, Newburyport, MA


July 18, 2013

I ask myself: 'What is best for the public?'

To the editor:

I read David Strand’s Viewpoint column (July 13) in which he expresses, in great detail, his feelings of pride in the city and his personal preferences for improvements to the waterfront lots. My first response was: “Well, here’s a good example of the aphorism, “There’s no accounting for taste.”

Although I certainly share Mr. Strand’s appreciation for the natural beauty and history of the Newburyport area, and his impatience to see improvements to the waterfront lots, Mr. Strand’s vision of a retail and condo development is about as far removed from mine as can be imagined.

I believe that the right thing to do would be to keep the land in the public domain, improve and expand the park area and create landscaped and flexible parking space, with no permanent buildings, similar to the vision that has been articulated by Committee for an Open Waterfront, and also in the City of Newburyport’s 2003 long-term plan for the central waterfront.

But since this waterfront resource is publicly, not privately, held, differences in opinions can’t be easily dismissed with a casual “to each his own.” There’s a public debate that needs to be settled.

If the process had been different, this public conversation would have preceded the rollout of an NRA plan to sell and build.

In theory, Mr. Strand and I have equal rights to see our personal preferences and visions accommodated.

In practice, however, this is impossible because our visions are at physical odds. His vision — with the selling of a part of the public land for private development for shops and condos — excludes mine.

My right to open space and to a legacy of open space for the generations to follow is negated by his perceived right to sell and build. His vision takes more than it gives, because it transfers public land to private ownership forever.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner "The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1" Trailer is Here! Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad 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
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans