By Carol McCracken (Post # 731)
Last night the City Council unanimously approved a resolution that supports the existing process for secession as set up by the State Legislature and requests that it be used in the current effort to be before the Legislature in Augusta sometime this term. The need for this Resolution came about because the Attorney General’s Office ruled earlier this year that because there had been a succession effort back in 2006 – 2007, the current process could be truncated.
Supporters of the secessionists bill, written by Mike Richards, former PIC Chairman, claimed last night at the council meeting that the signatures gathered in the last go round are still valid. There is no statute for limitations claimed Jane Gerard, chair, of the Peaks Island Independence Committee at the meeting. Gary Wood, corporation counsel agreed, but then said: “..it would be a hard-sell to show that 600 signatures in favor of secession in 2006 could stand for the current sentiment in Peaks Island today.” There are a number of other steps required by Maine statute, such as a public hearing on Peaks Island, that were deemed unnecessary by the Attorney Generals office.
In 2007, the secessionist bill ended in Committee and was narrowly defeated -by a 7 to 5 vote. The Committee did not believe that seccession was right for Peaks Island. That was the end of the process as stated by Maine law.
Councilor Ed Suslovic said that “it is not appropriate now to pick up in the middle of the last failed secession and use outdated information to promote another secession attempt. There is no reason here to violate a process that has been shown to work.”
The Resolution passed unanimously by the Council last night opposes the current secession effort because it does not follow the existing process established by Maine statutes in the 1990s.
For more, please visit www.peaksalliance.org and/or Island Independence Committee.