Newburyport, A Report on the Meeting of the Waterfront Task Force

Dear Citizens,

I am placing in bullet points some highlights of Mayor Moak’s meeting on July 12, 2006 (at the Newburyport police station conference room) regarding the Newburyport NRA central waterfront issue.

* The mayor’s hand out during the meeting is titled, “Central Waterfront Task Committee”; list the various individuals and groups as listed in the Daily news story of July 13, 2006.

* CEB Note: General Law Chapter 39, section 23A list committee or subcommittee however otherwise constituted, deliberating on public business, as a government body and guided by Chapter 39, section 23A of the Open Meeting Law. This is being referred for consideration.

* Susan St. Pierre was invited by the mayor to present a Chapter 91 overview to the Mayor’s central waterfront task committee.

* CEB Note: Susan St. Pierre worked for Roger Forster (directly or indirectly) during the time a hotel was being proposed for the NRA/Public lands.

* CEB Note: The NRA holds the deed for these two lots on the waterfront. The original intent for this creating of an entity to hold the waterfront deed was to keep local politics out of the decision process.

* It was noted several times that all data collected from the mayor’s task force committee was for a presentation to the NRA in the form of a position paper.

* Janet Marcus Chairperson of the Newburyport Redevelopment Authority noted the most recent public waterfront survey would be tabulated shortly.

* CEB Note: A rumor is floating that the current citizens’ survey on the use of the NRA/Public waterfront is indicating the public’s desire as the last survey and referendum before that; some parking (100-150) and mostly park.

* Mayor Moak stated that all he wants is what this group (Mayor’s central waterfront committee) determines as use/needs for the waterfront.

* The Mayor also noted he hoped that the people’s wishes to be in this plan. The mayor remarked about the process, would hate to see it stymie the imagination.

* As of this e-mail, the next Mayor’s central waterfront committee meeting is Aug. 9, 2006, 6 PM at the police station.

The public’s wishes have been expressed loud and clearly by majority votes and voices in referendums, surveys, and in the courts. If wisdom applied, it maybe wise to wait and listen to the most recent citizens’ survey STILL being tabulated. This would be wise if city government is interested in the voice of the people. I refer to the term city government; all officials elected by the people are responsible to maintain that trust of the ballot box.

It would be a grievous sin to allow the two Newburyport Redevelopment Authority lots; the most beautiful waterfront locations on the North Shore; to become an over flow parking lot for Mr. Karp’s Waterfront West project. This would also be a grievous sin towards the Citizens of our community and our Democratic Freedoms.

Albert G. Decie
Citizens for Environmental Balance (CEB)
Newburyport, MA

(Editor’s note: This is an edited version of a much longer email I received from Albert Decie. The longer email is a memo that is being sent to the District Attorney’s office enquiring whether or not the Open Meeting Law has been followed by Mayor John Moak. For the complete memo please contact Mr. Decie.)