I’ve had this feeling for a while that most of the citizens of Newburyport are asleep. You know that feeling – in a real dream, the inconsistencies, the odd and the just plain wrong seem perfectly correct. It is only when you wake and you still have that dim grasp of the night that you realize that nothing that happened,
Made any sense!
I saw the term, ‘2014 Master Plan’ for the last three months prominently displayed on the Minco website, and no one in town seemed to even stir. I saw it again, boldly stated in the Daily News opinion page; and no one has said a word. Even the city councilors who know better – not a peep. Walked into City Hall, and printed in stacks is Minco’s expensive, brightly-colored propaganda piece to support the 40R with the same term clearly marked!
Apparently, most everyone is walking around in a fog, and everything makes sense, even falsities that appear real!
Hello!, Slap! Slap! Wake up everyone!
THERE IS NO 2014 MASTER PLAN.
It is supposed to be a reflection of the community’s desire for a glorious future in 2025! A properly implemented plan is presented to the citizens, vetted, discussed, wrung through a series of public hearings and finally stuck in a sub-committee where more input from the people is reviewed and then approved by city council.
As Mary Eaton said back in 2007 when a series of Mayors tried to ignore or trash our 2001 Master Plan (which is real by the way and still in effect):
“One of the things I like about the Newburyport Master Plan is it’s supposed to be a long term guide that was developed in a super-duper democratic process.”
We as a city have benefited greatly when the Master Plan has been implemented, and self-aggrandizing politicians and self-serving developers usually suffer when this occurs; hence the desire over the last fifteen years to, as Mary Eaton again stated,
“there seems to be a pattern, that with new influx of folks, that there is often a push for the goals for Newburyport to change.”
And if we allow it to be abandoned simply because we are oblivious, or as it seems now, asleep, our future will greatly suffer.
Right now, the Master Plan Steering Committee is composed of a wide range of citizens; and each of the components like Cultural, Economic development, Housing, Land Use, and Education, etc. have a healthy balance of representation in the community also. But it is not the document in force.
Where’s the implementation plan? Where is the strategies section? Where are the action plans? Where is the priority action and the concrete action steps?
Those are the sections that grate the dark siders nerves, the actual step-by-step process to get from here to 2025? Where are the action plans that make exploiting self-serving developers grow pale? Where are the concrete action steps that cage and minimize ego-driven politicians and City Hall bureaucrats?
The 2014 Master Plan hasn’t even got major sections completed and Minco wants to base its presence at the traffic circle on this? Right now, that calls for an alarm to ring out. We need to know what the 2001 Master Plan calls for, and then we need to have a good hard look at the section they are so excited about and check the difference.
Check out the sections they would be most concerned about in the 2001 Master Plan. (Land Use & Housing)
Here is the draft section they are all excited about in the ethereal 2014 Master Plan.
This is what Minco is happy to see – the draft Land Use Plan.
I am not saying that they are being devious. I am not saying their intent is dubious. More than likely, the plan they are offering needs to be amended, modified and tweaked so it benefits us, the Community of Newburyport.
But what right do we have to participate unless we are informed!?!
WAKE UP, CITIZENS, DOUSE SOME WATER ON YOUR FACE,
“Every government degenerates when trusted to the rulers of the people alone. The people themselves, therefore, are its only safe depositories. And to render even them safe, their minds must be improved to a certain degree.”