, Gloucester, MA


October 25, 2013

Letter: Bell's Boulevard pitch and a welcoming city

To the editor:

The Times reported that, in the mayoral debate, the mayor mocked Mac Bell for suggesting that the city ought to at least have the decency to have year-round portable toilets on the Boulevard.

However, as it was I who made this suggestion to Mac, let me report to you in his defense.

How is “our” idea any worse than spending nearly $1 million on a waterfront property on Rogers Street which is basically, by indefinite default, nothing more than an extravagant parking lot? Should not actual people be treated somewhat as well as cars?

What’s the point of a strategy of building a tourist industry around a world famous fishermen’s monument and never-dull harbor scenery, if people coming from all over the world are welcomed to dilly-dally there — but not too long?

Why is it assumed that, just because cold weather sets in, people are no longer challenged to stay out longer? Are we all — many of whom are elderly and I evidently now classify — as wimpy as whoever it is who decides to roll up the sidewalks when the weather gets cold? And yes, the quality of removal of snow and ice might be worth a review.

Mac’s suggestion is a humble one. But if I may say so, it goes to the core of the city’s hospitality, the way it treats its own citizens — or, in short, a very high definition of public trust.


Maplewood Avenue, Gloucester

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