, Newburyport, MA


October 15, 2013

Make PI sewer/water issue public

To the editor:

It was disappointing to see councilors vote no on Mr. Sullivan’s PI proposal. Year 2013 and still no open government in Newburyport. People paying for this project have every right to know what is going on. My family has a $157,000 share vested, add my cousins, it balloons to $262,000. Wouldn’t you want to know with this kind of investment?

Mayor Holaday had a meeting in February to discuss this issue with residents. Councilors had to convince her to have it. Not only is the mayor not for an open waterfront but also not for open government. She uses “active litigation” as an excuse. You cannot “tip your hand.” There are two companies involved, CDM and D & C. They already know what you are doing. Not only that city employees that worked on the project are covering their trails. One was fired; the other is living out of the country. The mayor has already tipped her hand.

What a surprise Alison Heartquist voted no. The majority she represents favor “confidential proceedings.” Really! As councilwoman she represents the Newburyport end of the island. Yet islanders see it that she represents PI as an entirety. We are educated people living on one island. This proposal was to open government to give information to its residents, not a move for Sullivan “to advance his political ambitions.” Will it be political posturing if the mayor releases the information before the election? Coincidence or political posturing?

I have learned that the hardware holding the pipes together under the river doesn’t exist. One of the testers worked on the project. So they would be in the know. The salt water has disintegrated the nuts and bolts. It is just a matter of time before something lets go.

Cronin’s statement is correct that every ward in the city will be involved with expenses with these problems. Keep in mind if there is a catastrophic break and personal property is damaged, judges in other parts of the country ruled if a municipality knew of problems leading up to the damage, then that municipality is liable.

I do not feel warm and fuzzy that the AG’s office/lawyers are taking care of all of this. Don’t worry, believe in the “confidential proceedings.” Did we not hear all this when the pipes were coming down the turnpike! You should all be very, very worried.

Are Newbury town fathers listening?

Daniel Mahoney

Plum Island

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