Mother of All Sneaks

Granted when I accused political ‘sneaking’ I did it out of a misconception and in my hot blood laid the charge, nevertheless political sneaking is a fact in local government.      I’ve witnessed many a deed in which things were snuck in while the public was focusing its attention on other things.     Sometimes, it’s to advance a policy or program that will give special help to someone.     It’s usually a thinly veiled attempt at patronage.  For example, the “After a nationwide search, it just so happens that my campaign director’s nephew has been given the job”       Other times, it’s to help some developer by subtle means.

I remember when Mayor Lavender was conducting town hall style planning meetings in which citizens could have a hand in conceptualizing saving the Common Pasture.     So average citizens with different interests gathered together and figured it out using paper blocks and an aerial map.      It was pretty good until this strange development appeared at the end of the Russell Terrace Extension.        No one in the group admitted they had put it there so an attempt was made to remove it.     Lo and behold, in the final planning map, it was back again!       And when it was brought to the attention of the Planning Office, they ignored any demands to have it removed.

I remember when the Sewer Department was going to run their lines down the abandoned Route 95 corridor.     It didn’t make sense to do it there when Low Street was more important.     Turned out a landlocked property owner needed it.       By law, the right was there to tie into it and thus make his land developable.        Fortunately, concerned citizens put it down the right corridor.

Well the DPS and the Mayor; with money to burn have decided to do the Mother of all Sneaks.      Splurge newly acquired sidewalk money to keep the same slipshod status quo of operation on our sidewalks as has been made for a hundred years.      And doing it on Prospect – a back street so no one will notice.    

With no input from the public.

With no input from City Council.

With no perceivable plan from the Planning Office.

They figure that splurging it in an irresponsible way will be covered up by neighbors absolutely thrilled that ANY work is being done on sidewalks.

The result is no enhancement on safety (lots of mixed uses of various levels of survivability), no regard to ADA-Guidelines and no attempt at any long-range planning.

NO SNEAKING IN OUR CITY ANYMORE?      What do you call this?

-P. Preservationist

PS. Tomorrow, I’ll lay out pictures so you can know what I mean!    Even a video so you can stumble through it!


About P. Preservationist

Dedicated to the Enrichment & Preservation of Newburyport
This entry was posted in History, News and politics, Organizations, Restoration. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Mother of All Sneaks

  1. Jack Santos says:

    I have to agree with you….it is disappointing that in such a beautiful city, the sidewalks look like a patch job, even after the money was spent! I actually prefer the unrepaired versions – at least it belied some degree of historical accuracy…now it looks like a bureaucrat’s thoughtless shortcut and solution to being told to “get ‘er done”…which is exactly what it is…

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