Friday, November 3, 2017

LHD Wars of 2012




The gory details of the LHD Wars of 2012...Long story short----the opposition could have worked to find a compromise, not kill it outright...and I'm sure that the 6 in favor (Cameron, Connell, Earls, Heartquist, Herzog, Ives) would have been willing to find an accommodation.  I'm not going to rehash the pros and cons of the legislation, but here's the timeline.


A Local Historic District in Newburyport, a practice common in Massachusetts, was studied for many years and there was a group appointed by Mayor John Moak to do this.  As it got closer to the Council in 2012, the Daily News asked Councillors for their opinions.  http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/officials-weigh-in-on-lhd/article_4ecbe282-8b5a-5fd8-a2ba-f61393d5cf00.html

And here is a letter from Jim Roy a little later

When this finally got to the Council after years of study, the vote was 6-5 to refer to the Planning and Development Committee and as a Committee of the Whole.  That is typically the way these matters are handled.  The opponents tried to pull a fast one, to effectively kill it, by trying to get it referred to the whole council, which I've never seen done.

A lot of this was in the procedural weeds, but those 5 Councillors tried to get it as a Committee of the Whole where President Tom O'Brien, an opponent, would preside, rather than Planning and Development Committee where Barry Connell, then chair of that committee, would preside.  That's fine: that's the way democracy works, but to later suggest that they were in favor is a revisionist rewrite of history.


Here are the minutes from 9/24:

ORD Ch. 16 Sec.5 Local Historic District
Motion to refer to Planning and Development and Committee of the Whole by Councillor Connell, seconded by Councillor Ives. Friendly amendment offered by Councillor Sullivan that this come back to the Council by Nov. 12, 2012, seconded by Councillor Herzog. Second withdrawn. Amendment withdrawn. Roll call vote, 6 yes, 5 no (Cronin, Derrivan, Jones, Sullivan, O’Brien).
Motion passed


And the minutes from 10/9

And then later in October 2012 when we were getting closer to crunch time and trying to get 8 of 11 votes in favor.  http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/compromise-lhd-anti-demolition-ideas-floated/article_beaf9547-d492-5b04-b077-b189858405a9.html

Committee met 10-25-2012

Committee met 11-15-2012

And then in a November meeting the Planning and Development Committee voted to move the matter to the full council.  You can get a sense of where Councillors stood in this artlcle http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/lhd-sent-to-city-council/article_650970ac-191c-5427-b60d-619796b9d393.html

And here later in November is reporting on the proposal Councillor Ives was working on to salvage something and the move by three Councillors to force a vote on the original proposal in order to kill it. http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/a-close-look-at-ives-proposed-historic-district/article_f26a88aa-4e3e-53a1-ad1c-e78d7c627059.html

Downtown Historic District/Demolition Control District Motion to refer to Planning & Development and Committee of the Whole with the condition of a second meeting in December by Councillor O’Connor Ives, seconded by Councillor Cameron. Discussion followed. Roll call vote, 10 yes, 1 no (O’Brien). So voted.  


And Ives statement on her proposal which indicates that Councillor Cronin was willing to be a co-sponsor so that procedurally the matter could continue into the new year.  Councillor Ives was Senator-elect Ives and would be stepping off Council.  http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/o-connor-ives-touts-new-proposal/article_1c366189-c418-5bc6-ba5c-aabc63e0e047.html

As the process moved on in December, more attempts were made to water down Councillor Ives proposal http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/lhd-plan-set-for-failure/article_9d2a395c-e479-5b9b-83c7-377d59b1fd9e.html



And finally in January 2013, Councillor Earls attempted to broker a very small LHD (since the LHD original proposal didn't have the 8 votes and the Ives proposal didn't have the 8 votes).  That too was shot down although two Councillors voted for it.   http://www.newburyportnews.com/news/local_news/newburyport-historic-district-goes-down-to-quiet-defeat/article_39b456df-2550-5a4f-804e-57790ed70dd5.html

Sunday, February 7, 2016