I don’t know why the Dark Side hates the Community Preservation Act. Ever since CEB brought it forth on the ballot, they have actively campaigned against it. They tried to reduce the surcharge and the voters turned them back, they deliberately delayed its inaction so a whole year of grant money could not be used by the citizens of the City. They have spread spurious arguments since then such as "Its just a slush fund for special interest.", "The citizens receive no benefit from this money.", "The property owners especially those with fixed and lower incomes are suffering from its levy.", and so on.
The entire state is standing in awe with what has been done through the CPA for Newburyport. I will dedicate a whole editorial listing to all the benefits so far. Our City has literally shined because of this fund.
But the first thing out of a Dark Sider’s mouth is, "I want to repeal the CPA." Well, how does it feel to want?
The DS knew that the citizens wanted this money used right away to preserve open space. That was the big deal after the construction of Cherry Hill and Viny Village and a big push to develop the Common Pasture and expand the industrial park. So, in a clever move, they agreed to bond the CPA money for purchase of open space as long as money was borrowed for restoring City Hall. Many grumbled because such a repair should have come before the citizens in a special bond or debt exclusion or the planning office could have worked to get Commonwealth funding but no, that was the deal.
Now they can just stew. The bond payment will be in effect for over ten years, some say fourteen and if some dedicated dark sider gets a repeal onto the ballot or seeks to reduce the property surcharge through a petition initiative, City Hall will have to tap into the General Fund to pay the bond payments. Not likely when no one in the city is in the mood to do extra funding and when our school children and elderly are doing without.
Who would have thought CPA’s best friends were the Dark Siders!