It is time for another political lesson. When political movements and politicians write, seek out and identify ‘loaded’ words, then determine what the definition of those words mean according to the writer. Use some research, check out the history, look at the personalities involved and then find out the true meaning. Once identified, then the knowledgeable listener will find out what is really being said.
I was bemused by the editorial this week and wondered what was actually being said.
My conclusion was that the NRA wants to put buildings with extensive landscaped ‘lawns’ in the central Waterfront.
How do I know this?
Because I cringe every time someone uses the words, ‘job creation’ and ‘adding tax revenue’.
Remember the NAIDers*? They used the same mantra to justify taking of land in the Common Pasture.
They used the ‘job creation’ excuse so people would support them. People, who still freshly remembered the thousands of jobs that the shoe factories and CBS-Hytron had once provided. What they gave instead were jobs filled mostly by employees who live in other less-expensive communities.
The concept of ‘adding tax revenue’ looked good on paper for a city desperate to pay for its roads and schools. Instead, we got TIPs** that give a pass to businesses and then the reality of the global economy that put jobs in other less-expensive and less-regulated parts of the country if not the world.
The one good thing with N.A.I.D.*, they knew when the gig was up and disbanded.
So, if we use the same measurement for the NRA, then I say their mission has been accomplished, now disband!
Newburyport is no longer the boarded up mess it was when the redevelopment authority was created. The shop fronts are full, the tax revenue from the properties are coming in and the biggest challenge to the City is charging too much per square foot in the Downtown!
The business community will never be fully satisfied but no one can argue that Newburyport is not a mecca for economic opportunity.
So – let’s look what is really meant by the terms ‘job creation’ and ‘adding tax revenue’ knowing the history of the NRA?
That’s right – short-term construction jobs, employees working in small offices and shops and short-term building permit fees and long term tax revenue from a landlord.
The only question left to ask is, “How many do they want?”
PS. So if buildings are what they want, why did we go through this dog and pony show on a Disneyland-like central park which ate up our community & political energies for so long only to discard the entire concept?
* Newburyport Area Industrial Development
** Tax-incentive Program