Such a discussion would simply be academic if it wasn’t so much ingrained into the Federal & State House mindset.
The automatic assumption is that our pretty environment and our nice looking neighborhoods and downtown means that we are a ‘wealthy’ town. Pretty does not equal wealthy. They take one look at those massive Federal-style mansions and assume single ownership. Most are broken up into apartments and condo’s.
The automatic assumption is that our high quality of life that we possess here in Newburyport is because we are ‘wealthy’. Again, our high standard of life here is because we are an architecturally unique city surrounded with ecological treasures. Our protection of our historic properties and our open spaces has resulted all to often in fierce battles but the result has been a wonderful place to live. If the developers had their way, we would be an over-crowded, traffic-congested hell with houses stretching from border to border with a sagging (yes, even more so than we have today) infrastructure with over-taxed and worn down property owners.
That hell would have resulted from lots of construction money being spread around benefiting the few.
The problem is that our representatives (That’s Baddour, Costello, Stanley and Tarr) need to spread the word that we are NOT wealthy. Our federal-level politicians (Brown, Kerry and Tierney) need to spread the word that we are NOT wealthy. Everyone of these people have intimate knowledge of our region. They know that Gloucester and Newburyport are not wealthy communities even though both are surrounded by breathtaking beauty.
THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR THIS MISCONCEPTION TO CONTINUE.
Only then can we start to get the proper earmarks and funding that our area needs when it comes to not just infrastructure but for the more needy sector of our population. We keep being shut out from assistance because of this crazy label of ‘wealthy town’. We keep getting the short end of federal and state programs.
It may take a lot of statistical facts and personal persuasion but like a steady drumbeat; hopefully it will get through to the State House and Washington.