We need to get everyone out to the joint Planning Board and Council of the Whole meeting, Wednesday night in the city council chambers. If you can’t make it, send e-mails to the members of the Planning Board and City Council.
If you want to know the urgency, check out this link.
If you don’t stand up; think about all the times you were tempted to storm into the Mayor’s office screaming about a twisted ankle; or the disgraceful appearance of the sidewalks in your neighborhood.
Think about all the calls and angry e-mails over the years sent off to your ward councilor; and the frustration of getting a rather weak response; or no response or the sad, growing reality that nothing is and will get done.
We’re talking about yet another measure by which we can achieve for Newburyport, one of the most walkable cities in America; actually becoming a walkable city.
I for one, am tired of the deplorable state of our sidewalks. The biggest being that we are consistently violating the American Disabilities Act by having inconsistent surfaces in our city. You can see blacktop (done by a selfish homeowner illegally), blacktop (because the city got cheap), brick, wavy brick, cobblestone (Yeah, imagine a wheelchair over that!), crumbled concrete, concrete slabs pointing into the air (did we have an earthquake at some point?), and everyone’s favorite the sidewalk uprooted by a street tree.
By the way, this present city council is doing a bang up job. They adopted sidewalk standards for the first time in the town’s 247 year history! They put in a new measure that brick sidewalks ARE THE PREFERRED SURFACE WITHIN THE NEWBURYPORT HISTORIC DISTRICT and concrete for the rest of the city. That when money’s tight, concrete can be the option and have banished blacktop and cobblestone to the far reaches of the city.
And what of Mayor “Bulldozer” Holaday? In reckless fashion, she has pushed the DPS to lay down brick and concrete all over the city, street after street, neighborhood after neighborhood until the money ran out, of course.
So why so important for tomorrow night? Because the developers have money at stake. They don’t realize that these new rules, though initially out of pocket will enhance their investment by enhancing the entire city – therefore adding profit for their asking prices. But you’ll always have short-sighted business people who can only see their short-term expenses.
They’ll be sending people into this meeting disguised as concerned homeowners who, “just want to help the city” – or cry, “This will drive away business”. I highly doubt such absurdity. (As the Daily News just noted, our real estate is crazy now with the average single-family home at well over $500,000. That’s an average!!!!!!
So, we need to counter-act the “wolves in homeowner’s clothing”.
Stop being frustrated, and send those e-mails and if you can, SHOW UP!