Remember those lying lunatics running around screaming LHD like it was a some kind of swear word? How about scaring to death recent newly-arrived Cambridge newcomers with COW’s hysteria over the NRA? Obscure abbreviations like 40R, COW, DCOD, DOD, WWOD and ZBA would make any casual onlooker dizzy trying to figure out what everyone is talking about.
You’ve one side against the CPA; others for it – so let’s just stop for a minute and understand what it represents.
It is a designated fund for the purpose of preserving intact all the good things that a community has to offer for its citizens.
That is what I keep in mind when I boiled down the valid applications being made before the CPC .(Yikes – another abbreviation standing for Community Preservation Committee) I called them the Winner’s Circle because they were the applications that passed the litmus test – Community Preservation.
LIKE IT OR NOT, THE BIGGEST WAY TO PRESERVE NEWBURYPORT IS TO CATER TO A BUNCH OF STRANGERS!
That’s because there are only a little under 18,000 people living in this ‘city’ and yet we have the services and the cultural resources of a large urban center like Portsmouth. We are able to do this because we have huge amounts of outsiders come in and pay for parking, eat at our profusion of restaurants and expend money visiting our events and sites.
SO THAT IS WHY TONIGHT AT THE CPC MEETING, IS SO VERY IMPORTANT!
Two projects are coming before the committee that are ahead of the line because they encourage visitors to come to Newburyport.
The first is the First Religious Society of Newburyport. Their iconic steeple and church are the most photographed in our city. Often times, the steeple is juxtaposed like Paris’s Eiffel Tower as if it represents our entire community. It desperately needs to be restored and though normally I look dimly at ‘double-dippers’; the benefit to the city simply can not be measured – they need to receive money toward their project.
The second is the Old South. Again, this ‘double-dipper’ would normally be turned down but the fact remains. People from all over the world come to Newburyport to see the tomb of Rev. George Whitefield and to see the ‘Whitefield Church’. One of the most beautiful features of the sanctuary is the Tromp L’oeil. This sophisticated technique makes it look like the walls are 3-D with moldings and columns and fine designs and yet the entire wall is flat. It reflects badly not just on the Old South but the entire city if they come to see this spectacular display and it is not what it should be. (They had a leaking roof and some of the paint is ruined.)
Granted, there are many worthy projects this year, but the job of deciding who should get the available money should not be left to political favoritism and to pressuring for a pet project.
The Litmus test should be – will this project actually improve and preserve the City of Newburyport?
The two above shine out as clear beacons to protect our future!