To the editor:
Wednesday evening, the town of Essex held a Special Town Meeting to vote on whether the town should petition the Massachusetts Legislature for an exemption from the "fair bidding"¬ù laws (Chapter 30B).
This special legislation, which passed on a very narrow vote gives the selectmen the power to set aside the protection of these laws and substitute their own rules for use of the town's only remaining large riverside parcel.
This bill has been rejected twice before. Last year, the Legislature wisely limited the exemption to short-term leases and for only a total of five years.
If the current bill now goes through, there may be no competitive bid process. Then, eventually all future rights to an open, public waterfront could be denied to the people of Essex who don't live on Conomo Point. Essex would also be the only town on Cape Ann that has no truly unfettered public waterfront access park.
I urge everyone in Essex to recognize what they are losing by this Special Town Meeting article, and I urge everyone to attend our Essex Annual Town Meeting on May 7. to address this and other Conomo Pont issues.