We weren’t able to make it to last night’s City Council meeting, at which a resolution to impeach President Bush and Dark Lord Cheney was discussed. The measure failed, 4-2, with two council members missing and one walking out of the proceedings.
We got a day-after briefing from a couple of councilors today. District 1 councilor Kevin Donoghue, who voted against the resolution because “nobody elected me to speak for them on federal issues,” proposed an amendment that would have allowed Portland’s constituents to speak their own mind – in the form of a referendum – about impeachment. That amendment was struck down.
At-large councilor Ed Suslovic says his voting against the resolution “was not about whether or not George Bush should be impeached.” (For the record, he’s not a big fan of W.) “It’s simply reflected the fact that we’ve got more than a full plate on the council agenda” – he mentioned schools, the Maine State Pier project, and the capital improvement budget, or lack thereof.
The resolution’s main sponsor, at-large councilor Jill Duson, could not be reached for comment.
Speaking of the Maine State Pier, there’ll be a public forum on that topic tomorrow night, hosted by Donoghue and fellow councilor Dave Marshall at the Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall from 6-8.
We can’t make it to this one either (too busy practicing our line dancing over at the Lyric Music Theater in South Portland!), so fill us in if you go.
From the press release:
The City Council is holding its own series of workshops to discuss whether to select Ocean Properties of Portsmouth, N.H. or the Olympia Companies of Portland to the private redevelopment and longterm lease of the public pier. The City Council is not expected to conduct a public hearing until September.
Both proposals include a luxury hotel, an office building, and retail as parts of an expanded cruise port.
Donoghue and Marshall said the forum is not intended to measure support for either development team, but sooner to check in with citizens on whether the city is on the right track and how it should proceed.
"The forum will foster a wider discussion concerning the future of our only public pier," said Marshall.
"The public has been missing from this crucial public policy debate for nearly a year," said Donoghue. "The need for meaningful citizen involvement in waterfront projects is no less than a civic emergency."
Donoghue is a member of the Community Development Committee which was charged with making recommendations on whether either proposal had merit. Both Councilors Jim Cloutier and Jill Duson voted in favor of negotiating with Ocean Properties. Donoghue opposed the recommendation after his amendment to send the recommendation to the voters for approval failed with the others voting against.
Markos Miller is also helping promote the public forum and is the recent President of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, which represents the interests of residents upland of the Maine State Pier.
"The pier belongs to the citizens of Portland," said Miller. "Any discussion of changing its use should start with a community-based process that articulates the concerns and the hopes for this unique asset."