I am an architect and have practiced the profession for over 50 years. I had the honor of serving on the Portland Historic Preservation Board for a decade and I am proud of the voluntary service and accomplishments for the city as well as that of the other members of the Preservation and Planning boards.

Having become familiar with the “1924 Portland Building Photographs” and while on the Preservation Board, I told myself that I had the time and desire to do an update of this important collection of building photographs. A decade ago I did photograph all of the approximately 20,000 buildings of our wonderfully diverse city. It took me four years and 500 walking miles to complete the project but by going up and down each street to take the photos, I became familiar with the special qualities of each of the unique neighborhoods as well as the supporting city parts that form our proud city of Portland.

Each part of our city is represented by a councilor and on May 20, I believe six of the eight councilors violated their oaths of office. These oaths require each councilor and the mayor to protect the Constitution of the United States, the laws of the State of Maine and the laws of the City of Portland. The Corporation Counsel clearly outlined to the councilors and mayor the parameters of their decision-making under the city’s preservation law in a memo dated May 6. Councilor Sykes wouldn’t accept this, and on May 6 she offered an amended alternative resolution that ignored the law. Then she and five other councilors shamed their offices by voting to allow the demolition of 142 Free St. There does exist a path to follow to change a law, but that was not followed, instead they shamefully voted against the preservation law to allow Portland Museum of Art to ruthlessly tear this significant historic building down and put all proposed and future tax credit projects in this historic district in jeopardy as Portland could lose its Certified Local Government status because of this action.

These six councilors should stand down for their disrespect of the city positions that they hold as they seem to believe that truth and honesty are not to be their guiding principles. Let them do and say what they want, but from nonpublic platforms. We need and deserve citizens of honor and integrity to hold their positions on the city council.

I have withdrawn my financial support of the PMA after 18 years of support because of the museum’s disrespectful position of no longer being a part of the city of Portland but rather acting as being special, of privilege and operating above the city and not subject to its laws and traditions.

I encourage others to follow my action.


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