I realize that many citizens and of course, politicians, are upset with people who vote on a single issue. And if this wasn’t Newburyport and it wasn’t for the fact that it was historic preservation that transformed our city from a Lawrence-Lynn type of urban environment into the Newport-Portsmouth reality of today; they would be justified in that feeling.
We do have a multiple set of challenges that need to be dealt with and we need representatives who can tackle them who are capable, flexible, intelligent and open minded enough to resolve them.
But we didn’t get into this litmus test situation over night. We had a distinct group of people who hate the way Newburyport is headed. They (anti-historic preservationists, dark siders, exploiting developers, Libertarians, tourist haters and school fanatics) want to turn Newburyport away from its path of success for different reasons. And some will not hesitate to use deception, lies, misinformation and propaganda to get it done.
So, I am in complete agreement with the stance of the Newburyport Preservation Trust.
“…with the preliminary election on Tuesday, Sept. 17, and the final election for mayor and city councilors in Tuesday, Nov. 5. In Newburyport it should be no secret that preservation issues will be at the forefront of the mayoral and city council campaigns. The position of most of the candidates is well-known, amply demonstrated pro or con, during last year’s derailed initiative for a Local Historic District in Newburyport. If you don’t know your candidate’s position on (1) preservation of Newburyport’s historic architecture, (2) revamping the inadequate demolition delay ordinance, and (3) the wisdom of protecting authentic material culture assets, now is the time to determine your candidate’s position.
Historic preservation issues are not the only issues this local election season, but the disposition of these issues can have a long-term impact on our city’s singular atmosphere, physical surroundings, and economic vitality.”
In other words, if we don’t protect the Newburyport that we have all grown to love, it won’t be the same Newburyport ten years from now.
Therefore, the candidates need to be clear as to where they stand on this issue. No double talking, and no Madison-avenue smoothness.
Are you for or are you against?
For better or for worse, the citizens of Newburyport will then decide November 5th if they want candidates who will work to abandon 40 years of success.
Unfortunately, we are not the first community in America that decided to go from boom to bust. There are examples strewn all over North America.
But for the voters of Newburyport, it should at least be a fair fight and a clear choice.