Newburyport, Paid Parking

What I sense as I walk around town, on the subject of paid parking for downtown Newburyport, is still a deep, conscious and unconscious resistance.

Not to the degree that the resistance to downtown Newburyport parking existed when it was proposed about 10 years ago, but it still runs deep.

And my father, who was a very astute man, I think would have said, that the resistance is not just about paid parking, but possibly that people might feel that they are “losing their town.”

I think he would be right.

And I asked Mayor Donna Holaday about this. Her response was, as I understand it, that, yes, there could well be a feeling of a loss of control.

But to make sure people feel that they are in control of their town, the mayor, as I understand it, is proposing, for a fee, and a hugely discounted fee for seniors, a sticker for residents that not only would provide free parking for Newburyport’s downtown, but also for Newburyport’s compost heap, and for parking on Newburyport’s Plum Island Point. And there would be something worked out for businesses and people who work downtown (specifics not asked by me) as well.

So I am very impressed by our mayor. It does not appear that Mayor Donna Holaday would like to mess with the people of Newburyport as far as downtown parking goes and torture them. It appears that her goal would be to give the people of Newburyport a Newburyport parking Christmas present instead.

Newburyport, Planning and Development

As far as civics goes, the thing that most fascinates me is Planning and Development. Especially when it is done well.

And in looking over the job description for the job of Newburyport Planning and Development Director, two things struck me.

One–the emphasis is on zoning, zoning, zoning–planning, planning, planning, and in mind this is a very good thing. I love this.

Two–Under “Knowledge, Skills and Abilities,” there is a very interesting paragraph: “Ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships with City officials, contractors, architects, land developers, associates and the general public.”

Another words the onus is on the Planning Director to get along with people who work at City Hall and the various architects and developers, etc., not visa-versa.

And that small paragraph tells me volumes about how our new mayor, Donna Holaday governs.

The emphasis appears to be on “team,” not on anyone person, no matter how brilliant, when it comes to the workings of running the large business of Newburyport’s City Government.

And from what I understand there is a wealth of highly qualified and exciting applicants from all over the country.

I am going to be very interested in how the whole process of selecting Newburyport’s new Planning Director unfolds, and who Mayor Holaday ends up appointing for this crucial job.