Far away from the watchful eye of Councilor Bob Cronin. Distant from his Ward 4 surroundings, Councilor Ed Cameron was unaware – in fact, most elected officials (Except the Mayor) were not aware of what was happening on Prospect Street. There was one exception, Councilor Herzog has a front seat from where he lives – check his video.
UNFORTUNATELY IT IS BEING USED AS A TEST CASE.
Once the work is done, then if no one complains (Note this Mary Eaton), it will become the policy for the rest of the Newburyport Historic District (including our beloved High Street).
I’m glad that I was delayed in making this post. I just learned today in the paper concerning the Mayor’s talk to the Chamber; where all this wasting of tax money was originating from: the meals tax. With money to burn, and without input from City Councilors, Chambers of Commerce, Citizens, Planning Boards and it looks like from even the Planning Office; sidewalk money has been splurged.
IF WE LET THEM GET AWAY WITH THIS ON MORE STREETS, THE FINANCIAL LOST FROM INCREASED ASSESSED PROPERTY TAXES, LOSS FOR CITIZENS OF A HOPE FOR INCREASED EQUITY AND PROPERTY VALUES; AND, LOSS OF RELIABLE, SAFE SIDEWALKS WILL BE ENORMOUS.
Here is what is happening:*
This property owner put historic brick in an historic district so his property values would go up. He made as well as flush it down the toilet. Appraisers look at the streetscape to determine relative value. Cheap blacktop and concrete. Nice.
A city that knows that blacktop doesn’t last long and has a policy for more lasting materials such as brick and concrete – can they say they didn’t know!?!
Better keep your eyes staring at the ground and get ready for a tumble!
Where is the consistency?
Historic brick sidewalk entombed by concrete?
Concrete on one side and blacktop on the other – now set in stone for the next decade or more?
Each individual owner gets to make decisions on the front of their house – here, where ADA requires 5 feet (so wheelchairs can pass side-by-side), frontal gardens are all the rage. And of course, there’s designer styles and sunken cobblestones…sorry elderly and the handicapped.
* I realize that Dark Siders and Townies and long-time residents are going to see these pictures and wonder what all the fuss is about. That is because you simply have gotten used to haphazard maintenance of sidewalks since you were a toddler! Picture yourself in any other community – the citizens would be up in arms at the unprofessionalism, the lack of policy, the lack of ADA-guidelines, the lack of consistency and finally, the irresponsible use of funds.