, Gloucester, MA

August 10, 2013


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

A few weeks back, I submitted a letter regarding the Long Beach lease renewal issue.

In it were a mixture of opinion and what I thought were correct facts. No excuses, I was wrong about the Long Beach homeowners not paying land taxes as well as lease payments and house taxes. I stand corrected.

Taxes aside, the issue which remains is about $300,000 to $400,000 per year in lease payments to the town vs. $50 million or more in fair market land value, which the town has the right to sell.

Which is better for the town’s future financial health?

It’s a tough one, I know. If I am wrong in my estimation of the land value then what are 156 oceanfront lots worth?

30 years is the most recent lease term proposal. That’s a long time to tie up this value, whatever it is. Times have changed since this practice started in 1904. We’d all like to hear better arguments for continuing the leasing than the mundane “because it benefits us” or “it’s always been that way”.

Just once in 109 years, doesn’t the voting public have the right to choose in a non-binding referendum to give elected and appointed officials guidance?

In government of, by and for the people they deserved to be asked.