Peaks Island Council Dedicated to the End; “I Still Think That Independence for the Island is Possible” – Michael Richards

By Carol McCracken (Post # 560)

Working its way through a full agenda last night, the Peaks Island Council members gave few hints that its days are numbered. The atmosphere was mellow while the group addressed issues such as increased crime on the Island, parking problems, the current flap over the taxi service on the Island and more. The PIC expects to meet again in September and October; beyond that it is assumed there will be no advisory commitee on Peaks to make recommendations to the Portland City Council on the needs of the Islanders. The regular meeting of the PIC took place last night at the MacVane Community Center at 6:30 pm.

Michael Richards, chair of the PIC said when asked by MHN.com: “The deadline for filing papers to run for the PIC was August 23rd. No one has submitted the necessary papers. That’s a natural and logical result of a powerless and impecunious PIC.” Richards said he was “relieved to be off of it. We were asked to do too much with too little.”

The only agenda item that signaled the end of the PIC was a discussion of the village corporation model for the Island’s future. Lynne Richard, who served as chair for the meeting, has researched this option. Richard said that no one from the Island has approached the city about this option and Michael Richards agreed to contact the city to set up a meeting on this option with city officials and PIC members. It’s necessary to have the city’s approval on this option and the state legislature would have to give its approval as well. “It wouldn’t be as bad as the secession effort,” said Lynne Richard rolling her eyes at the memory of that polarizing battle several years ago. “I don’t want to go through that again.” It was not the first attempt of Peaks Island to cede from the city of Portland.

“We are concerned about leaving Islanders with a way to communicate with city leaders. That’s why we’ve prepared a list of phone numbers for city officials that individuals will have to contact in order to register their concerns,” said Michael Richards. (see above photo) “This is Peaks. It’s important to us.”