I hate to interject my opinion into the local scene – I much prefer to rely on solid subject materials supported by facts, statistics and history. But I have to interject because so many are falling into the “presumed reality” that is now the typical news that one gets on the local AND national scene. The reason this is done is based on the hope, usually well-founded, that if the snow job is done well enough, a particular agenda will be advanced. And sadly, usually advanced until reality catches up and smacks us in the face.
The presumed reality keeps the fires of progress stoked – which is why a whole lot of institutions and people get caught with their pants down when the stock market drops, or a fad fails or a political movement dies. The human wreckage can be quite considerable which begs the question, “How could so many be led down the wrong path?”
Usually in journalism, the term is “surprised” or the adjective “unexpected” is used when it happens.
Newburyport is going to get surprised or get “unexpected” events occurring, a whole lot this year. For the unprepared, it can be depressing and for a few, engender bitterness and disappointment.
I’m upset because on the 250th anniversary of the city, we should expect disagreement and adversity much like we expect the tide to ebb and flow; it’s just part of life – get over it and let’s get back to celebrating this year.
Why the shock this year?
For some reason, the “presumed reality” is that the central waterfront issue was the primary driving force of the last election and that the issue of the waterfront has been resolved.
One, contrary to the Daily News’ opinion; the open waterfront was not a magic issue that guaranteed election. Just ask the candidates who didn’t get elected but had championed it. In fact, take a look at the make up of our Mayor and City Council. Mayor is pro-development (okay, to be fair – any development that constitutes progress no matter what form it takes.) And many, on the Council are either indifferent or outright pro-Newburyport Forward sympathizers. If the waterfront was the issue, why are they still in office?
As I have said, Historic Preservation was the deciding factor – not the Waterfront.
Which means we have much trouble ahead. COW can’t take it easy because Newburyport Forward isn’t resting on its laurels. The Mayor, stubborn as ever, wants to use the bulldozer method of advancement. And that means, the rest of us are going to have to do pushback so we can avoid being buried.
The Mayor is not REALY interested in historic preservation and yet the City Council is. The banks, the real estate agents, the developers and incoming, uncaring about our heritage tourism property owners, and the lawyers, including the building inspector are on the Mayor’s side. The destruction of the city outside of the cultural district is going to be accelerated making short-term money for the city and stuffing our free-cash reserves.
I see controversy as the City Council is looking at the far-flung future – because long after the Mayor in the future leaves town and seeks some far-away political office; we’re stuck with what is left of the city: overpriced, over-stressed, over-taxed and stuck in a post-boom existence.
I see heads colliding; I see nasty fights and the usual torrent of animosity.
It’s coming – just don’t let it take you by surprise.
This is Newburyport after all.