, Newburyport, MA

November 8, 2013

A call for harmony going forward in Amesbury

Newburyport Daily News

---- — To the editor:

Nothing stirs my faith in democracy like voting in a local election. I felt this reverence even more keenly on Tuesday, as I’ve been — I suppose like others — depressed by the clown show in Washington.

Here in Amesbury, where we’ve lived about 30 years, my vote matters; and given the razor-thin margin of Mayor-elect Ken Grey’s apparent victory, every vote truly counted.

I’m grateful for having had a choice between two respectable and well-qualified candidates. We’ve had a good run of mayors, beginning with Nick Costello in 1996. Their efforts, mightily supported by the taxpayers, have brought us a long way toward rebuilding and reviving a town that had been in decline for nearly seven decades.

Some may see the closeness of the vote as a sign of polarity, but we don’t have to — and shouldn’t — buy into divisiveness. We are actually very close to realizing a town that is whole again, for the first time since the 1920s, when Amesbury was, for its size, one of the most prosperous and desirable communities in the Northeast.

We are blessed with a wide and beautiful river valley, two lakes, a handsome Victorian town center and incomparable Point Shore, the best and most abundant water resources in the region, a solid and improving school system and, most of all, decent, hard-working people who have invested hope, toil and treasure in the restoration of their potentially incredible town.

The tax relief we all seek and which many truly need can come only by patiently seeing through the work at hand, and we owe it to ourselves to recommit to this worthy goal. One way or another, it’s going to happen. If we pull together, it will be sooner. The new mayor must do all he can to foster harmony, going forward.

Bill Plante