To the editor:
It is time for those living in the community of Gloucester to re-think what is happening with this process and the proposal for a hotel district overlay.
I believe that we the people of Gloucester are being asked to relinquish the concept of zoning, as it is a means to stabilize the characteristics of a given neighborhood.
When zoning does not prevail, a condition called "chaos" takes over and anything goes, with money as the determining criteria for design can be what a community becomes and transforms into.
In the late 1950s and '60s, Gloucester saw this technique of false economic improvement exercised in the development of the concept called "urban renewal."
Behold, look what "urban renewal?" gave Gloucester ... a walled harbor of massive concrete slabs, a Jodrey State Fish Pier that became a trailer park, and the loss of local control of the Gloucester waterfront to "big business" ... does this sound strangely familiar?
How stupid do the governing boards, the City Council, the mayor, and the state agencies think we are? The answer seems to be "very."
Promise the people a financial messianic businessman or businesswoman and a list of "jobs" that the people can become servile to and they will give up their birthright for a mess of porridge. They will even throw their children's future into the bargain.
It's tragic that the people we elect so betray what the people hold as sacred. Think of what the Back Shore could become with "hotel behemoths" and perhaps a casino or two. The same goes for the neighborhood called The Fort.
We all, as part of Cape Ann, have something to lose — and once it is lost, it is impossible to retrieve.
The REV. RICHARD EMMANUEL
East Main Street, Gloucester