I would like to urge my fellow Portland residents to vote “no” on 1.

Our city’s leaders were elected by all of us, and in turn, we trust that they’ll do what’s right for the city.

The Friends of Congress Square Park emerged because the city was allowing the sale of a small piece of land to an “out-of-state-developer.”

True, a developer from out of state made a bid for the land, but if you’ve lived in Portland for the last 20 years, you know that the property has never been productively utilized or maintained.

The Friends have been attempting to schedule activities in recent weeks to persuade voters of the park’s usefulness. While it’s a bit disingenuous, I do believe that these activities can continue and enhance the park. The newly designed park will meet both the pedestrian needs and the city’s need for economic stimulus.

All of that aside, one of my biggest objections to this initiative is the impact on the city’s fiscal agility.

Under the proposed regulation, the city will always be subject to another oversight committee, which, if memory serves, has not been a successful approach in the past.

As a taxpayer, I welcome developers willing to buy a piece of land and pay taxes on it, and the jobs added by the Westin’s event center can’t be ignored.

Congress Square Park is in the center of our downtown, which is also our center for art and commerce. I would like to see the area utilized to its maximum potential, as an outdoor space adjacent to a taxpaying property.

Please vote “no” on 1 and let our elected officials do what we elected them to do!

Dan Bergeron

Portland

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