, Newburyport, MA


March 25, 2014

Clearing up what I said, where I stand

To the editor:

I wasn’t going to correct the misquote that Mr. Roy references but what I actually said was “the High and Fruit Street elite” and the target was, in fact, those that have decided they will determine what housing is/is not appropriate for Newburyport.

People who, for example, said in previous letters: “to those of you who think you have absolute right to do what you want with your home — get over it.” Wait, that was actually Mr. Roy. Those who said, “we don’t want inappropriate architecture,” to which, as I said at the meeting, if carried to the extreme, that would mean all the Federalists on Federal and High streets are inappropriate because 1 Federal and the Rawson House on High are first period.

My other point was asking who decides what “taking appropriate care of the property” entails — do we force a pensioner to pay to paint their house at the whim of the commission under the “taking care” provision and fine them $300/day if they can’t afford it?

In answer to Mr. Roy’s other questions — I’m college educated (Ivy League), reasonably successful and have owned two first period and multiple other early houses, all of which were cherished. Unlike others, however, I do not believe that gives me the right to be the arbiter of taste for the rest of the town.

David E. Levine


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