, Newburyport, MA


March 22, 2013

Open waterfront group not telling whole truth

To the Editor:

“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!”

I’ve been recently taken to task by one Elizabeth G. Heath in these pages who touts herself as a principle of the “non profit corporation”, Citizens For An Open Waterfront”. It seems that she disputes my contention, also in these pages, that this is a “secret society” with no real Newburyport connection other than Mrs. Heath’s apparent Newburyport address. Of particular annoyance appears to be my contention that this “organization” is quite small and dominated by “ivory tower residents” of surrounding communities. Once again we are confronted with the wholly insincere claim of some “1000– name” petition attesting to this corporation’s strong local support.

A cursory inspection of the public records of the Secretary of State would appear to buttress my claim. These records reveal an original filing of this corporation on Feb. 8, 1999 which subsequently dissolved as inactive by the Secretary of State on June 18, 2012 and thereafter “revived” on January 11, 2013 although not under its original “non profit” tax ID number. Listed in there filings are the following entries:

President: Nicholas Metcalf, 110 Hay St., Newbury

Treasurer: Joanne Purinton, 36 Main St., Byfield

Clerk: Elizabeth G. Heath, 25 Oak St., Newburyport

Although this “corporation” has filed no annual reports with the Secretary of State since 2011, that document continues to reflect the principal address of 110 Hay St., Newbury. Additionally, it would appear that all said “officers” terms of office expired on April 6, 2012. Irrespective of these fillings “under the pains and penalties of perjury” these good folks continue to maintain that they are members of a grassroots Newburyport organization entitled to dictate the future of our downtown waterfront.

So what’s the real point here? As I’ve already stated previously, this is a free country and just because someone does not live in Newburyport proper, they still have a right to express their opinion as to the viability and appropriateness of the NRA’s plan for development of the most important piece of taxable property in their “urban core”. What they do not have the right to do, however, is hide behind the wizard’s curtain and claim to be the “great and powerful” voice of Newburyport. The public record speaks for itself. The issues at stake here are far too important to allow any of us the liberty to distort facts relevant to an “open” discussion of the future of our community. Let’s try and keep that discussion honest.

Mike Early


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