2013-10-25 / Letters

Money overpowers message

To the editor:

The voters of South Portland are reeling from the onslaught of mailers, leaflets, robo calls, paid canvassers and an overwhelming volume of street signs filled with misinformation and scare tactics from high-priced lawyers and consultants. The voices of our citizens are drowned out by the volume of money.

More than 4,000 citizens of South Portland signed petitions opposing tar sands oil in the city. More than 200 local businesses signed letters asking the city council to protect them from tar sands. More than 400 attended a council workshop asking the council to take action against the threat of tar sands, but the council has never taken a stand on the tar sands or proposed any action to protect the community from this threat.

When elected government fails to respond to the needs of its citizens, the people have the right to take action. The Maine Constitution reminds us of that, stating, “All power is inherent in the people” and that the people have the right “to alter ... the same when their safety and happiness require it.” That is what the people of South Portland have done by proposing the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, a local ordinance that will prevent South Portland from becoming the east coast port for tar sands export.

The ordinance will not harm existing businesses. The city has a long history of working with its existing businesses and I am certain that will continue. The ordinance will protect our community and help bring strong, balanced economic growth.

A vote for the Waterfront Protection Ordinance will protect the “safety and happiness” of our children and the future of our city.

Triss Critchfield
South Portland

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