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City flunks test on Hayden Island report

Our Opinion

We have no objections to Portland Mayor Sam Adams working with the many special interests seeking to influence the future of west Hayden Island prior to a City Council hearing today (July 29) on the matter.

After all, that's what elected officials should do: Lead the way toward viable solutions.

In this case, Adams is trying to broker an agreement on a plan to limit industrial development on the 800-acre island to no more than 300 acres. Such a development would provide the city a valuable additional marine terminal, while also protecting hundreds of acres for environmental and wildlife benefit.

But we do object that the city withheld a final report on the island's future for two weeks - supposedly until City Council members could be told about results of the study.

A citizens task force produced the report, and the public should have had immediate access to its findings. The task force was working as a public body for more than a year, was subject to the state public records laws and spent close to $500,000 in public funds on its work.

The public's business should be done in public. The city of Portland flunked the transparency test in this particular case.