Among the bombshells set off by outgoing Marine Resources Commissioner Norman Olsen was his allegation that Gov. LePage shot down efforts to help the groundfishing industry because it would involve collaborating with the city of Portland.

“Portland was against him, he said. and we will not work with that city,” Olsen wrote. “Rather than work with Portland, (LePage) said, we’ll build a new port somewhere.”

If this is true — and a LePage spokesman says that it is not — it would demonstrate a shocking lack of understanding that is damaging not only to Portland, but to the entire state. Nature and millions of dollars worth of public and private investment have put the port where it is, and Maine could not afford to replicate it in a different political environment. And Portland is the economic engine of the state, generating far more in tax revenue than it receives in school subsidies and revenue sharing. A political slap at Portland may feel good, but it doesn’t help economically disadvantaged parts of the state that depend on Portland to run their schools and fund their social services.

LePage should remember that the state’s largest city is home to Republicans, too. Even though he didn’t carry Portland in 2010, the city delivered far more votes for him than he got from any other municipality — twice as many as he got from his hometown of Waterville — so the city is not entirely hostile.

Acting Marine Resources Commissioner Patrick Keliher quickly reached out to Portland Mayor Nick Mavodones Thursday, saying the governor would meet with him soon. LePage should take the opportunity to assure city and business leaders that he understands Portland’s role in the state’s economy and that he won’t let his thin skin get in the way of Maine’s economic progress.