Letter: Why were South Portland letters withheld?

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The Traffic and Parking Committee established by the South Portland City Council was tasked with making recommendations addressing the increased traffic on Knightville residential streets. Jon Jennings, then assistant city manager, was given the task of leading this committee. In any business model it is my understanding that an assistant reports to the manager.

A member of the committee in the fall of 2014 provided letters to businesses and residents supporting the re-establishment of Ocean Street as a two-way street.

Twelve business and 49 residents signed the letters. These letters were sent 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 letters. Only after the same member of this committee requested the information under the Freedom of Access 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? Whose decision was it to withhold this pertinent data? We in Knightville are being told that the one-way on Ocean Street is working. What about the businesses and residents who say they would like the two-way re-established? Don’t their voices and objections 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?

Annette Holmes
South Portland