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PORTLAND, Maine — A majority of residents on Great Diamond Island say they’re not getting services equal to the amount of property taxes they’re paying to the city of Portland.
And because of that, they want to start the process of secession, or breaking away from Portland.
There are about 75 registered voters on the island. In order for the process to begin, 50 percent of the voters on Great Diamond Island must sign a petition.
Those petitions were delivered to the Portland City Clerk’s Office Thursday, but were returned because some of the pages were photo copies and not originals.
Organizers of the secession movement say it’s more than a money issue.
“It really isn’t, it’s a cultural issue. The needs of a small rural island community are very, very different than what Portland has as their priorities,” co-chair of the GDI Exploratory Committee Matt Hoffner said.
Secession organizers say they’ll return to the clerk’s office Monday morning with the signed petitions.
Once those are certified, discussions between islanders and the city will begin in hopes of resolving the problems before taking it to the legislature.