GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

December 29, 2012

Letter: Fuller referendum omits key issues


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the Editor:

The City Council has presented limited options for the just-approved public referendum on Fuller School.

I believe it must reconsider some facts that have not been included in the options already put forth as part of that referendum.

The decision to build a needed new public service facility for the Police and Fire Department on the Fuller School Property seems to be agreeable to all parties and needs to be separated from the other city functions.

The movement of the Police and Fire Department to the more central location leaves two buildings downtown that should be renovated and put to some useful purpose (given the departure of the court from the current police/court building).

Gloucester has committed funds for the restoration and upgrading of our beloved City Hall. Keeping important government functions in that facility is the only reasonable way to maintain that building’s usefulness into the future.

The Post Office has mostly vacant space upstairs and on the lower level, some being used for voting machine and municipal records storage, and it may declare the larger facility as an unnecessary expense in any cut back in federal funding (over the fiscal cliff or otherwise).

None of these seem to have been considered in bringing the referendum to the public.

I’d like to offer a third choice as one additional option for the referendum: Utilize the facilities that will be available when the public services building is built to consolidate city administrative services within the immediate downtown area near City Hall, and let the mayor and City Council agree on what to do with the Fuller School property (after they evaluate the alternative costs and benefits of all options).

HENRY N. McCARL, Ph.D.

Old Nugent Farm Road, Gloucester