To the editor:
My wife Sue and I are happy neighbors to Cashman Park for 30 years, the site of various recreational activities. It was with much surprise that we recently learned Cashman Park was permitted as host venue to an Elvis musical for 15 shows on stage less than 150 feet from 16 homes. The shows would have run Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights 7:30-10:30 per the permit! The neighborhood group quickly came together and contacted city officials and explained how we were ambushed and excluded from the process. Mayor Donna Holaday and the City Council quite literally sprang into action. Sharif Zeid, Jared Eigerman, Heather Shand, and Byron Lane as ward councilors as well as at-large Councilors Afroz Khan, Joe Devlin, Charlie Tontar and Barry Connell all responded quickly and problem solved.
Time was very short and the window to pull this off properly required immediate action. Mayor Holaday and the council reached out to the group, laid out issues and fixes and got the job done “with no time left on the clock.”
While the process was fatally flawed from the start, once Mayor Holaday and the City Council learned what was happening, they fixed the issue and the shows will go on at the more appropriate and newly created Waterfront East. We wish the performances success and that the audience comes early to enjoy downtown Newburyport.
A lot of bumps need smoothing in the process, but today is a big thank you from a large group of Newburyport residents to the mayor and council. Elvis has left the building – but has found a better home.
Bob and Sue Cronin (and our neighborhood group)