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Once bitten, twice shy…

March 18, 2008

In the aftermath of last weeks meeting with Mr. Karp I’ve heard a lot of different chatter about how the whole thing went. A common refrain since last Thursday is that Mr. Karp nailed his presentation and put everyone’s minds at ease. It would seem that the most vocal are those that are now (or where before) very optimistic about the new Waterfront West. A quieter sect, however, still feels wary of the developers intentions, yet many admit that the presentation was a very good start.

I would like to say that I fall somewhere in between, but after speaking with a friend, I feel that old cynicism creeping back. This friend didn’t attend the meeting, and isn’t particularly interested in the situation, but during our conversation they mentioned something that rang true. To paraphrase, they said that of course he had a great presentation, and of course people were pleased with what they heard. He was speaking to an audience and knew exactly what should be said and how it should be delivered. He was going to tell you what you wanted to hear, to a large extent, and wasn’t about to bring up any controversial aspects to his plans at the first meeting. He was there to win the hearts and minds, not be fully forthright and honest. They said, he would act no differently than a politician would.

I hadn’t really thought of it that way, and while I continued to ponder my friends take on the whole thing, I began hearing people saying he’s “earned the benefit of the doubt”…That’s when i fell back to planet earth. NowI’m not one that thinks he’s still got secret plans for Nantucket North, but I’m gonna keep a cautious eye on the situation moving forward, and I suggest, for the sake of our city, others do the same.

Since we’ve had some shady development in Newburyport before, from Cherry Hill to this home on Ship Street that mysteriously burned down…,  you would think people would be a bit more careful with whom they trust.

As such, I have decided to launch a new segment on this blog titled “Scars on the Face of Newburyport”, featuring photos of some of the more disturbing development projects in our city. Just in case anyone needed a reminder. Stay tuned for that!

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