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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Maine State Pier Public Forum

PORTLAND – City Councilors, Kevin Donoghue and Dave Marshall, will
host a public forum on the current process for redeveloping the Maine
State Pier at Merrill Auditorium Rehearsal Hall on August 8th from
6pm to 8pm. Donoghue and Marshall represent the two districts which
include the waterfront.

The City Council is holding its own series of workshops to discuss
whether to select Ocean Properties of Portsmouth, N.H. or the Olympia
Companies of Portland to the private redevelopment and long term lease
of the public pier. The City Council is not expected to conduct a
public hearing until September.

Both proposals include a luxury hotel, an office building, and retail
as parts of an expanded cruise port.

Donoghue and Marshall said the forum is not intended to measure
support for either development team, but sooner to check in with
citizens on whether the city is on the right track and how it should

"The forum will foster a wider discussion concerning the future of our
only public pier," said Marshall.

"The public has been missing from this crucial public policy debate
for nearly a year," said Donoghue. "The need for meaningful citizen
involvement in waterfront projects is no less than a civic emergency."

Donoghue is a member of the Community Development Committee which was
charged with making recommendations on whether either proposal had
merit. Both Councilors Jim Cloutier and Jill Duson voted in favor of
negotiating with Ocean Properties. Donoghue opposed the recommendation
after his amendment to send the recommendation to the voters for
approval failed with the others voting against.

Markos Miller is also helping promote the public forum and is the
recent President of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, which
represents the interests of residents upland of the Maine State Pier.

"The pier belongs to the citizens of Portland," said Miller. "Any
discussion of changing its use should start with a community-based
process that articulates the concerns and the hopes for this unique

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