Bill Plante more often than not comes across as a journalist with too much time on his hands! I get a headache reading his editorials because I want to ‘get to the point’ while he is writing all along enjoying the whole literary process. So, against my better judgment, I tackled one of his ‘pieces’ and came up with a jewel of a quote:
The unintended consequence of the restoration of downtown Newburyport has been its attraction for residency.
-Bill Plante, May 11, 2012, “Don’t turn backs on school needs”, Newburyport Daily News Opinion Page.
It is so true.
So many try to point to this one thing or another that has made us such a highly desirable city. When I speak with people across New England and they croon about Newburyport – it always comes to this statement, “I wish I could live there.” Then they have to make up excuses so they can half-convince themselves why they haven’t moved here!
We’ve had seasonable industries and sporadic events and an annual parade of shops in our Downtown – and sometimes these are pointed as our success. Wrong. As I cut through the industrial park yesterday, I saw the now empty L3 building as yet another tax-generating company leaves our industrial park. Yes, the dark siders point to industry as our source of wealth. Sorry, wrong again. Even our restaurants are not our source of wealth – but the new influx of residences do keep them going as more of the affluent come to live here.
Historic preservation was the spark that generated a steady influx of people who wanted to come to a city with a high quality of life. So many in the opinion page, focus on the actions of the new arrivals to fix up the homes – but that’s the affect not the effect of historic preservation. All that process shows concerned citizens who want to sustain and build upon the already high quality of life.
It is our historic neighborhoods and our restored downtown that started it all! Those who so adamantly wish to cut off historic preservation literally want to destroy the very source of our wealth.
It is not hospitals, schools and rail trails nor even our open space and parks though I am all for them; it is our historic preservation that is the source of our growing wealth.
Let’s keep the process going!
PS. That’s why real estate agents should be treated with great respect. They literally are the providers of our greater affluence!