Since this is going to be a real question on November 8th, I suppose I should say a few final words about it.
I see my view on this by the way I see historic preservation.
Historic preservation is VERY IMPORTANT to me and I feel very strongly that it will enrich Newburyport and not just enrich me.
In fact, I love living inside the Newburyport Historic District filled with its old buildings…but I would hate to have one old building preserved…the outhouse. Especially in February. Old house living is wonderful but not so wonderful that I would trek 50 feet to relieve myself everyday.
I love the open beams above in my rustic house and the historic romantic feeling they produce but would hate to view them by candlelight or by whale oil every night.
I love going to the Tales and Ales Event at the Swett-Ilsley House and eat with my hands the rustic food but wouldn’t tolerate it in my house everyday.
I’m not trekking out back to a spring for my water.
I’m not driving off to work in a horse-n-buggy.
Or go to those old ‘bathhouses’ in Newburyport after a hard day at work.
And yet, we have an 1851 city charter that has basically not been changed since all those antiquated things have passed away.
THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A VALUABLE ANTIQUE AND SOMETHING THAT IS ANTIQUATED.
Unlike the U.S. Constitution that is the final authority in the land, our city charter is supposed to be compliant to Massachusetts General Law. Large sections of our charter are illegal: some of been crossed out – others so obviously of no relevance, no one has bothered to remove the sections – they just ignore them.
I love the new charter because it keeps the valuable historical parts of the charter intact. Things that have been treasured and which work well. They have preserved the wonderful historic lineage of mayor-ships that we can point to with pride not just historically but thanks to Ghlee Woodworth, pictorially, around City Hall.
I love the new charter because it streamlines the document, cuts out the illegal parts, gives the majority of Newburyport citizens what they want which is the four(4) year mayor and modernizes the language so the majority of the residents can understand it without hiring a lawyer.
What I really love is the new measure – a process by which changes can be made if something doesn’t work. Heck, the U.S. Constitution has that and they changed it with 26 amendments! Now we can make those changes too when necessary without going through the elaborate process of a charter commission.
Please vote yes on the new charter and take a look at some of the other benefits from its passage here.