On Tuesday evening, January 31st, the cities of Biddeford and Saco jointly held a public meeting to collectively discuss ways we could work collaboratively with a particular focus on our downtowns. Special invitations were extended to both cities’ Mayors, City Councils, Planning Board members, Comprehensive Plan members, and other downtown groups. An important part of the recurring joint meetings is to rotate the meeting locations between the two communities in various locations besides the two city halls. This meeting was held at the People’s Choice Credit Union located on the Industrial Park Road in Saco.
While the meeting was successful on many fronts, the meeting location did have one unexpected challenge as the facility, for security reasons, did not have an exterior door that remained unlocked. The elevator required a key card to gain to access the meeting room on the third floor. We were not made aware of this until the night of the meeting. The meeting began with a social and networking period at 5:30 PM which was followed by the official meeting beginning at 6:00 PM. Arrangements were made to have a staff member at the exterior door and elevator until 6:15 PM. After that time, the person left to participate in the meeting, leaving the facility inaccessible by anyone who arrived after 6:15 PM.
Unfortunately, we are aware of one person who arrived later than 6:15 PM who therefore was not able to attend the meeting. As the chief administrative officers for the two cities, we solely are responsible for the decisions that were made regarding the facility. We sincerely apologize for the impact that decision has had on that resident and any others we may not be aware of who were unable to attend. At the core of our foundation is the belief in the public’s right to know, participate, and be informed about their government. We sincerely apologize to the residents of both communities. We will make every effort going forward to ensure and increase accessibility to the meetings. We hope this incident has not discouraged future civic engagement.Please click here to view the full press release