2014-09-05 / Letters

Resident thanks council

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the two long and rambling letters that recently appeared in the Sentry. I disagree with the content and the tone of these letters. I, for one, am proud to live here and to be represented by the South Portland City Council.

Growing up on Mill Cove, my elderly neighbor, Phyllis, used to share stories with me of her work building Liberty ships during World War II. South Portland has a long maritime heritage that we cherish and protect. However, trafficking in toxic crude for foreign export has never been part of our waterfront tradition.

In November 2013 the voters of South Portland were evenly divided on the issue of the Waterfront Protection Ordinance, but South Portland has never been divided on the issue of tar sands. No one living in South Portland wants tar sands.

The majority of the city council was also against the Waterfront Protection Ordinance. They recognized the danger of tar sands, but they thought the Waterfront Protection Ordinance went too far. After the referendum they put together a committee of experts to write a superior ordinance with a simple goal: ban tar sands and protect current business. The committee spent half a year getting input from businesses, soliciting comments from the public and hashing out the wording for the new ordinance.

Their final product, the South Portland Clear Skies Ordinance, has attracted near unanimous support. Our planning board voted 6-1 in favor of recommending passage and our city council voted 6-1 to make it law. Since it passed, the people of South Portland have been breathing easier with the knowledge that our city will not be burdened with a toxic crude exportation terminal. And our waterfront businesses are relieved to find that the South Portland Clear Skies Ordinance does not have the unintended consequences that might have emerged had the Waterfront Protection Ordinance passed last year.

I thank and support our city council for respecting our traditions while protecting our health.

Andy Jones
South Portland

Return to top