Every neighborhood has its own unique problems.

Just ask the residents of the Portland Peninsula, who have to jockey for parking with the tens of thousands of visitors who come into town every day to work or sight-see.

Just ask the people of North Deering, who live a long way from the city’s center, and have had to fight to keep services like their local library branch. Or ask the people in Libbytown, who will lose their elementary school next year when the new Ocean Avenue school opens its doors.

Peaks Islanders also have concerns that are unique to their situation.

They have to ride an expensive ferry to get to the mainland and have to pay for parking if they want to keep a car there.

But that doesn’t make them different from Portland’s other neighborhoods. Peaks Island is just another part of the city and it has everything it needs under the city’s political structure to get its fair share of city revenues.

Unfortunately, some members of the island community think otherwise. Members of what used to be the Peaks Island Council, which disbanded this summer when so many incumbents resigned that it couldn’t form a quorum, have approached the city to explore creating a village designation that would let the island keep some of the tax revenue it generates to be used as islanders see fit.


This is not how a city functions. Revenue raised from a new Bayside office building helps pay firefighters near the jetport. And the taxes paid on a West End mansion help hire teachers at East End Elementary School.

Every neighborhood has representation on the City Council. At budget time, one concern is weighed against another and the councilors make choices.

Islanders get services that other Portland residents do not. Despite tight budgets, Peaks did not lose either its elementary school or library branch. They may not like the public safety cuts in the last budget, but they are not the only part of the city to walk away from deliberations unhappy.

Some Peaks Islanders led a divisive and unsuccessful fight to win independence from Portland. Having lost their bid to start their own town at the Legislature, they want the city to help them form a village.

But Peaks is neither a town nor a village. It might be surrounded by water, but it is a neighborhood of Portland.