, Newburyport, MA

October 21, 2013

NRA's plan for waterfront is sensible, sustainable

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

This letter reflects my personal opinion to why I support the NRA’s proposal for the completion of our central waterfront, a plan which I believe is intriguing, sensible and sustainable.

It has been a remarkable privilege to have the opportunity to be a resident of Newburyport for more than 40 years, 21 years of which I have served in municipal government in various capacities. My family has always appreciated our proximity to the Merrimack River and its access to the ocean. Boating has been a long-time pleasure; my two daughters have taught sailing at the American Yacht Club and my son served at the River Merrimack Station. This admiration of the river extends to the boardwalk, where early morning solitude is appreciated as much as the gregarious nature created on summer evenings with fellow residents and visitors. The admiration and appreciation for this unique harbor community extends to the downtown area, where we are fortunate to enjoy quality eclectic shopping, sophisticated and fun dining and gathering experiences and vibrancy that is unique to communities our size. Visitors enable much of this economy and culture to exist; I enjoy sharing my community with these visitors, it stimulates my sometimes dormant appreciation for how fortunate I am to live in Newburyport.

The mixed use of buildings in the downtown has been the backbone of a continued economic success and I believe similar development done in moderation will tie the boardwalk and riverfront to the downtown. It will allow for a sustainable addition to the present downtown commercial district, while maintaining the open access ways to the river, expanded park and substantial parking. We need to be able to grow our economy in a manner that has been successful, while honoring the need for public access and the continued enjoyment of our riverfront. Having been active in the community and been in positions to listen to the citizens speak about our community, I believe this plan addresses the majority of the ideas, visions and fears of a strong quiet contingency of residents and visitors.

John Moak

Former mayor, Newburyport