There is much ado about transparency in South Portland as Brad Fox can attest to. What happens when the shoe is on the other foot?
The Traffic and Parking Committee established by the City Council in August of 2014 was tasked with making recommendations addressing the increased traffic on Knightville residential streets currently being used as a cut through for traffic and parking by employees on said residential streets. Jon Jennings, then assistant city manager, was given the task of leading this committee.
In order to gather information, a resident (member of the committee), in the fall of 2014 sent out letters to businesses and residents asking if they would like Ocean Street to be reestablished as a two-way. There were 12 business and 49 resident responses all in favor of the two-way. These letters were addressed to the city clerk who then dispersed them to the City Council and city staff. The Traffic and Parking Committee was never informed of these responses. Only after a member of this committee requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act in November of 2015 did these letters come to light.
So the question remains, how can a committee established by the City Council do the job tasked unless all relevant information be given including Knightville community correspondence? Whose decision was it to withhold this pertinent data? We in Knightville are being told that the one-way on Ocean is working. What about the 12 businesses and 49 residents who say they would like the two-way re-established on Ocean Street. Don’t their voices and objection to the one-way on Ocean Street count? In withholding this information from the Traffic and Parking Committee, my only conclusion would be, apparently not. Which begs the question, why not?