To the editor:
I have heard from some sources that for Ward 2 city councilor the right choice is the opponent of Chris Welch based primarily on Chris’ opposition to the Local Historic District (LHD). In conversation with Chris, I find that the allegations seem a bit off base. Specifically, Chris says that this seems to be a tactic of his opposition, and it is a gross distortion of his position. He brought this to the opponent’s attention, but had no reply; for me this lack of response alone is a non-starter for the opposition.
The fact is, Chris says, that he puts a high value on historic preservation, and has no reservations about the legitimacy of a Local Historic District to protect our historic neighborhoods. However, he was not crazy about the particulars of the actual proposal, despite his close friend and former law partner Doug Bolick being a member of the board that drafted it. His very realistic issue was with the geographic scope that made it a giant target for opposition. He knew as soon as he saw the map that it would be impossible to defend. That and the drawn-out 5-year process ensured that we would get nothing. And Chris is all about getting something done.
So, Chris Welch was not active in support of the LHD proposal, but it seems unfair to paint him as an opponent of LHDs or historic preservation. The fact is that he does support realistic historic preservation, and on the City Council he will be active in legislating it.
It’s obvious that Chris Welch is far and away better qualified to represent Ward 2, and in past service on the City Council he has initiated many important measures for the benefit of Newburyport. With the LHD issue out of the way, I hope Ward 2 residents will fall in behind Chris Welch for city councilor.