It may not be a surprise that some Peaks Island residents are still considering either seceding from Portland or assuming a quasi-autonomous status as a “village corporation.”

Still, it’s an admission of failure, and not just on Portland’s part, either.

It’s not that islanders don’t have reasons to complain about city government. When a majority of the island’s residents tried to form their own community four years ago and failed, they tried to get the city to improve public safety services and provide more support to Casco Bay Lines, the lifeline service to the city’s islands.

But service didn’t improve and the ferry’s subsidies were cut instead, leaving even some islanders who had opposed separation to say they would support another attempt at it.

So islanders have been invited to a meeting at 9 a.m. Saturday at the Peaks Community Center to discuss their options. It would be good if representatives of city government and its agencies were there to defend the city’s role in tough economic times.

They could start by pointing out that Peaks isn’t the only city neighborhood to face cutbacks in support, with branch library services prominent among recent cuts in other districts.

Peaks still has its own elementary school, with a far lower student count than any other in the city, and residents remain proud of a quiet and highly scenic environment that many mainland residents might envy.

If islanders did manage to get a majority vote for secession, they would have to persuade the Legislature to pass a law permitting it. That effort failed the last time, though some backers hope that because the legislative majority has shifted from Democratic to Republican, there might be more sympathy for a second try.

Even if there is, Peaks would become one of the state’s smallest and poorest towns, while becoming responsible for its own protection and the education of its children, trash removal, maintaining a municipal office and staff and all the other obligations of a town.

Sailing solo into the sunset makes a beautiful image — until you realize that sunsets are followed by darkness.