To the editor:
I would like to send you some of my thoughts and impressions about the City Council’s Planning and Development Committee and the Council of the Whole meeting, which was held Nov. 15 at the Newburyport City Hall. I am called the Newburyport “Watch Dog” because I have attended and commented on so many City Council meetings and Study Committee meetings this past year.
City Councilor at-Large Dick Sullivan was once again our champion. He spoke clearly and forcefully against the LHD. He said that he felt the main reason people did not trust the LHD was because the Historic Commission is so disliked. I also agreed with him when he said “NO LHD in downtown, because it can spread!” He said “people just want to be left alone!” I truly believe he understands the average mind-set of Newburyport and realizes that the average citizen does not want to lose their personal property rights.
On the other hand, Councilor Cameron wrote a blog in the paper this morning that showed he may not be listening to all his constituents. He seemed to be mixing up common courtesy with how people want him to vote on the LHD proposal. He stated that people who were opposed to the LHD shook his hand last night after the meeting, thereby inferring that these people may now agree with his view to support the concept of an LHD. It was as if he has not paid attention to the 1,000 citizens in Newburyport who have signed the Say No to LHD petition or to the letters I have sent him over the past year, letters to the editor, written by many different citizens in Newburyport.
After the meeting I also had several people approach me to shake my hand and thanked me for all of my work in fighting the LHD, and told me they were disappointed in Ed Cameron’s comments. He mentioned that one of the arguments against the LHD he did not agree with was the issue that “citizens were afraid of losing their personal property rights.” He said that he didn’t agree with the argument because he didn’t think that loss of personal property rights were a “negative” infringement.
Councilor O’Connor Ives stated that she would like to propose yet another LHD, created in the commercial downtown area of Newburyport. I believe this negates people and families who live or rent in the downtown area, because it singles them out for unfair restrictions and may also view people who live in this area as “commercial” instead of being human or perhaps even a family home.
Councilor Earls said he thought it was unfair to penalize just the area downtown. I guess he might want infringement of property rights to be shared equally throughout the town? I found his argument a little confusing.
What we need are more councilors like Dick Sullivan. Someone who speaks what he believes to be the desire of the majority of his constituents and does what he thinks is best for the City of Newburyport. If you would like information about fighting the LHD, write SayNotoLHD@aol.com.