I was on the waterfront yesterday and spotted the ticket booth for the tour boats stuck off the boardwalk. I found out asking around that the Mayor had basically told Waterfront Trust to stop arguing and move it. The message from the Mayor and she means it is stop the squabbling between commissions, boards and departments and work together for the benefit of the city.
One of the main reasons that Furnari is now the head of the DPW/Water Department is because he doesn’t run a ‘kingdom’. It used to be that the Water/Sewer Department only cared about the Water/Sewer Department. It didn’t matter that just a little effort could improve other services around the city. It doesn’t matter that the Clipper City Rail Trail, Phase II runs next to the Sewer Plant. It doesn’t matter if a little effort could improve the waterfront. It wasn’t over their control.
One of the biggest gripes I have is the fact the Harbor Commission sought and received permission to dredge the fishing pier. Great in itself but directly adjacent was the pier for the Custom House. If they had been notified (and they weren’t), the city could have reaped great revenue and fame by making the area behind the museum capable of receiving the tall ships that Newburyport is so famous for!
A good example of little fiefdoms throughout the city! They have for years been present on many levels.
The Mayor’s insistence in citywide teamwork already makes her a good Mayor. I hope the effort can be kept up but it takes a backbone of steel to go up against these ‘little kings’.
I know I am veering off the subject a bit, but these fiefdoms also exist amongst the nonprofits. I great trend to combat this tendency recently has been cooperation between groups. For example, during the Preservation Week, the Preservation Trust worked in cooperation with the Historical Society of Old Newbury and the Firehouse Center for the Arts to host the presentation, Farms to Factories. Each benefited and each received free advertisement by working together.