NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

January 8, 2013

Putting the seal on 'City of Amesbury'

When I first came to Amesbury last summer, I’ll be honest, I was really confused by the discrepancy between the city’s form of government and the way everyone referred to it as a town.

Think about it: Amesbury has a mayor, a City Council and is officially known in the city charter as the “City of Amesbury,” and yet every official city document contains a seal that says “Town of Amesbury.” Even the big sign on City Hall says “Amesbury Town Hall.”

It strikes me as a minor quirk that you get used to after a while, but you have to admit it is a little misleading, and evidently Mayor Thatcher Kezer thinks so too, because tonight the City Council will be presented with a new bill that proposes amending Amesbury’s official city seal so that it says “City of Amesbury” instead of “Town of Amesbury.”

The change is fairly insignificant. If passed, the bill would literally just change the word “Town” to “City,” but Kezer said he felt it was important that the seal be consistent with the city’s official name. He added that there are no plans to completely overhaul the city’s seal, but if there were enough desire to do so, he might consider it in the future.

There are some small costs associated with the change, but Kezer said he wants the change to be made before the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge renovation project begins in order to avoid a much bigger cost in the future.

“At some point they’re going to have the seals made of the three communities to be embedded into the project, so it wouldn’t be good to change it after it’s been done,” Kezer said.

Amesbury first switched over from a town to a city form of government in 1996, but it was still called a town by many people afterward because they thought Amesbury was too small and quaint to be a city.

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