To the editor:
The mayor wants to see Ken Gray’s plans for Amesbury. I think we’re all eager to hear what Gray has to say because I, for one, am tired of the various “plans” the mayor saddled us with.
Leaving aside the obvious, let’s look at the mayor’s latest plan. Amesbury now owns a brownfield carved off of a commercial parcel on Water Street. The former owner really couldn’t do anything with that section of his property except create the parking his building needs. Amesbury accepted this toxic land and not only removed taxable property from the tax rolls; we accepted full liability for its cleanup whether or not there’s money available.
So, the former owner receives a small bit of tax relief and once Amesbury pays to clean the land, design and engineer the project and complete it at prevailing wage rates, the former owner can enjoy the new public property and his new free private-parking spaces awarded to him as part of the plan. Sound good to you?
If this alone doesn’t send you a message about needing a change in plans, I don’t know what will.
How about $1,500,000-plus for the bus stop we now maintain and only rent; or the toxic runoff from Waste Management property that we’re not only allowing into our sewer plant for free, we’re building a sewer line to accommodate it. There’s always the new DPW building that, by the mayor’s own admission, is 12,000 square feet too big but needs a 12,000-square-foot addition.
I’m tired of public sector mentality “plans” and look forward to new leadership from the corporate sector where there’s real planning with the knowledge that taxpayers aren’t a bottomless pit of funding. Vote Gray in November.