, Newburyport, MA


January 20, 2014

Let's give Mayor Gray a chance

To the editor:

I read in the Jan. 14 paper the “As I See It “ article by Bill Chatigny claiming that “Progress in Amesbury is at a dead stop” because we elected a political novice and, worse yet, a Republican.

I could care less about party affiliation. I care about the way the town is run.

It seems that before Ken Gray is given a chance to govern, Bill is displaying a very negative attitude. He talks about all of Mayor Kezer’s accomplishments. Let’s give him credit for them. But let’s also review the past failures while the city has been under Democrat control.

Where do we start? How about the River Walk connection between the Lower and Upper Millyards. Does he forget that this project was slated for completion back in Mayor Hildt’s administration? So we have had about 10 years of non-accomplishment. How about the massive Terrasphere project that was promised to reduce residential taxes by infusing hundreds of thousands of dollars in commercial tax revenue? Does he remember that the city gave for free the 22 acres of waterfront land around Bailey’s Pond to the winner of the Terrasphere bid to motivate the commercial development and yet nothing has been done?

What have the last two administrations left for the city? The probability of a massive residential development which, instead of adding commercial tax revenue, will add enormous burdens to our infrastructure — schools, etc. Can we also applaud the successful development of the “Golden Triangle,” the solutions to the pollution of Lake Attitash, etc.? These are some of the reasons we voted for change.

Thankfully we do have a wonderful city with a special location. And now we have a mayor who has had a successful career in the private sector. Let’s give him a chance to show that those skills can be applied to government. He never said he would reduce taxes. He said that he would do a better job controlling tax increases, improving property values and attracting commercial development. There is certainly plenty of room for improvement in all three areas. Let’s support his efforts and put aside all the negativity.

Jim Chandler


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