One of the things that I have discovered when going through the old newspaper clippings in the Library archive are the many people who worked so hard for Newburyport’s success. It has been the hard-work of dedicated individuals often those in the private sector who had day-jobs and sacrificed their free time.
“Not so”, chimed the Neo-socialists, “The Feds paid for our downtown – it was all the doing of Big Government.” And when the Clipper City Rail Trail was envisioned, and the hard work of volunteers over the years crystalized into reality, the Neo-socialists were at it again.
“Hah”, they cried, “Another Big Government project paid for by the state and the Feds.”
What has been forgotten and often overlooked; it was the thousands of hours of dedicated citizens advocating, campaigning and speaking out that made the difference in both cases. Sure, our clever Geordie Vining worked out a sweet deal on the trails but if we didn’t have the Coastal Trails Coalition and excited private individuals in Newburyport it never would have happened. And it was hard-working volunteers who advocated and pushed to get the politicians moving. Not the other way around!
Well, this morning – I saw citizens in action. Sure MassDOT was there and the state house politicians were lined up and Jerry Klima, from the Salisbury Town Hall was proud as could be that the state was going to fund the new bike path. Those Neo-socialists would say, “Here is yet another example!”
I was proud that Mike Costello and Steve Baddour and Jerry Klima all acknowledged that it was dedicated trail enthusiasts and local citizens who pushed and pushed until the government woke up and realized the danger that was occurring at the pedestrian crosswalk at the foot of Gillis Bridge. It was the private landowners who primed the pump by donating pieces of their property to make it easier to get it done.
Now this fall we’re going to see a safe way for bikes and people to get to the well-used trails.
This is true for any good thing locally – it takes dedicated people who work hard to enhance our quality of life and most often without any compensation except knowing they are bettering their community.
That’s what being a citizen is all about!
PS. And don’t think for a moment that I haven’t forgotten that all that government money is coming out of all our pockets.