Why I showed up at the ZBA last night

Normally, once the demolition delay expires or a demolition permit is issued; the building inspector takes over and the terrible deed is done on yet another historical home in our Newburyport Historic District.      But last night was an opportunity in which the demolition needed to go through the ZBA because of the legal posting in the paper.

I knew it would be a long shot but it was most important to at least get my documentation and my statements onto the minutes of the meeting.

Saul Alinsky in Rules for Radicals used many techniques to get the issue of civil rights right out  in the open and those same rules have been successful for many other political campaigns– when the majority simply don’t care to mess up the status quo or just want the issue to “go away” – it is time for “in your face” activism.


In the attempt, you will be harassed, shouted down and even in rare cases, had violence done upon your person.    It doesn’t matter.

Eventually public opinion will turn your way but it will take diligence and hard work!

Last night, even though I was asked to state my opposition to a demolition at 12 Oak Street, I was interrupted vociferously by the chair and vilified by one of the other members.    

No matter.      Next time, another demolition issue comes before them, I will be there again.

If they had been fair, they would have let me speak my piece and then I would have sat down.      But they knew if they did so (The session was being taped), they would have had to act upon it.

They nitpicked at my statements and would not allow me to make my presentation.        Typical of those who simply don’t want to hear it.      

So be it; next time, I’ll be bringing company with me.      And we’ll start the process all over again.

It is clear that saving Newburyport is going to take a fight.

Who will join me in that struggle?

-P. Preservationist

This entry was posted in Demolitions, News and politics, Planning, Preservation. Bookmark the permalink.

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