How can all members of the Portland City Council, save one, have voted to sell a prime piece of city property to one of the most prosperous developers in town for between $1 million and $2 million less than its assessed value? (“Portland City Council approves sale of Thames Street lot despite price, housing concerns,” March 8).

Each councilor and the mayor who OKed this deal, ran on a platform of making housing available to the working people of Portland. The limp excuse we have heard for their vote is that only one company (the lucky developer) responded to the request for proposal (RFP) for the parcel. Holy Mother of God!

In the face of this failure, why was the RFP not withdrawn and rewritten to reflect the goals of the City Council’s Housing and Economic Development committee? How can it be that the authors of the RFP were seemingly unaware of the goals of the City Council and did not incorporate the necessary incentives in the RFP to excite the interest of developers of low-income or affordable housing?

How can it be that there was such indifference to the repeatedly expressed desires of the voters and the City Council?

Finally, with so many pressing needs facing the city, how can we be so cavalier with Portland’s assets?

Portland, we have a problem. We need to get to the bottom of it before the damage is compounded.

Sabhbh Neilan

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