Unfortunately, Master Plans have been used by many Mayors prior to Lisa Mead as some kind of ego trip – using up state monies ever so generously sent for that purpose. Once the term of office was done, the next administration would stash away the document or replace with that Mayor’s version.
But during the Mead administration, a real, true comprehensive Master Plan was seriously sought. This was vital because regardless of who was in office, the ‘game plan’ for the City would outlines the vision for the Mayor, the Planning Office and other boards and commissions.
The goal was to abandon the crude, politically motivated and short-term goals of past administrations.
It is also vital in that long term planning goals can be relayed to important organizations like the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, the Essex National Heritage Commission, Mass Highway and all other organs of financing. This way, the long process of funding would start to steadily find its way into Newburyport.
Our Master Plan wasn’t perfect but has primarily done a great job in guiding community development and planning.
Which is exactly why self-serving influences are pushing to hide the Master Plan.
With the city fractured, individual profit-taking forces can scissor-cut the buildings and the land. Their motivation being their own benefit, they’ll throw out empty-promises of jobs and tax revenue while laughing with their buddies how they snookered the taxpayers of Newburyport. All the while tearing down our quality of life and general community well-being.
The Master Plan was designed to improve ALL our quality of life, culturally and economically. On page Two of the Master Plan it says, it is, “a vision for Newburyport’s future, that residents envision for the city”. When they MP was created, it’s goals “are based largely on community input and are meant to reflect Newburyport residents.” (Page Three)
Now here is the real reason it has been taken off the City’s Planning Office Website and isn’t even being mentioned:
“#1 guiding principle; “Preserve and protect the environmental quality, cultural, historic and community resources that have come to define Newburyport” (Page Seven)
The Master Plan emphasizes to, “Prioritize open space for protection.” (Page 60)
Two powerful principles that strike at the heart of cruel-hearted, selfish developers. They will feign compassion for the community, destroy and then walk away (or move out) from the community as we become poorer and they richer.
The Mayor promised when running for election to uphold the Master Plan – and has shown how politically powerful the office can be wielded but I am afraid that one area has proven that she is weak: the Building Department and the Planning Office.
We as citizens need to be alert because the armies of exploiters are at our door and I do not see any effort from City Hall to stop them. It will be groups outside of city government that will save Newburyport – history has shown in the past and it will only be repeating itself again.
Click the “links” dropdown in the top right of http://nbpt.us/Planning/Index.html and you will see a link for the master plan.