“Secession” Not The Answer in PICOL Peaks Island Council Report; Alternatives Should Be Considered First – Meeting 2/19 Hosted by Peaks Alliance

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 719)

There are six alternatives that Peaks Island and Portland  could consider before resorting to secession, said a long-awaited report released this week on Peaks Island.  The report is called the PICOL report; Peaks Island Cost of Living Task  Force Report.  It’s another salvo in the on-going struggle between those who support secession from Portland and  those who do not support it. 

The struggle between the two parties appears to be heating up as the Republican controlled state legislature appears more sympathetic to the secessionists and the proposed bill stands a better chance of passage than it has in the past; a few years ago the island secessionists took the bill to the State House and it narrowly failed.  The Democrats were in control at the time.   This time a Republican representative approached the secessionist group offering to sponsor the bill and introduce it to the legislature.  He told the secessionist group that the bill should have passed the last time it was introduced. 

The report is significant because it was authored by three prominent secessionists.  Three of the six listed contributors are Island Independence Committee (IIC)  former members.  They are:  Sid Gerard, Frank Peretti and Mike  Richards.  Richards told MHN.com that he wrote the bill that was submitted to the Legislature in 2007.  Sid  Gerard and Peretti help lead the new secession group. Jane Gerard is co-chair of the Peaks Island Independence Committee.

“This is an official report from the Peaks Island Council – the island’s own legislative body,” said Matt Barnes, of the Peaks Alliance, which supports those wanting to remain Portland citizens.  “It was written by leading secessionists and it proposes we all try 6 solutions – including new, not-yet-tried solutions – before secession.”

The press release continues:  “Mr. Richards himself has written, ‘The report….includes fair and balanced recommendations to address” the issues, including “some” proposals that are “new.”  The report does not say secession is the only – or even the preffered – option.  “That the secessionists who wrote this report say there are six good options to try before secession – well, that speaks volumes,” Matt Barnes said.  “The secessionists are admitting, as they must, that a secession vote is premature.  Their proposals make sense, look promising and deserve time to bear fruit.”

The Peaks Alliance is hosting an informational  meeting tomorow, Saturday, February 19  2 – 3:30 pm pm at the Peaks Island Community Library,  MacVane Room.

For more information herein, please see Post # 711, dated 2/12  and Post # 706, dated February 8, 2011.    Please also visit http://peaksalliance.org for more updates.