I am amazed that so many in our town want to wring their hands and spend great amounts of time – campaigning for causes that, even if they win, won’t end up achieving what they want.
The KGB back in the Cold War used “political activism” as a measure of crowd control; they’d let some measure of protesting to occur – even if it became violent – to achieve three objectives: One, to let the populace blow off steam so that in the end, everything would remain the same, Two, allow all the energies to be focused on subjects that would amount to nothing and thus distract the average citizen from the real problems they faced, and three, help them to identify the trouble makers that could be quietly subdued later. (or eliminated. This was the KGB after all.)
We have so many pressing issues here in town that need to be resolved – and instead, most everyone is talking about the NRA Waterfront, or plastic bags, or playgrounds or school buildings (along with the senior center).
EVERY LAST ONE WILL TAKE YEARS TO RESOLVE.
In the meantime, the Newburyport Historic District is being bulldozed because the Demolition Delay Ordinance needs to be strengthened and some measure of protection installed. Instead, the councilors and the Mayor have buried any such action deep into subcommittee or walked away from it.
Our Downtown, which brought upon us our present affluence, lies unprotected. Our historic assets have nothing to protect them from destruction.
Our sidewalks are still a civil rights violation across great swaths of our city – hurting our children, who have to walk in the street; hurting our local citizens, who have to walk baby carriages and their pets out in traffic and hurting our visitors who, not knowing how bad our sidewalks are, are twisting ankles and falling.
Our school children may end up in fancy school buildings, but our education levels are still at life support – electives and foreign language courses and any innovation to prepare the children are still missing and parents are being burdened down with countless fees.
So the senior center has a plot of land – how is it going to get funded? We need to take care of our seniors today – as the old saying puts it, “They’re not getting any younger!”
Amazing things have been done recently in the realm of our Parks Commission. Still low in funding but now tightly managed, the city is much better off but it has a long way to go. And this includes the playgrounds – all of them. And it is going to take long-term planning to get everything up to snuff.
And the most apparent, the city is deteriorating and looking shabby because maintenance is not being exercised – which will eventually if not presently hurt our eco and heritage tourism.
Are these not more important that fretting over such long-term issues that, when said and done, won’t be resolved for years?
It may be great fun for policy wonks, but it will only be destructive to our quality of life.
And will cause unneeded stress to our community. Stress because the community is focusing on non-resolvable issues.
This will result in anger, bitterness, frustration and a general bad mood.
We have many projects that need to be focused upon that can be resolved in a short-term way. But all that good political energy diverted into useless concerns ends up benefiting someone else who may profit from all the distraction.
We have a great body of highly-capable, talented citizens who’s influence can guarantee our high level of quality of life.
If we are focused on real solutions; we can actually get things accomplished that benefit the entire community.*
As for me, why waste my time when I can make a difference on projects where a resolution is in sight!?!
* You can watch for entertainment value all that activity by political wonks; but let’s work on projects that actually can get resolved.