On July 21, I attended the City Council meeting in South Portland at the invitation of an organization named Protect South Portland.

Scheduled was the final vote on an ordinance that would prohibit the loading of crude oil – including tar sands oil – via the South Portland waterfront.

What I observed was a City Council chaired by Mayor Gerard Jalbert, which was very respectful and listened to citizens’ comments for more than two hours on this one item. I’d planned to leave at 9 p.m. but ended up staying until after 10:30, when the vote of 6-1 to adopt was taken, to much applause.

Although there was a long agenda with four ordinances, they welcomed citizen input for each item. The citizens of South Portland can be proud of their city government as I observed it. It turned out to be an uplifting evening.

Gillian Carter