Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Portland City Council to Vote on USS John F. Kennedy Aircraft Carrier Project
Portland ME January 18, 2011 - On Wednesday, January 19, the USS JFK Museum will present a detailed business plan to the Portland City Council (7:00pm) in hopes to gain their support in the effort to bring the decommissioned aircraft carrier to Casco Bay. The Navy requires organizations seeking to acquire the ship in their donation program to have the support of its host city as part of the "Phase II" submission. The Portland City Council must vote in favor of the project or Portland will be disqualified for consideration, leaving Newport, RI as another potential host city and the possibility of the ship being scrapped as the only other alternatives. Being the last non-nuclear powered aircraft carrier in the fleet, the USS JFK is also in all probability, the last U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to ever go on public display as a museum.
Woods, who leads the USS JFK Museum organization as CEO/Executive Director, will be presenting a detailed budget and business plan outlining the benefits and economic opportunity the project holds along with the commitment that the acquisition process and future operation of the USS JFK Museum will come at no expense to the city or its taxpayers. In fact, the plan being presented will include significant direct revenue projections to the City of Portland along with the expected annual positive economic impact to Portland and the region in the tens-of-million-of-dollars.
"Early feedback concerning the USS JFK Museum only focused on the size of the ship while ignoring the enormity of the opportunity. I believe that the USS JFK Museum has the potential to serve as the greatest single catalyst for local & regional growth ever experienced here in Maine," said Woods. "Our presentation to the Portland City Council on Wednesday evening will demonstrate a forward looking vision along with the practical details needed to evaluate a project of this magnitude. All I'm asking from the Mayor, the City Councilors and the public is to keep an open mind in regard to this proposal as we hope to enter the Navy's Phase III period for securing the ship (next 7-months) – at which point, there will be ample time to sink this process if that becomes the collective will. But, to do so now preemptively serves no purpose," concluded Woods.
Naval aviator (and famous attorney), F. Lee Bailey, is expected to attend to the Portland City Council meeting to speak in favor of the project as a current Maine (and longtime – coming to Maine first in 1933) resident and former member of the military as a jet fighter pilot. F. Lee Bailey has also experienced a carrier landing/launch on the USS JFK a few years ago during an official visit to the ship at the invitation of the US Navy.
In addition to serving as the CEO/Executive Director of the USS JFK Museum organization (501 (c)(3): 30-0593890, Stephen M. Woods is also the Founder/CEO of emg3/TideSmart Global (an international experiential marketing firm based in the Portland area), an elected Town Councilor from Yarmouth, and a Board Member of Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Maine.)