Newburyport: This Is Your City Council at Work

Democracy… isn’t it grand. There’s nothing like the feeling of getting involved in a good cause at the local level, especially when your voice is heard.

What really sucks though, is when you submit a petition to City Council and not one councilor even glances at it.

At least Mayor Holaday did take a quick peek at some of the names on the petition.

But, the City Clerk, Richard Jones, deemed not to hand out the petition to members of the council when I delivered 11 copies to him — one for each member of Council. And not one asked to see it when I stated that the clerk had copies for council during my alloted 2 minutes of speaking time before the council. I told members of the City Council that the petition had over 80 signatures from downtown business owners and employees. Not one even glanced at it. Not one.

So yeah… that’s Democracy for you.

And yes, for the people of Newburyport, that’s your City Council at work.

Only one Newburyport City Councilor, Tom Jones, argued in defense of small business and their workers before the final vote on the paid parking plan. The rest of the City Council, they turned a deaf ear to downtown business owners and employees over the non-resident business owner/employees $100 a year parking pass.

My take is they don’t really care if it’s seen as inequitable and unfair that these people will have to pay 20 times more than residents to park in downtown parking lots when they are working. They don’t really care if their city revenue will be raised on the backs of hard working downtown employees.

I tried. I tried to make a difference. I learned some lessons tonight about small town politics.  I’ll apply those lessons next time I plan on taking on City Hall.

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