Peaks Island Council Considers Future Without Itself; Major Question Unanswered.


Looking at Peaks Island From Munjoy Hill; Ft. Gorges at Left

By Carol McCracken (Post # 576)

The Peaks Island Council discussed the future of the Island and its relation to Portland last night amid uncertainity on many counts. The PIC was formed as an advisory body to the Portland City Council and as an alternative to its failed secession effort. Its task is to advise Portland of the unique needs of this Island community – needs it says are different from communities on the Portland mainland. Soon the PIC will be dissolving because none of the current seven council members will be returning to office; they’ve resigned or will not be up for re-election – largely because they believe that Portland has been unresponsive to their unique needs.

Under brief discussion last night was the concept of a “village.” In this scenario, Portland would collect the taxes and then based upon a prearranged formula, return a certain percentage to Peaks for the Village to disburse for the responsibilities it has previously agreed to administer. It could be public safety. Or something else. A specific step the PIC decided upon was for each councilor to interview someone from another village to determine the good, the bad and the ugly of that form of government.

Councilor Rob Tiffany asked the $64,000 question: “Why would Portland agree to this Village idea?” A question for which no councilor had an answer. Chair Michael Richards emailed the city on September 3rd, requesting a meeting between Portland and the PIC to discuss the future of Peaks Island. As Richards reminded the councilors, not much time has elapsed since that inquiry. Still Tiffany’s unanswered question hung low over the workshop. Why?

The PIC meets again on Sepember 22nd.