Nothing comes easy in Newburyport. I sat down once, thanks to Jessica Gill, the archivist, in front of newspaper-sized archives and laboriously pulled page after page of the Newburyport Daily News from the 60’s to the early 80’s. The beautiful City we have today does not reflect the royal battles and blood on the streets that produced it. Great Hullabaloo’s, citizen uprisings and fierce debates raged year after year over the future of our community. One side pulled in one direction and another pulled in another. Some good citizens were humbled and humiliated while scurvy rascals plied their trade and evilly collected their elicit rewards. Every advance was met with animosity and sometimes betrayal. No wonder many choose not to get into politics! It is not for the faint of heart.
And yet, the struggles in a large part have been worth it as we have seen Newburyport’s star steadily rising.
It will keep on rising if we don’t quit.
The Moveable Sign Ordinance Amendment did not pass last night but it will pass soon. Historic preservationists are here to stay and we expect to make a difference for the benefit of our City.
The best course of action now is to take ordinances from dozens of cities around Massachusetts and copy their prohibitions to such mobile signage, stack it up and send it to our councilors who think it’s such an intrusion. If they don’t like the wording then maybe the many voices of other municipalities will re-assure them.
Either way, we will keep up the pressure. This city council is still peopled with individuals who passed that odious monstrosity of words called the Wind Energy Ordinance (The ordinance is huge) but will strain over the gnat of a sign ordinance change!.
We can not let this great experiment of using historic preservation to improve the quality of life in Newburyport to pass away over crass demagoguery.