The first of the city’s five District meetings was held last night at the East End Community School. The well-attended meeting was an opportunity for residents of District I to meet city officials, elected and non-elected, and ask questions. The meeting was hosted by Councilor Kevin Donoghue. An impressive contingent of city employees attended -from the library, fire department, public services, traffic department. etc.
Most of the 1 1/2 hour meeting was devoted to discussions of how to make the Hill more accessible for walkers. One area of concern is the intersection at North and Walnut Streets. It’s a three way intersection rather than a four way intersection. There was a suggestion that Walnut Street become one way – going down hill. It could be tried for one year and see how it works for area residents. The matter will come up before the Transportation Committee on November 16th at 5:30 of which Councilor Donoghue is a member.
Hoyt Hel said there is not enough light on Cumberland Avenue between North and Lafayette Streets. There needs to be more light because 4 vehicles have been broken into there recently – in front of his home. A city official said he’d look into it.
A Bayside resident asked if there were any news on the Bayside Village, a development that has been stalled for several years now. City manager Joe Gray said that Key Bank is in negotiations with one party who has expressed interest in the purchase of the property.
Peaks Island resident Chris Hoppin asked what is the status of the relocation of the air craft carrier JF Kennedy to Portland Harbor. He was told that the city council does not support the idea. A new group appears to have developed that supports this goal.
Toward the end of the meeting, the city manager was asked how he believed the city of Portland would be affected by the new “regime” about to take over in Augusta. “We need to find out who are going to be his new commissioners and get some sense of what his budget will be. The new budget will be submitted in mid-February. The three areas of greatest interest are: state revenue sharing to local communities, general assistance reimbursement and state aid for schools,” said Gray following the meeting.