Thank you for covering the short-term rental issue in South Portland. I am writing to make sure you are aware that Airbnb is heaving its corporate weight onto the scale, trying to influence our City Council.

On Jan. 22, my wife and I received an email from Airbnb corporate headquarters in California, asking for our support in the preservation of their business model in our city. The email included a link to a pre-written message to be sent to each of our city councilors.

While I have used Airbnb in my travels, I am not a short-term rental operator. I am a homeowner in the Willard Beach area of South Portland, and I am completely opposed to the operation of non-owner-occupied, whole-house short-term rentals in our residential neighborhoods. Their proliferation in recent years has severely degraded the quality of life and sense of community that make this place so special. What’s more, it’s apparently a violation of our land-use ordinance. The lobbying actions taken by Airbnb should erase any doubt that short-term rentals are a commercial endeavor.

Airbnb may know a lot about technology, but it certainly doesn’t know much about Mainers. We value our communities, we understand our property rights and we will not allow either to be exploited for their corporate greed.

Peter Stanton

South Portland