The statement above may be obvious to some who have to deal with the volunteer boards in the city; but one of the reasons I established the Brick & Tree Blog was to inform the rest of Newburyport’s citizenry of what is actually going on in the city. I’m not ashamed at the fact they call me at my work an, ‘overtime whore’; but when most of my life has been on salary, it’s highly irresistible. All those overtime hours available is like blowing cocaine dust into the face of a drug addict. But I assure you, I have been monitoring what is going on in the city and know the challenges, the dangers and the players involved.
The problem is that after all that, I’m too pooped to blog it!
Well, the routine has set in and my body has adjusted. It’s time to do my responsibility and let the rest of you in on what is going on. Knowing many of you, you’re probably exhausted after a full day of duties – you don’t have the time either and you’re depending on news sources to fill you in. Try as you might, the Daily News is a lot of smoke; and no one has the time to hold one’s breath to find the fire! (They have never been an investigative rag sheet and what with the new Internet Age, probably have scuttled any such future desire if they had one in the first place.)
So back to the Mayor. This well-planned tack is beginning to raise eyebrows around the city. You see, it’s great if you agree with the Mayor’s agenda; but let’s say you aren’t along for the ride, just living here and you’d love to participate in your community. Sorry, you’re out of luck. In fact, the Mayor would love to keep you ‘out of the party’ and clueless. There are at various times positions that are coming open but you’ll not hear about it. And when such positions become available, Lo, a ready-made volunteer is brought before the city council for approval. At this present state of affairs, most of us are going to be feeling ‘outside’ of what is going on our own city government.
But here’s the real problem. The Mayor isn’t letting anyone in on her long-range plans. It has even the city council concerned and they’d love to know themselves. And many more, a growing host, who have no ‘agenda’ but only the welfare of the community, are greatly upset and feel rebuffed.
So what are the ill-affects of such a strategy?
One does not have to look far back for an example. The Brown School playground was a fine example of what we will expect in the future. The Mayor had perfectly good legitimate reasons for knocking down the playground. You could say her motives were ‘pure’ in that respect – but she failed to gauge the feelings and priorities of the local neighborhood – As a typical central planner, she could only see the situation from her viewpoint.
Stacking the committees may be a great strategy to advance her agenda but in the end, the concerns and priorities of the citizens of Newburyport will be left out. Eventually, there will be conflict and growing discord.
This could be avoided if she would be more open to other’s views – and if her long-range goals were more openly expressed. Unfortunately, the left have a great fear in transparency no matter how often they say they embrace it and worse, hate diversity no matter how much they claim it’s their vision.
Senator Tarr says the Mayor is easy to work with. I’d like to see that state-level cooperation extended to the local community.
A little more openness and tolerance would go a long way to helping her advance her agenda – when we find out what that actually is!