In “It’s a Wonderful Life,” George Bailey saves his town, Bedford Falls, from a horrible transformation into Potterville, the usurious dream of the greedy banker who is the movie’s villain.

In his take on “It’s a Wonderful Life,” Scott Patterson (Maine Voices, Dec. 23) compares Portland to Potterville, a cold and heartless place built for profit, not people.

To quote another famous Christmas character: “Bah, Humbug.”

Portland is no Potterville.

When met with the unexpected challenge of hundreds of refugees and asylum seekers, Portland helped hundreds of families to resettle. That’s downright George Bailey-like.

The closure of a neighborhood school is always traumatic. But when Nathan Clifford closed, it was replaced with a new, safe and modern school built with students and the environment in mind.


When then-Gov. Paul LePage made the terrible decision to move the Department of Health and Human Services office out of Portland, the mayor, the City Council and other community leaders fought the move.

The city has struggled with the location of a new city shelter and to find the best approach to help people who are facing homelessness, but there is an earnest desire to do the right thing, even if it sometimes looks more like Uncle Billy than George.

Portland is a diverse, caring community. Our schools are welcoming and strong. Our parks are beautiful and filled with activities. Our politics are vibrant and thoughtful. And people want to live here.

Potterville? No. Perfect? No. But in Portland, it’s still a wonderful life.

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