, Newburyport, MA


June 13, 2014

No discord, only people working together

To the editor:

In your editorial on June 5, you remark that Amesbury’s Mayor Gray is “facing the wrath of a handful of political enemies who are doing their best to embarrass him and see him fail, no matter the cost to Amesbury as a whole.”

What do you mean by this? You give no examples and no evidence to back up this accusation. If the group you are describing is just “a handful,” then who are they? Why don’t you name them?

Am I one of those people because I have an “I Support Amesbury Schools” sign in my yard, am one of 1,200 people who signed a petition requesting a very small tax increase in order to save important teaching positions in our public schools, and I wrote an email to my elected representatives respectfully stating my feelings?

If this is what you call “wanting to see the mayor fail,” I call it responsible citizenship, and it’s the same thing I and other caring citizens have done under Mayor Hildt, Mayor Kezer and now Mayor Gray. We want to see all of Amesbury — its leaders, its citizens, its businesses and civic organizations — succeed and thrive, and we believe strongly that one key to this is building up our schools.

You applaud Mayor Gray because he “held the line on one of the key issues that earned him the mayor’s seat — tamping down on tax hikes.” You do not mention that, in doing so, he has failed to uphold his second mandate — to foster excellent schools.

The mayor has acknowledged that reducing Amesbury’s tax rate will take time, yet he will not consider an average tax increase of $35 per year per homeowner in order to preserve the technology education and family consumer science programs in our middle and high schools.

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