First, Mary Baker Eaton and Jerry Mullins are pushing my position quite well on their blogs, so I really had little to add to make the discussion any more constructive.
Second, I also am listening to the opponents. I can't accurately project their numbers, but clearly a number of people along High Street have an issue with the current LHD proposal. Their voices should be heard.
Third, as folks like Ari Herzog have pointed out, there really isn't a proposal yet. It's hard to argue over a concept when the meat will be in the final details.
But this morning's Daily News presented a new point of view worth highlighting. In this letter to the editor, Jared Eigerman, who says he represents the Citizens for Historic Newburyport, makes a good case for toning down the rhetoric a bit now that both sides have made themselves known.
We regret the distraction caused by a battle of lawn signs, but it would have been foolish for our group not to distribute "yes" signs in response to the "no" signs. Both groups have now shown that they have support in the community. Our hope is that the councilors can cut through the noise and emotion and debate the pros and cons of the LHD concept rationally.
For our part, while our group supports the concept of an LHD, by no means do we believe that it is ready for a vote "as-is." Although the study committee was formed years ago, the electorate wasn't really engaged until recently, and their elected legislators still have nothing in front of them to consider.Fair point. I know opponents to the LHD like to suggest the plan was drawn up in secret, but that's far from the truth. The committee operated in the open. The public just didn't notice.
But they've noticed now. Many have offered their feedback, and there's still much to talk about. But we definitely need to see this process through to the end.
I'd like to let the LHD Commission complete their work before deciding just as we gave the Charter Review Commission the opportunity to submit their proposed changes to the city's charter.
Let's allow the commission to finish up an actual proposal that can be dissected and analyzed.
Let's allow the Council to make a decision based on all the facts at hand, not just a foggy notion of what a LHD actually means.
At the end of the day, we may find that the argument may be binary with no shades of gray. People may be for or against an LHD of any kind, but I don't think the day is over yet.