To the Editor:
I am writing regarding the City Council’s planned July 24 hearing on the Hotel Overlay District, in which we have learned that the councilors plan to declare the meeting open, then move to have it closed and shut it down before anyone can speak (the Times, Page 1, Thursday, July 19).
In my opinion, the letter of the law has been respected, but not the intent.
Let us remember that our great city existed before the birth our nation and it played a pivotal role in shaping the values that led to the birth our country.
I worry that the actions of our elected representatives now seem to support and defend the interests of one outside investor over the interested of their constituents.
Still hanging in the city clerk’s office is what appears to be a forgotten reminder that “in order to form a more perfect union” we the people established the Constitution. The words “We the People” are not “we the City Council” or “we the mayor.”
Where was our First Amendment when those who were opposed the hotel overlay were graveled into silence while those in favor were able to ramble on about Sheree Delorenzo?
If a continuance was all we the people needed to ask for, why did the city say we needed a petition of 150 signatures to grant a second City Council meeting?
Even our own ward councilor, who’s representation should have been critical in that the proposed hotel would most affect her ward constituents, claimed, in her May 8 public record statement, that part of what drove her decision were the many emails she had received from her constituents.
Yet when, in accordance with the Massachusetts Public Records laws, her emails were requested, despite the fact that the law allows for 10 days for public record to be provided, she took over two months and then only presented eleven emails, seven of which were opposed to the hotel overlay.
It is time that our elected representatives remember they represent their constituents. Gloucester, at least for now, is not governed by either a monarchy or an oligarchy.