Newburyport, MA, Capital Improvement Plan Needed

A while back I was on one of the mayor’s “transition teams.” It was quite a while back, and I really couldn’t figure out why in the world they wanted me on there. (I later concluded it was to “shut me up,” which worked for a while, but I gotta say, not forever.)

I don’t know how or if I ever did help the transition team (the group of people put together to give the new mayor information on the state of the city so he or she can make a smoother “transition” into the Office of Mayor of Newburyport, MA), but I learned a whole lot about the city of Newburyport, MA. And some of it was pretty discouraging.

I remember sitting around the table and listening to the different reports that were being summarized for the incoming mayor and my jaw was dropping. Financially, (and this was a while back when, mind you) it seemed as if the City of Newburyport, MA was in really, really bad shape in almost every department.

And yes, one of the things that came up way back then was that the Fire Department of Newburyport, MA desperately, desperately needed new fire trucks. And also, it didn’t appear that there was any capital improvement plan in place for the City of Newburyport, MA.

So I guess I wasn’t really surprised to read in the Newburyport Daily News, February 20, 2007 that low and behold, the Newburyport Fire Department trucks from 1968 and 1979 (I mean we’re talking ancient here) had finally given up the ghost.

It sounded to me that the Newburyport Fire Department trucks had given up the ghost way back whenever, when I was sitting around the table listening to the “transition team.”

And that the two newest Newburyport Fire Departments trucks were made in 1993. That’s not exactly young, brand spanking, sparkling new.

Well, Yikes.

I was very glad to read in that article in the Newburyport Daily News that Mayor John Moak has been working on a capital improvement plan for the City of Newburyport, MA, “work that includes funding repairs to schools, fixing sidewalk problems and buying a new firetruck.”

And I am sure that Mayor John Moak got the same bad news that I had heard so many moons ago, but even worse, since those Newburyport Fire Department trucks, and everything else, were/are that many more years older.

And this is one of the many, many reasons that I would never want to be mayor of Newburyport, MA. And think that being on the Newburyport City Council is not exactly a picnic either.

Mary Eaton