Wouldn’t you know? South Portland has managed to mismanage the Armory fiasco yet again. It can’t seem to help itself. Supposedly, it’s only intended interest is to own it, thus control its eventual use. Then, of course, the wish list morphed into a new City Hall, needed space for fire and police departments to better defend themselves from potential terrorists, new library, Gateway Municipal building and Visitor’s Bureau, cultural draw and glorious reinvention of itself.
It shouldn’t be forgotten, however, that in its haste to crank up the odds, the overreaching council summarily thwarted the intent of the Children’s Theatre of Maine to purchase the building – which, by now, they would have been in and operating.
It was the council’s prerogative, however, except for the fact that in its haste to beat out the kids, it’s meeting and deliberations were unlawful without prior notification to the public – which was the case. So much for “lawful.”
Now they have an interested group who might actually want to restore, spiff up and use the building, but the council now seems to think it’s a 5-star hotel, supposedly demanding a piece of every dollar earned and saddling them with 16 pages of rules – or take a hike.
Not smart. It’s falling apart! Nobody wants it! It’s been on the market for 15 years. How much have we earned so far from our $675,000 plus investment in it since then? If anybody but the city owned it, the council would have leveled the place years ago. But now, when we have a chance to maybe recoup a little something out of nothing, we’re all of the sudden greedy! How about a little common sense, for a change? Let’s not go for the whole enchilada. How about just plain getting it done?
Robert M. Lord