I was disappointed to learn of the strong opposition to a recent proposal by Martin’s Point Health Care to relocate its South Portland operations to the Hamlin School property. I was especially saddened to hear a statement by one resident that Martin’s Point should be allowed to “remain” in South Portland — as if we’d be doing them a favor by not running them out of town on a rail.

On the contrary, we should be doing what we can to encourage Martin’s Point to stay in South Portland, rather than relocate to a neighboring community such as Cape Elizabeth or Scarborough. We are fortunate to have such a high-quality organization in our community, and it would be a shame if they left because they weren’t welcome here.

I am a strong believer in the importance of green space – I became a member of the South Portland Land Trust for exactly that reason – and I am confident that a compromise could be worked out to retain and enhance green space in the Hamlin School neighborhood, while allowing Martin’s Point to create a beautiful facility that would benefit us all.

However, if the neighbors are not willing to compromise, I hope Martin’s Point will consider some of the other properties currently available in South Portland. Over here in the Brick Hill neighborhood we have been happily coexisting with medical offices and nonprofit organizations for years, and there is more buildable land available. Martin’s Point would be warmly welcomed in my neighborhood.

Adrian Dowling

South Portland