Tomorrow night a key commission is scheduled to discuss a project deemed critical by Mayor Sam Adams and the Port of Portland - the annexation of West Hayden Island. April Baer reports the project has been a flashpoint between business interests, environmental groups, and the city.
This will be the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission's opportunity to take yet another look at the West Hayden Island plan. It follows an earlier hearing held on November 15th. Environmental and tribal groups packed the room then to express concerns over Mayor Sam Adams' expedited timeline for annexation.
Mayor Adams has said the annexation debate has stretched out too long, and needs a timely resolution. He repeated that before an advisory committee last week.
At that time, Bob Salinger, conservation director with the Audubon Society of Portland, said Adams produced a heavily-amended proposal on the cusp of a holiday weekend, allowing little time for public review.
"The Mayor will say the process has been going on for four years, but the fact is that the Port and the City have never produced a credible proposal. Essentially, they've withheld the proposals until after the public has been asked to testify."
Members of the Planning and Sustainability Commission have said they will examine the project on their own timeline, and will not bow to pressure from City Hall to wrap up before the end of the year.
Portland City Council would still have to approve any final draft of the project.