To the Editor:
I applaud Zabet NeuCollins’ thoughtful, tempered and truthful letter to the editor of March 2, 2017.
Her letter is thoughtful because it clearly guides her readers through the long and careful process she utilized to arrive at her decision to circulate a recent citizen petition concerning future increases of cruise ship passenger caps and berthed cruise ship lengths. This petition does not affect passenger numbers or berthing lengths for any other kind of boats, ships or ferries, unloading, loading, tendering, mooring, anchoring or docking in Bar Harbor.
Her letter is tempered because she realizes that this petition is about “not aligning to a particular side.” It is truthful because it correctly summarizes the main purpose of this citizen petition. She wrote, “this question should be answered by the voters of Bar Harbor instead of a majority vote (four people) of the Town Council” as to whether the daily cruise ship passenger cap and size of cruise ships docking in Bar Harbor should increase or not.
On the same editorial pages, letter writer Ed Damm and an Islander editorial offer their views on this citizen petition in a seemingly disorganized manner with much inaccurate content. Their respective writings took me completely by surprise because I regard both the authors as people of considerable talent and deep commitment to our community.
Furthermore, the Islander editorial seems inclined to diminish the long cherished right of citizens having a direct voice and vote, as enshrined in our Constitution, about two such large and complex issues as the future of the ferry terminal site and the burgeoning cruise ship industry in Bar Harbor.
As President Lincoln reminded us at Gettysburg, we are a “government of the people, by the people and for the people.”
To improve the clarity and accuracy in our public discussions and deliberations, I have shared copies of the petition with Damm and the newspaper. Hopefully, we will be on the same pages and have the same facts. Our community can then have a sound foundation on which to begin a process. As Damm so wisely recommended, “let’s talk about it.”
We need to have our whole community involved in open-to-all public meetings, whether about the cruise ship industry and passenger terminal projects or other large issues facing our community. These public, open-to-all meetings need to start at the beginning of the process so our town officials and staff have input from the very citizens they represent and serve.
Then let’s work together in NeuCollins’ thoughtful, tempered and truthful manner.
Donna Mae Karlson