To the editor:
I am responding to Mike Early’s letter to the editor on March 7, “Let our voices be heard on the open waterfront.” I attended my first Citizens for Open Waterfront meeting on March 2. There were 33 Newburyport residents present and one non-resident from Newbury who grew up in Newburyport, certainly not a scant few out-of-towners as Mr. Early maintains.
They were well organized and extremely busy readying their plan for presentation and hopefully very serious consideration, as it is a plan that addresses the needs of the majority of Newburyport residents, not the small minority behind the NRA’s plan.
The majority of the respondents to a Newburyport Redevelopment Authority survey in 2006 said they want to see the dirt lots along the waterfront become expanded park with reduced parking space. Close to 80 percent of the 3,945 respondents want more green space along the central waterfront (see Daily News article dated July 26, 2006, “Residents prefer park space to parking spots”).
Considerable research has been done on strategies for the city to afford an open waterfront without the need to generate more tax revenue with a couple of “bookend” buildings with condos in exchange for more park or a hotel, as Mike Early advocated when he ran for City Council in 2011.
Please keep an open mind as COW comes forward with their proposal. I encourage the mayor to do so as well.