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December 2, 2012

Letter: Shop owner stands by Rockport bylaw

To the editor:

I am writing in response to the editorial “Rockport crossing line with local business bylaw” (the Times, Friday, Nov. 30).

It is curious that the whining of one shop owner out of 100 in town who refuses to obey one of the town’s bylaws, should deserve “editorial” attention?

Rockport’s Sign and Outdoor Display bylaw (voted on and passed at town meeting) allows for shops to have a limited display of goods outside – permit required. It was a bylaw drafted to bring order to chaos, and to rein in displays that were consuming our streets, and creating ingress/egress hazards.

It was drafted by the building inspector and Bylaw Committee, with input from Selectmen, the town administrator, local business owners, private citizens and anyone else who wanted to weigh in at the many public meetings on this subject. The resulting bylaw, I believe, represents a reasonable compromise considering safety, aesthetics, and business needs. Rockport voters agreed, and the bylaw was passed at Town Meeting, with the approval of the state’s Attorney General.

Bylaws are written and voted on for everyone to obey. They cannot simply be snubbed or dismissed by those who don’t happen to agree with them. If you disagree, then go to Town Meeting and do something to change it – or else stop the whining. And until or if a bylaw is changed, violators have to expect to be fined. But simply put, if you “are hard-pressed to cover the fines,”…then I guess you should avoid the violations.

Additionally, the editorial statement that Rockport “harasses businesses and discourages commerce” is ridiculous and unfounded; it’s also a slap in the face to every law-abiding shop owner who takes pride in doing business here.

I believe that Mr. Lamont, as editor, owes this town an apology.

LESLIE ASARE

theJONCIENshop

Bearskin Neck, Rockport

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