2002 Transcribed Recordings




Ward 1
City Councillor Dave McFarlane


Ward 1, Positives

Master Plan - Follow through?
    - Measurement
    - Milestones and Annual Review by Planning Director

Police, Fire, and Snow Removal is very good

Sewer plant -> not as bad (South End)

Increased consciousness in maintaining and preserving open space -> not there yet

Citizens / Electric Company cleaned up Perkins Park

Parks in much better shape

School staff doing excellent job -> however concerned about retaining this excellence
    - Not just $ required
    - Involvement needed

Size of neighborhood schools: scale impacts education

Mall and boardwalk etc very positive

City services great

Bicycling - city makes it easy

Free parking should be retained - at least for residents

Waterfront and access road: can think because not rushed

New traffic officer is helping with minor infractions


Ward 1 Issues, Concerns

Concern about infrastructure
    - streets
    - sidewalks
    - safety for elders

Elderly -> affordability
    - Maintain economic diversity

Affordable housing -> Joke!

Infrastructure - 2nd class
    - Citizens on P.I.
    - PAVING!

No sweeping on P.I.??

Is there adequate planning with the Master Plan?
    - Temporary moratorium on development
       (perhaps until achieve 10% affordable housing)

Rethink bringing water to island until we have assured water to "do it"

Some of suggestions posed in Wyser better be evaluated and responded to

Not all lots can support proposed technology
    - Existing tech can't give clean water
    - Must do it right

Should be funding school budget per sup't's budget

Traffic in city - can't cross High (+ Water St) street safely unless pregnant or dog
    - Should evaluate traffic patterns and inform visitors
    - Lots of unsupervised areas, like Mass Electric

Traffic light at Bromfield and Water is out 95% of time

Water St should not have 30 mph

Traffic enforcement needs to be increased in South End especially Joppa

Motorized wheel chairs -> wrong way

High St -> needs some traffic lights off some side streets

Pedestrians jay walk -> should be citations

All minor traffic laws should be enforced

More traffic signage, lights, lanes being clearer

A.D.A -> broader implementation:
including private buildings as well as government buildings (Title III)

Conform to building agreements for parking especially downtown

Safety for bike riders to P.I.

Open space - implications of C.P.A. (Community Preservation Act)

If we purchase more open space, will we allocate $ to maintain?

All open space does not have to be maintained!

Investigate other revenue resources to purchase open space, besides C.P.A.

Lots of stray dogs


100% vs Parking garage

Abridge development
    - over development

Control design of development
    - Master Plan design review process

No "overnight demolition"

Control developers
    - RFP process - any control -> historical commission


Ward 2
City Councillor Greg Earls


Ward 2, Good Points

Quality of Life Community, people

Library High St

High School No start on Access Rd

Boardwalk Balance between people and nature

Brick and cut State St Diverse Industry

Audubon Center Train

Feel safe High quality of historic pres(ervation)

DPW Revitalization


Ward 2, Ideas/Issues

More books in library

Bike path

Preservation of space

Preservation of architecture (historic commission with no teeth)

Liberal Arts college?? Youth activities

Revenues derived - residential vs industry

Waterfront open Pedestrian access to train

Repair sidewalks Cultural diversity

Move sewage treatment Affordable housing

Fear of over development

New development return of investment rational

Impact Fees Community Preservation Act

School budget is crunched
    - Music
    - Books
    - Computer access

Train to city transportation

Circle as gateway to Nbpt

Access to Plum Island

Pollution of Merrimac

Invest Arts and Historical as biggest draw

Police dept image and problems

Street maintenance
    - Snow - sweep
    - Announcement


Ward 2, Summary

1. Schools - budget restored - keep neighborhood schools
2. Planning
    a. Over development (fear) - impact fees
    b. New development - ROI
    c. Open space
    d. Bike path and train access and Plum Island
    e. Historic preservation - tighten zoning
    f. Waterfront (pollution of Merrimac)
3. Arts - cultural and Historical opportunities
4. Police dept - image and problems


Ward 3
City Councillor Karen Kelley


Ward 3, Going Well

Ambiance of Community
    - conversation ensued regarding "Quality of Life (similar to those of Ward 2)
    - Sense of Place (ambiance) stemming Sense of Purpose (ambitions)

Affordable housing / DPW site
    - discussion ensuring its progress and status as RFP

Police dept evaluation

Kelleher Park - enrichment program

Library and particularly staff

Neighborhood volunteers - fine example in Cashman Park cited

City size / balance (right capacity in getting to know people)

