NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

January 23, 2014

Amesbury's 'brand' lies in the welcome signs

To the editor:

The concept of “branding” Amesbury, which was brought up last year, wasn’t necessarily a bad one. However, I would suggest that the $20-$30,000 that was proposed to hire someone who might turn Amesbury’s fortunes around by creating a new image would have been much better used to upgrade the city “welcome” signs, which are outdated, under-maintained (if they are maintained at all), unlit and poorly situated.

Assuming the city has responsibility or jurisdiction of these signs (I assume it does), it is worth noting that millions of dollars in additional municipal money have been taken in over the last eight or so years (to the point that there’s even a sizable amount of free cash), and yet not even a small fraction of that has been proposed to maintain or upgrade Amesbury’s curb appeal in one of the most obvious ways, or at least it seems that way.

Each time I drive past the Route 110/150 intersection (Andyman’s location) and look at the rusting, paint-chipped, broken and/or misplaced signs, I get aggravated. As a property owner, I know full well that the way I maintain my property has a huge impact on its value and neighboring property values, and makes my property either something aesthetically attractive to look at or an eyesore. Amesbury’s signs — and I know of at least three (150 north of downtown, 110 near the 495 overpass and routes 110/150 intersection) — are an eyesore and, furthermore, an embarrassment. They speak volumes about the direction the city has taken since they were erected; and, if left as are, they speak volumes about where Amesbury is headed.

With Amesbury’s 350th anniversary since incorporation around the corner (1668-2018), and with an impetus to attracting new business and residents into the city, I would urge whoever is in a position to do so to take a look at this issue. I think the current signs, being in the condition they’re in, have Amesbury branded, in many ways, as a city in decay, not of growth or prosperity — and it wouldn’t take a paid consultant to figure this out. Upgrading them would send a strong message, to visitors and residents, that Amesbury is, or desires to be, a vibrant community, conscious of its past, and has a lot to offer.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Motorcyclist Sticks Landing This 'Breaking Bad' Reunion is the Most Hilarious Thing You'll See All Day! President Obama talks about who James Foley was Nicki Minaj Unleashes Her 'Anaconda' On the World Watch Helicopter Perform Aerial Ballet Can Buckeyes fill Miller's void? Victoria's Secret Models Prove They're in Fighting Shape How Brian Hoyer Stacks Up With Johnny Manziel Taylor Swift Reveals New Album 1989 is Full-On Pop Crews rescue elderly woman trapped inside flooded minivan Man Poses for New Mugshot Photo Wearing Shirt with Old Mugshot Photo On It Disquieting times for Malaysia's 'fish listeners' Caught On Camera: Johnny Manziel Obscene Gesture Rita Ora Embraces the Ice Bucket Challenge Bird surprises soccer player Ashley Young during game Chapter Two: Never too late to become an artist Ice Bucket Challenge Goes Viral, Raises Over $15M For ALS Damaging Winds Stop the Show! In the Cockpit of the Air Force's Elite Squadron Pathologist: Autopsy Shows Teen Repeatedly Shot
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans