NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

December 6, 2012

Council has a duty to vote down LHD

To the editor:

There is a political problem in Newburyport — the Local Historic District. The issue has been placed, according to Article I, Section 8, Clause 14 of the U.S. Constitution, in the hands of the City Council, Newburyport’s legislature.

The political problem is that the pro-LHD faction wants to have public overseers on a certain segment of private historical properties against the historical property rights of owners. The political problem is the pro-LHD group doesn’t trust individuals to make decisions for themselves and that a public overseer is better. The political problem is the supporters of LHD have had many drafts, legal rulings, public commentaries and compromises touting the benevolent and benign virtues of it. The political problem is the proponents of LHD counter that the opposition accepted other forms of regulation and boards that are legal and constitutional, so why oppose this.

The political problem is the pro-LHD group sees it as insurance against bad decisions. The political problem is if the supporters of LHD receive one iota of it — victory.

The political problem is there has been an organic, organized and sustained opposition to LHD. The political problem is the impossibility of a compromise/consensus on the matter due to its very essence. The political problem is the fear of what versions LHD 2.0, 3.0, etc. will bring. The political problem is that governing/regulating bodies don’t recede, they expand. The political problem is the difficult endeavor to remove one of the members of this committee providing historical insurance.

I offer two answers. The first is the U.S. Constitution’s right to regulate property. James Madison, father of the U.S. Constitution, articulated the rights of property owners on March 29, 1792, in the National Gazette. He stated, “Government is instituted to protect property of every sort; as well that which lies in the various rights of individuals, as that which the term particularly expresses. This being the end of government, that alone is a just government, which impartially secures to every man, whatever is his own.”

The second, the City Council has a historical and political duty to vote down the LHD to again “impartially secure to every man, whatever is his own.”

D.C. Gagnon

Newburyport

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans