November 19, 2013

Another View: Portland should sell part of plaza

Congress Square is not a historic park worth preserving.

This letter is in response to Richard Anderson’s “Another View: Selling public parks should be close to impossible” (Nov. 9). Mr. Anderson’s opinion piece promotes misinformation, yet again. Most parks and public gathering spaces are protected by their designation as historic sites.

about the author

James Melanson is a resident of Portland.

Deering Oaks could not be sold. Yet the lies from the Friends of Congress Square abound. Congress Square Plaza can only be sold because it has only existed since the ’90s, and it is not, therefore, a historic space. It was always intended to be a space for the use of the hotel’s guests.

The Friends know that they cannot win a referendum that is solely about that ugly, abandoned concrete pit, so they are misrepresenting the stakes and claiming that all public space is in jeopardy.

Furthermore, the deal for the plaza with Rockbridge will retain public space, space which will be refurbished and maintained at Rockbridge’s expense.

But the Portland Greens prefer to see the plazas refurbished at taxpayer expense instead, money that will come out of the pockets of the working class and working poor, primarily. Anyone with the tiniest bit of class consciousness can see that the Rockbridge deal benefits everyone.

It’s time for these well-financed Friends to stop creating mischief and let this deal go through.

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