Portland’s legislators are considering a bill that I and others believe would:

1. Create an exemption for Peaks Island to bypass the established statutory process for secession, which requires collecting a petition signed by at least half of the registered island voters on the island at this time — something which secessionists haven’t been able to do. Instead, they point to an outdated petition from 2005.

2. Authorize the community of Peaks Island to secede from the city of Portland.

Peaks Island has never voted to secede; this effort is now being pushed by a small group that has never in 20 years been able to prove that secession was financially viable.

There is another side. Many voters oppose this bill, myself included. Many of us have moved to Peaks since 2005 when that outdated petition was collected; we want to remain part of Portland and not secede.

Not only has most of Peaks Island been excluded from the conversation, no one but the secession group has even seen this bill before it was secretly submitted (to date, it has still not been made public, despite requests to see it).

Secession isn’t supposed to be easy. Circumventing the established process establishes a destabilizing precedent, and you may soon see secession bids in your own areas as a result, if wealthy neighborhoods seek to lower their tax burden by seceding.

The promoters of secession, and the media as well, have repeatedly misrepresented island votes to “explore” secession as votes for secession (including the recent bogus straw poll). Let’s be clear: Peaks Island has never voted in favor of secession. It’s a fact.

Lisa Penalver
Peaks Island

PS: If Peaks successfully secedes, the taxes for the rest of Portland will go up. People know this, right?

 

As the latest secession game is played for Peaks Island, it is important to understand that those of us who represent the other half of the island who enjoy being a part of Portland have been purposely left out of the game.

What is more, the secession group is playing the game before our team has taken the field. In fact, our side has not been notified as to when and where the game is being played.

Thanks to efforts of the new Republican-led Legislature, we now have the rules of the game:

1. This will not actually be a new game. The previous game has been ruled as a “time out” rather than a defeat. Under the new rules, the game will be played after the two-minute warning with the Secession Team given the lead, by say, 10 percent.

2. Two-thirds of the referees will be replaced by officials who favor the Secession Team, who will be allowed to make up the rules as the game progresses.

3. Game time will be announced at the last possible moment and provided through the website of the Secession Team.

4. All votes will be tallied, vetted and/or discarded by officials of the Secession team exclusively.

Our team, comprised of about half of the island, is willing to take to the field against the Secession Team. We’re ready to compete in a fair game to determine the future of Peaks Island, but not under the rules set forth by individuals with a predisposition to secede from Portland.

This game should adhere to the previous rules regarding the secession process. I’m sure everyone can agree being required to play this game under the current circumstances is unsportsmanlike if not undemocratic.

Scott Nash
Peaks Island

 

Mayor’s job fine, if it had no pay or benefits

 

If you’re wondering after a recent Portland City Council meeting, I have no intention of running for mayor. But if I do, things would be different.

At the meeting, I expressed my sincerest appreciation to the city manager as he retires; then I advocated for innocent civilians around the world who’ll become casualties of many undetonated cluster-bombs from planes from the carrier John F. Kennedy, bombs outlawed by the “Convention on Cluster Munitions” effective August 2010, which we haven’t signed yet.

This newspaper published no reference of this vitally important issue, but supported the elected mayor. Is this a very sad day for freedom of information in Portland?

Which brings me to the primary purpose of this letter: I’m enjoying my private life and have no desire to run for mayor. However, if I see things developing in a less than ethical manner, with the absence of any dominant credible candidates, then I may throw my hat into the ring.

As mayor; my second executive order will be to dissolve the office of mayor. My first will be to eliminate the pay and benefits of an elected mayor. That’s right, if I’m elected mayor, the position will become a de facto volunteer position with no earned mayoral income reported on the mayor’s income tax filings.

I’ll accept only transportation compensation and a clothing allowance; all other expenses shall be paid by me. The city won’t pay one red cent for my salary, bonuses or retirement benefits. There’ll be no premiums paid whatsoever for life insurance, disability/workers comp, Social Security, unemployment nor even health insurance; no premiums will paid for me whatsoever, nothing!

The late Bob Ganley described me as being “credible.” I think that when investigators are through looking at “Yes on 1” activities, Ganley clearly wouldn’t say they were “credible.” I say, “Follow the money!”

Joe Bernatche
Portland

 

Cartoon on Iran’s nukes ignored the ones Israel has

 

Your Jan. 25 issue had a cartoon, “Monte Wolverton’s View,” in which the president of Iran, drawn to look devilish, crouched over a nuclear symbol and called it “my precious.”

The drawing reminded me that even though Israel has stashed way underground at Dimona an arsenal of nuclear weapons, it’s still so panicky about that country having nuclear power it’s itching to “bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran.”

Speaking of the devil, I also read that Israeli inquiry into the 2010 attack which killed people who tried to break its diabolical blockade of Gaza has now decided — surprise! — -that what it did was OK.

Since it also devised the plan to pen people inside Gaza, then bomb it into rubble, I hope its cohorts among your readers will give reasons why they’re infatuated by that foreign state.

Marjorie Gallace
Camden