, Newburyport, MA

February 27, 2013

Buildings on waterfront will help taxpayers

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

It has been some time since the “silent majority” has spoken. Of course, there was a reason for the silence, and it was the defeat of the so-called historic district, and it appears the “silent majority” made their case and won. So much for history.

The war cry of some of our residents is now centered on the waterfront development, where the “open space” chant is used in every letter to the editor. Would you believe it, we even have a resident of Byfield getting into the act. I guess there isn’t too much happening in our bordering town. You believe it, this group is even attacking the NRA board members who are charged with developing 4.2 acres of land on the waterfront. Shame on you!

Many of us “silent majority” were very young in the ’60s and ’70s, but we do remember that taxable buildings were torn down to create what we have today, but the dirt parking lots were only established to provide parking until the entire waterfront was completed. Guess what? We are all old now, and the dirt parking lots still remain, and the entire waterfront has not brought in one nickel, except the parking fees that recently happened.

Let’s define “open space” to see if we have any at all. Gee, we have a great boardwalk. Gee, we have a million-dollar Waterfront Park. Gee, we have a great view of the river from Cashman Park. Gee, we have Maudslay State Park, Atkinson Common, Bartlet Mall, Joppa Flats and Hale’s Park, and no doubt, have more “open space” per resident than any community in the commonwealth. Apparently, the proponents of more “open space” have a comfortable income to meet their yearly taxes, but we, “the silent majority,” are made up of residents looking for assistance that taxable property on our waterfront will give us a break.

During the summer months, many of the COW members solicited signatures of not only locals, but visitors from out of town on our boardwalk and obtained signatures, apparently to show officials how many want open space. Gee, don’t they have to get a permit to do that, and isn’t it rude to detain visitors on their day off so they may enjoy the day?

I don’t know about you, but many of the “silent majority” are running out of time, age-wise, and it’s possible we will not see this issue solved, so we guess we’ll have to put up with this group that must have been brought up in a closet, as they don’t seem to recognize “open space” if they fell over it.

Ralph Ayers