It’s heartening to see the process that South Portland is going through to determine the best use of a blighted site in one of its oldest neighborhoods. The city is making a genuine effort to involve people in determining what might be the next best use of 6-plus acres. How it’ll turn out is still a work in progress.

It’s unfortunate that so much city money will have to be spent to make the current public works site usable. A number of city managers and councils, over many years, have neglected and ignored the necessary maintenance and effort to keep what has been the central transportation and maintenance facility for city vehicles and heavy equipment. If it were a personal residence, it would have been condemned and torn down years ago, to the cheers of the neighbors.

Can the taxpayers claw back any of the salaries or compensation paid to those who neglected and/or ignored their responsibilities in this regard? No. No more than the losing generals can repay the troops and materiel they squandered in a war. The losers in this case are the taxpayers now spending over $15 million on a new public works facility.

So, let’s look to the future! So sad to look at the past. But what are we neglecting and ignoring right now?

William Laidley

South Portland