Arts and Culture
    - Firehouse and other cultural organizations (museums, Art Association)

Train station / trains and other transportation conveniences

City architecture - physical historical assets

Small class sizes - an imperative to maintain for educational excellence

New high school - facility physical plant to meet the needs of expanded programs

Low crime - sense of safety in community

Boardwalk - valuable asset, with two concerns voiced, prompting the transitioning to issues

Skate park - recreational resource for young and "older than young"


Ward 3 Issues, Concerns

    - impact to taxpayers
    - discussion regarding the source of appropriations

    - conversation regarding positive reaction in 1/28 Council Workshop regarding multi-use,
       multi-generational civic center
    - finding means for resolution

Affordable housing
    - 106 units short
    - Concentrated development vs dispersed
    - Take advantage of Community Preservation Act and/or Land Banking

Foot / Bike path
    - keep momentum moving
    - Investment

Master Plan
    - Implementation, Administration's commitment articulated
    - Annual review by the planning department

Zoning Issues
    - Building moratorium

School budget cuts, specifics discussed:
    - Elimination of freshman sports
    - User fees
    - What will kids do after school?

Plum Island
    - Alternatives

Yearly tax increases, concerns regarding

(Note: Presenting, Councillor Kelley added two additional contributions made by a constituent after the subgroup dispersed. See Councillor or City Clerk's notations for this information.)


Ward 4
City Councillor Erford Fowler


Ward 4, What's Good

Ward is listening to needs

Public services
    - Transportation - trains
    - Library
    - High School


Skate Park

Low crime

Active community

Hard working teachers

Public parks
    - Boardwalk
    - Bike path


Ward 4, Concerns

Property taxes
    - Elderly impact

Arts and music in schools
    - Strings
    - Are there grants?
    - Need of grant writer

Master Plan enacted

Growth planning
    - Does Master Plan balance building with services, water, sewer, taxes

Are residents paying more than there fair share of taxes? vs industry

Fairness to modest housing (taxes) deferred tax at sale

Not enough help from the residents with parks, city upkeep, painting, etc.

State forcing a lot of taxes

User fee in sports

Growth in west end schools

    - Volume and speed
    - Condition of High, Low, Story Ave


Ward 5
City Councillor Brenda Reffett


Ward 5, Going Well

Addressing open space needs

Master Plan helpful and appears to be integrated

New library - FABULOUS librarians

Boardwalk renovations

Peoples pride in maintaining homes and history

Improvements in parks and playgrounds

1st Annual Newburyport Forum

Fall leaf pickup


Ward 5, Issues and Concerns

Find BALANCE between industrial and residential needs

Find MECHANISM for parties of both to consistently and effectively communicate
    - Make city agendas public BEFOREHAND
    - Use library technology

Will external beauty and function of new high school be reflected in the internal quality of education and enrichment offered?
    - Major concern over cutting of arts and sports???
    - How is the $$ being spent??

Restructure city zoning

Follow through on
    - Paving
    - Waterfront
    - Circle Finishing
    - Bike pass
    - Parks

Develop active cultural and historical preservation

    - High School drop-in center
    - Other areas to use as outlets
    - Community center

Better consideration of tenets of C.P.A. (Citizens Protections Act)
    - Open space
    - Heritage
    - Housing

    - Environmental concerns of capping land fill


Ward 6
City Councillor Tom O'Brien


Ward 6, Feel Good


High School

No decrease in services
    - Leaves!

Side roads paved

Pioneer Parks

Park Improvements

Skate Park


Soccer fields - on the way

New foundation for Education


Ward 6, Concerns

Hale St
    - Surveying, what's happening?

West End - disconnected
    - Bike travel - cut off / sidewalks

Three roads
    - Busing
    - Pedestrian / Bike access

Industrial development - New

Housing development - New

Personal security regarding emergency in Industrial Park / Seabrook

String School program - Middle/High School
    - Lack of communication

Elementary School music program

Hiring of Human Resource position
    - Police Administrator
    - In time of cut backs

School - Freshman sports

Chain Bridge
    - Traffic!!

Fuller Field
    - Drop off / Pickup
    - Dangerous
    - Light at crosswalks

Stadium - concrete ramps not ready

No sewer lines on Pine Hill Rd

Why pay water dept employee who left 3/1?

Charter School cost

Need for West End school

Zoning concerns


Tax increase for education

Future tax base!!

Truck traffic
    - West End

Capping of land fill


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