, Gloucester, MA


May 3, 2013

Letter: lection won't change Rockport's status quo

To the editor:

The Town of Rockport will tend to its local election next Tuesday.

What do we know about this election? Not much. A look at the official sample ballot shows a number of elective vacancies open, with only the office of a seat on the board of selectman offering voters a choice; a choice concerning which of the two will best function as representatives of the entire community.

We have published statements from each candidate speaking of individual accomplishments in the private sector. Their individual views concerning what each hopes to bring to the community don’t provide the voter with much more than window dressing.

This is the first voting cycle where only one public debate has been produced, and that, via local television without audience participation. This production was promoted by the Cape Ann League of Women Voters. Specifically, this sponsor represents “Cape Ann,” not Rockport.

How could the debate provide genuine insight to the candidates, and provide voters with basis for choice? It doesn’t. Questions were lobbed up like softball pitches, and, without drama, were driven out of the park. Why?

Why don’t we have a grocery store? At its reorganization meeting in August 2011, the out going chair of the Economic Development bluntly stated that such a market, and a revived Blacksmith Shop, would be operational by year-end. It was a positive, absolute statement. The following year, the then chair gave same assurance (I have the minutes.)

Two years later, we have an occasional farmers market on the premises of our last grocery store site, a continuing foreboding that Shaw’s may yet close, and nothing has been done to support a Rockport Market. Yeah, it was necessary for the legislature to approve home rule to allow a market to sell beer and wine. That action was a given. What has been done to obtain a food market? Nothing.

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