Saturday, April 19, 2014

Amtrak MLF: reprising a Pols’ statement from 2011

We recalled the document we are about to present for you as we working on an upcoming post.


We first told you about it in this post, before the last election:

In that post, these words appeared:

Pols has submitted a partial response to the questions in this post.  For clarity, we’re going to repeat our questions, and follow them with his answers, which will be indented and displayed in red.  (We may have a parenthetical note or two mixed in.)

1. Do you think an Amtrak Maintenance and Layover Facility should be built at the Brunswick West location, adjacent to the Bouchard Drive neighborhood, and if so, why?

2. If not, where do you think it should be built?

Questions 1& 2. Attached is a copy of my remarks at a NNEPRA rail forum from August 2011. It was televised so I can't hide from what I said. Some of the info may be a little stale but I still believe what I said then, particularly with respect to Bouchard. I'm sure I could be convinced that the industrial park site is as good as Crooker. I haven't looked at that in close detail recently. In one sense I think building it in Brunswick at all is a bad move----they're just signaling this is the end-of-the-line. Will Amtrak want to extend north in 5 or 10 years without a new expensive, controversial layover facility at the new end-of-the-line? WHat will become our our fancy layover facility if the Downeaster runs to Rockland or Bangor?

Rumor has it the powers that be recruited a candidate to run against me in 2011 based on my having said this. But I got re-elected anyway.....

(Ed: the remarks Pols refers to can be found at the link below; we tried to embed the actual document here, but were unsuccessful.

We strongly urge you to read the document; it is extremely thoughtful, well-written, informative, wide-ranging, and dare we say, surprisingly blunt as well.  It captures the circumstances better than anything we’ve read, or written so far.  It’s almost enough to make you wish Pols was on the town council.  [That’s a ‘witty remark,’ for the humorless out there.])

3. Do  you believe the Amtrak train, all things considered, has provided an economic benefit to Brunswick?  Please explain your reasons for your position.

Question 3. Who knows? There's no objective data at all.

We were planning on simply referring to the document below in the upcoming post, but as we read it again this morning, we decided it gains relevance as things continue to unfold here in Perfect, and the politicking and posturing gets ever more conpolluted.


So we’re pasting it below in it’s entirely, and once again strongly urge you to read and reread it in light of recent events.  We remind you that the time stamp on this is August, 2011. (Please forgive the formatting challenge; it took us a while to get the thing embedded here.  If you wish to look at it on scribd instead, the link was provided above.)

Here it is:




Read it carefully, and see what jumps out at you.  What jumped out at us this morning was being reminded of the town’s direct involvement in and financial speculation in the Downeaster service.  Hell; public money is being used to pay $850 a week in rent for the Departure Center at the station.

Then on page 3, Pols clearly differentiates a comprehensive plan from zoning ordinances, specifically with reference to an MLF on the Crooker site being inconsistent with Brunswick’s comprehensive plan, while the Brunswick West site is not.  See the last several paragraphs on the last page, just above.

We commented on this last point exactly two weeks ago, when we posted these words:

Let’s move on to Page 12 of the Siting Report (Appendix B):

Brunswick East:  The undeveloped site is located with the Cook’s Corner Zoning District, which allows a mix of retail, office and residential uses. Industrial uses, such as the layover facility, are allowed only by special permit. The Cook’s Corner Master Plan establishes a vision for a mixed use commercial hub in this area, and Town staff has indicated that a layover facility would not be consistent with current zoning nor the vision established by the Comprehensive Plan and Master Plan.

(emphasis ours)

The passage comes from this post:


So for those who are into ‘conflict,’ there’s more than enough to go around.

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