, Salem, MA

February 6, 2014

Letter: Numbers in Brimbal letter don't add up

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

On Feb. 3, I, like most or all households in Beverly, received an impassioned letter from Bruce Nardella encouraging a yes vote on the Brimbal Avenue development project. Mr. Nardella is entitled to his own opinion, but he is not entitled to his own facts. I have never met this man, but I do have experience with him. I would like the readers to consider these errors and what I believe are distortions in his comparison to the facts and his faux benefits of this project.

The Shoe was an antiquated, rundown fire trap of a place at the beginning of its transformation. Any abutter would have been thrilled that this rundown, vacant fire trap was being transformed into a vibrant office park. With the Brimbal Avenue project it is likely that someone’s house will be next to the entrance to a busy shopping center. Someone’s driveway will be across the street, and the neighborhoods in North Beverly, the Cove and Montserrat will see significant traffic increases. How can this not happen? He also cavalierly asserts that The Cummings Center will bring “unprecedented prosperity for the next 20 years.” This is another misrepresentation. The fact is our city budget is around $100 million. The Cummings Center pays about $1 million, representing one percent of the city’s tax base.

He would have us believe that “The traffic is no worse than it was 50 years ago when 5,000 workers descended on the Shoe every day.” That is impossible if you consider that many at the Shoe arrived by foot from abutting neighborhoods. Many more arrived on the train, which had a depot at the shoe. Today there is no train station and I dare say few if any working at Cummings walk to get there. How many cars were there in Beverly 50 years ago in 1964 and what was our population? How can he conclude that the traffic on Elliott Street is at 1964 levels?

Finally, in comparison of the two projects, he said, “Development of additional commercial property will bring more tax revenue than even the Cummings Center.” By this does he mean that a property four times smaller will generate more revenue than the larger parcel, or does he mean that this development will spawn more development in the neighborhood? If he is asserting the former he is promising the impossible. I would like to see his calculation. If he is asserting the latter then more neighborhoods are in jeopardy.

Sorry. these made up facts and twisted logic do not add up.

Patrick Lucci