2015-12-11 / Letters

Let the wheels turn

To the editor:

The latest information about propane at Rigby Yard in South Portland with reference to the South Portland Planning Board, according to the article in the Dec. 4 Sentry, is that the decision will be pushed back to January 2016. As the “Church Lady” on “Saturday Night Live” used to say – “How convenient.” NGL has to move the existing tanks in Portland to another location due to loss of land.

Now, due to delays by one city councilor and a group of so called concerned Citizens, a campaign of doubt and fear has been waged in the Thornton Heights area of South Portland. Confusion over an outdated ordinance has sparked many issues from safety to outright violation of Freedom of Access Act procedures. While South Portland fiddles, yet another business will relocate somewhere else.

I have always felt that if you don’t like the law, change the law. You don’t “change the law” midstream. Former fire Chief Kevin Guimond said new requirements are being used, but are not part of the existing ordinance. So, do we wait for the wheels to turn – and they turn slowly – or do we put more effort into working with NGL to make an arrangement that will serve both our needs?

The city council’s mandate is to work for the safety, health and welfare of the city. Dissuading business serves no purpose. Regardless of the expected tax benefit or not, it is time to start putting our best foot forward to encourage business. More business tax burden – less property tax burden.

Let’s start a New Year with a new mayor on a track to encourage more business in South Portland. We lost the “Business Friendly” sign because of the Clear Sky Ordinance. Let’s try to get it back by being business friendly instead of business unfriendly.

Michael R. Pock South Portland

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