I have lived in South Portland all my life and have watched Knightville go from a vibrant downtown shopping area to a place where businesses are struggling to stay alive. Last summer, when the Farmers Market was in that area, I saw more cars, bicycles and walkers in that neighborhood than I have seen in a very long time.
A large sign, encouraging people to go to the market, is not support of a single business. It is in support of, first, farmers who produce our food. I am able to speak to the person who grows or raises what I eat – something very important to me. Additionally, it helps all businesses in that area by sending traffic to our once-bustling downtown neighborhood of mixed use. I cannot think of a better thing to support. The City Council has the ability to create a variance for an over-sized sign. There are worse things we could be supporting.
Using municipal property also should not be a concern. We have allowed signs for many things before, including a huge banner that hung over the armory for over a year, announcing a glass museum that never came to town. This is something that is in town and the most of us want to stay in town. Please support the market having a 4-by-8-foot sign on municipal land. Support sustainability in our actions, not just words.