O Portland, you blew it. You offer a nice new Children’s Museum to delight children of all ages. My wife and I have enjoyed bringing our two grandchildren to see the wonderful productions of Maddy’s Theatre, showcasing some great local talent.

We were delighted with Wednesday’s performance of “A Year with Frog and Toad.” After the play, we took a few extra minutes to let our grandchildren visit the restrooms before our journey home.

But what is this? On leaving the theater, we noticed several moms frantically urging their toddlers and young children to run to their cars. We were a little slow to realize the cause of this mild panic.

Although we took advantage of PassportParking to pay for 90 minutes, enough to cover the duration of the play, we were unaware that Unified Parking Partners was making the rounds at exactly 5 p.m. to hand out as many tickets as possible. Ours was given five minutes after our time had run out. Needless to say, what was promising to be a treasured memory was quickly converted to indignation.

I ask the City Council members: Is this the image you want to project? Privatizing this function to a company incentivized to prey on your citizens seems like a bad idea. The positive messaging our grandchildren are getting from the thoughtful stage productions is completely undermined by this display of greed and opportunism.

John Devlin
Cape Elizabeth

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