To the editor:

On Oct. 7, a resident wrote with concerns about Waterfront West issues, pointing out the importance of protecting Newburyport’s “unique characteristics.”

Her implications were that the present councilors have not been active enough in that area.

Actually, in considering the last approximately 13 years of negotiations with New England Development, our local officials have staved off several proposals by the company that would have vastly increased the density of that space.

In fact, NED’s first proposal to the public consisted of five – yes, five – long condo buildings reaching down to the water with narrow passageways in between; several other buildings were included as well.

Fortunately, our councilors, mayor and Planning Board stood up to NED and prevented this plan from becoming reality. Several other similar too-dense proposals have been floated, and these have also been defeated thanks to our officials, including Councilor Charlie Tontar.

Charlie has worked with developers and with state and federal governments for years in his municipal and professional roles. The Waterfront West negotiation is not a new arena for him. He won’t have to learn on the job.

I support the election of Charlie Tontar as Newburyport mayor on Nov. 2.

Carolyn Johnson


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