With a label like that you’d think I was trying to get personal – but I ‘m not actually.
The moniker refers to his smiles and likeability much like Chancellor Palpatine in Star Wars – but with a dark consequence for Newburyport if he wiggles his way into power.
I don’t know his family – Dick Sullivan, Sr. predated me politically and I don’t know many of his descendants. I have no idea of Dick Sullivan, Jr.’s character flaws or not.
My major concern is that he is a dark sider. (See my definition), a delusional voter block left over from when we were a dreary, factory town. It is his mindset and what he has publicly done and has said he would do that convinces me that I will not vote for him.
His Veiled Purpose. Lord Sith is not so much instituting a plan as acting on wrong presumptions. He wants the community to be a close, closed city in which the world outside will largely not be invited. He wants the city to be a town much like any other American town – a mix of industrial, retail businesses and a sleepy, suburban Boston bedroom town with safe streets, nice schools and cozy neighborhoods. Sounds like Apple Pie and Mom doesn’t it? Except Newburyport is not a typical American town. Amesbury is but not Clipper City. If he gets his way, our town will die because we prosper from being a draw to outsiders. Our very quality of life is dependent on the increased desirability of our community by those coming to Newburyport.
Wrong Priorities. He was all a flutter over the loss of one of our businesses in the industrial park. This is based on the assumption that such businesses bring in much taxable income into the city. ALL commercial property (downtown, industrial and retail) brings in just 4% of our tax revenues, the rest mostly comes from property taxes. Now it is good to have a healthy industrial park but even when it is healthy, it would not be even gravy on top of our budget income, more like condiments and spices! His real purpose is to destroy any long term planning for the city. The reason for this is to allow uncontrolled business activity to benefit contractors, developers, industrials, etc. so they can make as much money as possible and thus generate taxes. In a city in which urban planning is our very lifeblood, it’s like taking kerosene and dumping it on a bonfire. The resulting fireball would devastate heritage tourism, reduce our property values (which would then be reflected in reduced tax revenues), and foist a mishmash architectural boomtown resulting in our city looking like former healthy tourist spots like Marblehead and Swampscott. Worst of all, being a true dark sider; he would do what he could to discourage outsiders coming into Newburyport – the very source of much of our wealth. NOT GOOD.
Destruction of Accessibility. In November 2012, in the midst of the many hearings over the local historic district, Lord Sith stood up in the city council chambers and lambasted the carpet baggers who have come into the city and now want to tell the ‘rest of us’ what to do. There was a stunned silence in the chamber because most of the councilors were carpet baggers that he was now lambasting! If he gets into power, it will be the ‘old timers’ and the dark siders (the Park Lunch crowd) that will have access to City Hall. The rest of us will be shut out – and any ‘new ideas’ not rooted in the old ways of doing things in the city will more often than not be disregarded. And not only will most of the citizens (who are carpet baggers) become alienated, the state will become alienated. We’ll start to see preferential treatment evaporate as the city falls back into the ‘good ‘ole boy’ network as the close ties forged by Mayor Holaday are severed.
Destroyer of Urban Planning. Like a former dark sider, Mayor Moak, he will disembowel the Planning Office. It will be a form-processing center for the waves of contractors and developers who will find themselves in a playground in which the concerns of the local community are disregarded so they can ‘profit’. With no long-term planning, comes spending on emergency fixes and on whoever has ‘access’ to City Hall. Since ‘community standards’ and even local and state regulations would hinder business activity – you would see those disregarded or outright disobeyed. He can protest but that happened in prior mayoral administrations that had his similar viewpoint. He would also intimidate and harass our hard-working volunteer boards since their ‘over-regulation’ would hinder ‘business’.
Anti-historic preservation. Obviously, his stance against the local historic district ordinance is well-known but he has also attempted to destroy the demolition ordinance and to attack the Historical Commission. He authored a proposed revision of the Demolition Delay Ordinance that would have made it worthless. The main goal was to allow the unbridled destruction of our historic district by keeping the nose of the Historical Commission out of the historic houses. He wants nothing that would hinder the building owner when it comes to our historic architecture – thus guaranteeing wanton destruction which will eventually translate into damaged streetscapes and lowered property values. Obviously, I have been incensed with his stance on historic preservation. He has recently been concerned about protecting our downtown but has demonstrated no history that our unprotected historic buildings will be indeed preserved.
As for the voting choices, I urge you to see what danger comes if you throw the baby out with the bath water. Like the Landfill, a City Hall under Sullivan may initially be for the rest of us out of sight but eventually the stench of consequences will start to be felt and there will be much remorse.
As for the reader of this post – If you value the future of our city – don’t vote fro Dick Sullivan, Jr.
DON’T VOTE FOR LORD SITH.
PS. Here below are some prior posts to substantiate my reasons: