GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Opinion

January 12, 2013

Letter: I-4 C-2 losses just latest lost opportunity

To the editor:

The Jan. 8, 2013, City Council packet is quite remarkable in containing around $1 million in (seemingly) casual throw-away losses of public funds at a time when we are told about debt burdens and sizable new bills to pay.

Certain folks within the administration seem to neither serve the community nor even the mayor very well when this thinking is offered up to her and us as “best policies” to be signed off on “pronto.” The following is one multi-layered example of what ails our Port-Economy from within; we are losing ground as a community on broader-scale policies ... :

When Community/Harbor Development proposes to the mayor and council that I-4, C-2 be put up for sale at 45 cents to the dollar, selling for $680,000 when we paid $1.5 million in public funding. That’s a loss of $820,000.

When, after many years of position and tenure, Community/Harbor Development offers no examples of the necessary heavy-lifting of exploring and weaving together multiple sources of support from within and without this community toward boosting the port’s fortunes, by using this sole publicly-owned property on the Inner Harbor as a potent piece of community infrastructure to become the badly-needed Ocean-Centric Innovation-Incubator to change the atmosphere of decline toward where Gloucester should be in the 21st century.

When, across many years now — instead of leading unambiguously in ocean-centric innovation for the fishing, tourism, or other commercial fleets — that choke hold on the harbor against any such innovation has us bleeding our jobs and tax-base as a Gulf of Maine hub port until this port economy is indeed brought to its knees.

When these “policies” are “outsourcing” jobs before these community-development specialists ever demonstrated that they can bring them here to begin with.

When looking “prettier” here and there by spending big public bucks on that nice HarborWalk is more important to those “specialists” than producing 21st century jobs and tax base.

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