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.

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