PIC and City Mayor Meet Today; Mayor Does Not Commit to Village Corporation Model, But Seeks More Information for Next Meeting…

Mayor Nick Mavadones Listens to Mike Richards, Chair of the Peaks Island Council

By Carol McCracken (Post # 611)

Late this afternoon Mayor Nick Mavadones and three city staff members met with Michael Richards, chair of the Peaks Island Council, and one other member of the Peaks Island Council – at city hall. The open meeting was requested by Chair Richards to garner support for pursuing the PIC’s interest in a Village Corporation for the Island. No other press attended the public meeting.

The meeting served as a platform for Chair Richards to rehash a litany of well-publicized, old grievances between the City of Portland and the Peaks Island Council that have brought the two “to this place,” said Richards. Paramount was the “process” by which the decision to reduce the police presence on the Island was made. “I heard about it on the radio,” said the long-winded Richards incensed. “We just wanted to be treated with respect,” said the other PIC member.

Chair Richards, a Portland defense attorney, tried to pressure the Mayor into a commitment on behalf of the city council that it was committed to the Village Corporation model. In response, the Mayor emphasized that the city council would need much more information on the Village Corporation model before the city could support such a model before the State Legislature. The Mayor said there have been no formal or informal discussions about the Village Corporation model at the city council level. Gary Wood, city counsel, said that most of the Village Corporation entities in Maine are “seasonal” and not year-round as is Peaks Island. He also said that no new Village Corporations have been set up in the State of Maine since around 1910.

The parties agreed to meet again after the upcomng November 2nd election. “There will be at least one new city council member after that and theoretically more,” said the Mayor. And he will not be the Mayor again. Peaks Island resident Cynthia Pedliken, asked if the PIC does not survive the upcoming November election, who will be responsible for meeting with the city in the future on behalf of Peaks Island?

State Representative, Peter Stuckey, for District 114, attended the meeting and said following the meeting: “It’s the beginning of the next chapter. There is tension between the city and some of the people on Peaks Island. The first thing for the residents of Peaks Island is to determine what portion of Peaks residents would support this idea or model.”

City councilor Kevin Donoghue who represents Peaks Island did not attend the meeting.

Please see Post # 589 herein, dated September 23, 2010.