, Newburyport, MA

October 16, 2012

Stand and be counted against LHD

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Exactly one year ago a small group of homeowners learned to our dismay that four years earlier $20,000 of taxpayer money had been given to a committee of townsfolk with time on their hands to “study” how best to impose a Local Historic District on residents of Newburyport.

We immediately launched a campaign to resist such a diminishing of our property rights. Using our own money, we mailed letters, printed yard signs, called neighbors, held meetings after work, asked people to sign our petition, stood out with clipboards and American flags, knocked on doors, taped on bumper stickers — everything, in short, we could think of to do. Our mission was to alert fellow homeowners that the mayor and her “study” committee believed that we were not qualified to maintain our own properties.

In the end, we gathered 1,012 authentic signatures of actual Newburyport residents, one at a time, in rain and snow and sunshine. We have binders filled with hundreds of letters and e-mails supporting our No LHD position.

In response, the “study” committee kept changing the wording of their proposal, hoping to keep us constantly confused about what they really want. Well, they want control, and no one is confused about that. Tyrants don’t always come from royal thrones, like King George III. They also come from the neighborhood. The tyrannical impulse of today’s leftists is to micro-manage our lives to the point where we need a permit for everything. And they issue the permits.

So we have come to the end game. The LHD proposal, a witches’ brew of fines and regulations and unelected overseers, is finally in the hands of the City Council. What they will do is anyone’s guess. But if they impose this thing on us, it will be forever.

What you can do is stand with us at the next scheduled public hearing at City Hall on Oct. 25. The sanctity of the rights of property owners was one of the central issues that drove Thomas Jefferson to write a document telling George III to take a hike. And George was a king. Heaven knows what Jefferson would have said to an amateur “study” committee.

K D Chambers