A Cautious Victory

I now know what General Eisenhower must have felt like right after the D-Day Invasion.      All the nerve-wracking preparation, all the sacrifice and all the work and then to see it pay off in a, okay less-than-perfect, victory.

Then to have the sinking feeling to know that the enemy was still there, counter-attacking with tanks and mortars and more than ever resolved to drive the allies back into the sea.

“Ugh,” he must have thought to himself, “It’s a long way to Berlin.”

Monday was such a special night when all the factions and factors came together.        You could basically say it was a plug and play night.      All that was truly left to do was to congratulate each other after the meeting.

Those who participated in the negotiating should be commended: Councilor Eigerman for his vision and the practical means to make it a reality, Dick Hordon and his group that not only behaved themselves but actually contributed to the final ordinance.     A special mention should be made for three individuals: Jim McCarthy, who constructively took the combined wisdom of the Planning Board and welded together some very good recommendations to send back to the City Council; Barry Connell who did a masterful job in fairly receiving in municipal and public input; and, yes, Councilor Cronin; who being highly capable worked to, well, make the ordinance practical and workable.

And though his position makes him naturally someone not to be entirely trusted, I believe our Planning Director and his staff did a fabulous job – just seeing the standards and the inventory lists up on the website are historic events by themselves!    And their knowledgeable and firm advice made the final version so much easier to be ready for approval.

Acknowledgement was made Monday night that much help was provided by the Newburyport Preservation Trust.    I totally agree.   My only comment would be, “Where have they been all these years!?!”     They really impressed me with their negotiating skills and political savvy.      I would love to see them advance one step further and become politically sophisticated – that is a lot to ask but after seeing their recent performance, I think they could actually be up to it.      

But they need financial and talent support – if you want to put your money and time into an organization that can literally guide the city into the future – this is the organization!

And I say that; because the dark siders, the demo lawyers, the developers, the exploiters and the indifferent homeowner just like the Germans in World War II are getting ready to do a counter-attack and most ARE politically sophisticated.

I read the two ordinances and there are potential loopholes in both plus they will be implemented by many who simply have no desire to fulfill the letter of the law.

The historic preservationists need to be thoroughly versed in the ordinances.

The historic preservationists need to make sure that their priority is also the city’s priority which means mixing it up out there and being a strong voice in the community.

It also means being willing to people the audience at boards and commissions whenever preservation is on the agenda.

We will see our city attacked with renewed vigor as our real estate values continue to be red hot.      Only diligent citizens can stem the assault.

Yes, celebrate now, yes, even take a shore leave behind the front lines – live it up and enjoy the glow of victory.

But be back on the front lines on time – we can’t afford to have any one go AWOL!!!!

“Ugh, it’s a long way yet to a protected and prosperous Newburyport.”

-P. Preservationist

This entry was posted in Architecture, Developers, Education, Health and wellness, Planning, Preservation, Real Estate, Zoning. Bookmark the permalink.

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