The excuse for last night’s shenanigans came right from the Mayor’s mouth that a ‘few’ homeowners have been caught under this ordinance and they just ‘can’t’ swing improving the city’s sidewalks as they do ‘moderate improvements’.
Supposedly, a $100,000 is a moderate improvement.
You’ve seen these homeowners all over the city. These are the one’s with beautiful lawns, the very nicest building materials and the sharpest looks….
………But the sidewalk in front of their house is a tangled mess of weeds and dirt.
It all boils down to the total lack of understanding of what citizenship means!
The sidewalks, they say, are ‘city’ property and they feel no responsibility to lift a finger to maintain them.
Our country was founded on the ideals of a Republic in which each participant has a duty as citizens to contribute to the greater good. Think taxes (Which these selfish people may claim excuses them), think jury duty, think military service for those eligible if a draft were ever held to defend our nation. The citizen is duty bound to vote, to participate for the greater benefit of the community. A good citizen obeys the laws, and is aware who is the Mayor, who are their ward councilors; what are the issues in the community.
The idea that you live only for yourselves was never considered or tolerated by our Founding Fathers. But humans tend to over-react when faced with extremism. We have many amongst us who firmly believe in Communism, Socialism which trashes personal property ownership and want the government to rule every aspect of our lives. The over-reaction is to consider being Patriotic is to mind one’s own business and to put a wall around their property.
But long before these extremists ever existed, the Nation was founded on the responsibility of the individual to be a citizen.
That’s why the sidewalks are not city property but public property. It is owned by “us” the citizens of Newburyport. It is a fact that in most of the country and in many municipalities in Massachusetts, the homeowner is responsible for the public sidewalk adjacent to their property. My wife’s brother was cited in New Jersey because he had not kept up the sidewalks to the city’s standards. Out of his own pocket, he had to upgrade them.
This ordinance – which I might add is in effect – continues the citizen obligation.
The biggest problem are students in our schools aren’t told their duty to the Republic. They’re told increasingly that in America, you can do anything you want. Consequently, over the years, these children have grown up worshipping self, living for pleasure and wondering what place they are in society. Instead of serving their community, they see no purpose, only for the next pleasure, the next thrill. (Wonder why we have a drug problem?) Others who have children feel that their only obligation to society is to raise their families. But have they instilled the basic principle of service to our Republic?
Citizenship requires sacrifice for the greater good. We pay taxes so the greater good is translated into public schools, good roads and safe neighborhoods.
This is not some Socialism, it is the fundamental principle of America.
I’ll give you an example that occurs everyday. Often when someone lives in a house, they will put up a mailbox. It could be a $20 Home Depot special or it could be an expensively carved $200 edifice facing the post man every day. Doesn’t matter what was spent on that mail container, once you, citizen, put it up to receive the mail, it magically becomes Federal property. Only properly registered mail is to be contained within it and it is subject to postal regulations. That’s because regardless of your personal investment, it is now there for the public good.
The greater good for Newburyport is to see our public (citizens’) sidewalks improved for the entire benefit of the community.
I will be posting tomorrow, how the sidewalks improved, blows back positively to those who keep them up. Their ‘curb appeal’ and increased equity and worth increases for their home. Their momentary sacrifice of improving the sidewalks is considered by the IRS even as no sacrifice. Stay Tune!
Regardless, it is time we benefit the entire community rather than a few ‘special interests’ who refuse to embrace the duties of ‘citizenship’.