, Gloucester, MA


September 7, 2013

Letter: Long Beach issues lack transparency, accountability

To the editor:

What do the town of Rockport, and the Gloucester Daily Times have in common?

It’s a rhetorical question. It is my opinion that there is no practical relationship when it comes to performing a needed journalistic function. Town government activities seem rarely covered, or, if they are, the news hits the paper well after the event.

Examining the copy for Sept. 5 amplifies my concerns. Rockport makes Page 1, above the fold with a recurring story about Long Beach and a lease agreement. As a resident taxpayer and voter, I reviewed the minutes of Annual Town Meeting and, as clear as clear can be, the peoples’ assembly rubber-stamped the Politburo’s request to allow the governing committee to proceed without arbitration to enter a new lease agreement with the beach renters. Done!

And it was done after much jabber-jabber that produced absolutely no comfort for the core residents of this town.

Now, we are told that the Board of Selectmen board will allow a noted town activist to present three non-binding resolutions for this coming meeting. What’s the purpose? Expend valuable time? Give the noted activist an opportunity to fulminate and satisfy a desire to prove that Town Meeting, like all the world, is a stage? Utter nonsense.

Had the Times had coverage at the select board meeting where “concerns and facts about Long Beach” was on the agenda, the reading public might have had some inkling of what policies were under review/consideration. Yet on the date of the meeting, Times Editor Lamont editorialized about the need for genuine concern for this subject, and, coincidentally, my last opinion piece appeared the same day urging people to attend.

Of course, hypocritically, I didn’t attend the meeting because I considered the prospect a waste of time. Didn’t Annual Town Meeting settle this score?

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