Newburyport, Other People’s Money

It seems that for the most part the folks who have moved to Newburyport, MA “recently,” make a whole lot more money than the folks who moved here let’s say 12 years ago, a real whole lot more money than the folks who moved let’s say here 22 years ago, and an off the charts more money than folks who moved here let’s say 32 years ago and most “natives.”

That brings me to the Elementary School Building Needs thing again. The scope of the money involved for the proposed “needs” is in my mind off the charts. If I were going to be catty, I would say that it was completely out of touch with reality.

To demolish the Brown School and build a new one? Say what? Two major renovations to the Bresnahan School plus a brand new school on the Cherry Hill property? Excuse me?

Myopic (which ironically means “showing a lack of foresight or long-term planning”) is a “polite” term that comes to mind.

Eventually, I figured we would be presented with 1 elementary school to be built and paid for, but 3 new ones? Good grief no!

The thing about civics is that it is messy. We have what for Newburyport is a recent influx of “wealthy” young families who would, it sounds like, like first class facilities for their children (who wouldn’t.) However, Newburyport still has a socio-economic mix of folks, which I think is a GOOD thing. It’s one of the things I really love about this place and wish we had more of it. It has given this town a down to earth quality, which is why many of us moved here in the first place. Wellesley (sorry Wellesley) I never want us to be you.

(There is always the “choice” of choicing one’s children to Hamilton –Wenham or wherever…wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened, or the myriad of private schools on the North Shore…people have thought of that one before.)

What I’m hearing is that our Newburyport City Council seem to understand that huge amounts of money for 3 elementary schools might not go over well at all.

Not only might it not go over well, but it would most probably, if has not already, create an enormous resentment towards the young families who are pushing for such a proposal. Not good.

One would like to embrace our young families and work together as a community, young, old and middle aged, instead of feeling as if one faction is thinking of diminishing other factions of their hard earned, worked for money.

So it would be my very strong suggestion for the Elementary Building Needs folks to consider its “needs” within context of the “needs” of the entire community as well, young, middle aged, old alike.

A compromise, yes. This proposal would be to invite major setbacks for the Newburyport School System. Period.

My guess is that people’s instinct would be not only to vote against this proposal, but be so angry that it was even proposed in the first place, that any proposal would not be trusted or voted for unless this one is pulled off the table ASAP.

Mary Eaton