Tonight the primary thrust of the Committee of the Whole and the Planning board will be to tighten the building inspector’s record keeping and due diligence. Just one more attempt to try to stop the boom town ‘slap-anything-together-and-sell-it-at-inflated prices’ that we are suffering under at this moment.
To heap insult upon injury, developers, local and not-local have had a wonderful (for them) run doing whatever they feel like when it comes to the final product.
For years, when Newburyport was in the same socio-economic level as Inner City Lawrence; people in the neighborhoods would gush and rejoice over the fact that anyone would even dare do something in this downtrodden city. The volunteer boards and commissions would look the other way, the building inspector would wink his eye; and the utility inspectors would reach out their hands…..and a tongue and cheek atmosphere would make everything legal.
But Newburyport is no longer in that state.
And apparently the regional reputation of the Old Newburyport is still around because many developers (the locals out of habit) and the outsiders (by word-of-mouth) think they can play the same old games. Perhaps a few are looking for those handy and infamous off-shore accounts that always seemed to ‘lubricate’ the permitting process.
Either way, Newburyport is no longer in that state.
Tonight will be another opportunity to send a strong message that the party is over, the games are done and serious, professional behavior is expected in this now, world class city.
These ordinances won’t absolutely stop the shenanigans but it will spread the word that the Mayor, the city councilors and the building department are on the alert to squash these old ways of doing things. With these on the books, local citizens can relay violations and there won’t be a response of city officials shrugging their shoulders helplessly.
It will be tight in the City Council Chambers this evening but the councilors need to know you are behind them and the Mayor needs to know too.
I assure, the developers, disguised as local residences, or actually local residents used to a hand in the pot; will be there too!
PS. For those who are new to the city – try not to make yourself foolish by trying to counter my statements. Research the ‘old Newburyport’ before you put your foot in your mouth!