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A Few Thoughts…

March 14, 2008

Thought I’d post a few quick thoughts from last nights meeting with Mr. Karp. (I’m posting via my cellphone, so I haven’t had a chance to look at any of the other blogs yet, forgive me if I repeat any of their points)

- First, I had mixed feelings about last nights meeting. On one hand it went well, on the whole, but there is something slimy about the rhetoricĀ  Mr. Karp was presenting. He continually said that they want public input then never mentioned how anyone could provide that input.

- He constantly remarked about how Newburyport has a unique character, and even mentioned its economic and social diversity, and how he didn’t want to ruin any of that, and yet not one person brought up the fact during the Q+A that buy building these expensive condos and a hotel on the waterfront, he will totally change the character and diversity of the city.

- Kudos to Jim Stiles and Bruce Menin, both of whom, if i remember correctly, asked about affordable housing, drawing the only applause of the evening. Stiles especially deserves credit for at least bringing up how the social and economic diversity of Newburyport is disappearing.

- Many parts of last night sickened me, such as the line of people queuing up to give Mr. Karp a business card prior to the meeting. Nothing however, was as disgusting as Kathy Rush of Rush Realty on Inn St. standing up and telling Mr. Karp and the audience that Newburyport doesn’t need affordable housing because there are affordable homes in other towns such as Amesbury and Salisbury. Then to almost assure that I would vomit all over the person seated in front of me, she went on to name drop about 20 names to Mr. Karp and describe all the projects she’s worked on. (also, she was extremely rude to the woman who was just in front of her on the Q+A line, absolutely despicable)

-Along the same vein, Mark Andrews saying how happy he was that Mr. Karp was coming to town because his property value will go up…

-It was great to see the entire auditorium packed, it shows that people actually care, however, as i mentioned earlier about the line of greeters with their business cards at the ready, I couldn’t tell how many were there because they cared about Newburyport, and how many were there to schmooze and get in on the ground level with Mr. Karp. To many suits for a public meeting of that sort, that should be a read flag.

- Was I mistaken or was the purpose of this meeting originally to introduce us to his development team? He didn’t introduce a single member of his company last night…

- It seems to me that Karp’s entire plan hinges on a parking garage, which may be the best news of the night. That gives the city a lot of leverage into what Karp can build, and we should not give that up with out getting the best possible plan for the citizens of Newburyport.

that’s it for now, when i have a little more time and an actual computer to sit at I’ll probably post more…

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