting the absurd claim that the developer, Jim Brady of CPB2, is ignoring the recommendation of Portland’s Historic Preservation Board and Portland Landmarks. Not only is it absurd, but it’s not possible! Brady has always been remarkably aligned with many aspects of the district nomination of the city’s HP board, managed by Deb Andrews. He has always accepted that 7 of the 12 historic buildings should be preserved under HP guidelines. This despite the well known fact that adhering to HP guidelines can be vastly more expensive, time consuming and limiting in creativity than otherwise.
Brady has recommended the removal of the less historically significant and less sound building # 1. This would reveal the facade of the most historically significant building of the Portland Company site. Building 2 was built by visionary John Poore. The elimination of building # 1 from the property would make it possible to create a public plaza – celebrating the historic core of the almost ten acres of the valuable property on the Portland waterfront.
Bailey is also claiming that CPB2 is refusing to abide by the city’s just enacted Inclusionary Zoning policy. That provides that a certain percentage of large housing projects be set aside for middle-income housing. Brady and his company had already declared their willingness to adhere to this policy should the city enact it and it became retroactive to include 58 Fore Street.
Although Bailey tries mightly to hide behind his computer screen because of his reputation, his finger prints are everywhere in this anti-growth campaign How far will Dennis Bailey go in his sometimes unethical style of communication to fool Portland voters into believing what he wants them to believe?
How desperate will the “Souls” get?