Wednesday, April 26, 2006

City OK’s Vote on Peaks Secession
Geraghty Wants Citywide Vote

The Portland City Council approved an Order on April 19th calling a Special Municipal Election for June 13, 2006 to vote on the secession of Peaks Island, House Island, Pumpkin Knob, Catnip Island and Surrounding Waters, fromthe Municipality of Portland.

The City has to conduct an advisory referendum on the island for the registered voters on the island, unless three out of the five secession representatives of the island withdraw support for secession by filing written notice of withdrawal with the City Council. The public hearing was conducted on March 25. The election is conducted like any other referendum election in the City, using a pre-printed ballot that the voters cast at the polls.

The only question that can be on the ballot is the following: “Do you favor secession of the territory described below from the Municipality of Portland?”

West End Councilor Karen Geraghty asked the Council to amend the order, providing for a citywide vote on the issue, but the Council rejected her amendment by a 5-4 vote. The law provides that the City Council can call a separate advisory referendum in the rest of the City at the same time with the same question, provided that the vote totals are kept and reported separately. Geraghty said there was a lot of interest in the issue in her district and wanted to know why the majority did not support a citywide vote. But the other Councilors balked at explaining their reasoning for their votes.

The vote will be held on Peaks Island on the same date upon which there will be a state-wide primary election.


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