, Salem, MA

September 28, 2013

Letter: A vote of support for Brimbal Ave. project

The Salem News

---- — To the editor:

The citizens of Beverly, specifically the residents in the affected Brimbal Avenue rezoning/plaza project, should certainly be applauded for their hard work and diligence in stating their objections against the project or comments for the project. There were countless pros and cons.

No doubt, many people at many levels — city government, state employees, countless agencies and many Beverly citizens — have spent countless hours, whether they were being paid as an employee, consultant or spending their personal time preparing for this project.

Unfortunately, in today’s world, any government — country, state, city or town — is managed as a business. Citizens vote for, hopefully, the candidates with credentials that have the ability to listen to their constituents, have a sense of business or business background to make the right decision for all the people. ...

Mayor Scanlon has spent an enormous amount of time on this controversial project. The City Council has also. Without the diligence of Mayor Scanlon, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts certainly would not have tentatively earmarked $5 million toward redesigning the roadways involved. Mayor Scanlon had made a management decision, in this case a business decision, for the best interest of the city, to proceed years ago to get the project this far. That is what he got elected for, to manage the city. I believe his original goals, and I may certainly be in error, was to get to Phase One (update the Brimbal Avenue/Route 128 ramps) and Phase Two (a new overpass over Route 128, to open the undeveloped land on Dunham Road to new business development). Phase Two, of course, would add tax dollars to the city of Beverly coffers. Another business decision.

Unfortunately, a curve ball was tossed in, a shopping plaza, right smack in the middle of the controversy.

Our city councilors have a difficult vote coming up regarding the rezoning. Without the rezoning, Phase One and maybe Phase Two cannot proceed. Unfortunately, the shopping plaza can still proceed, with proper permits, of course. Can eliminating Phase One and having the plaza built be the lesser of two evils? No way!

Former council President Bruce Nardella summed it up quite simply. The city must have this project. The city of Beverly must grow. He is correct. If you are in the business world, then you realize if your business does not grow, it gets stale, and you know what that means. ...

Personally, I do not see any choice for the councilors but to vote for the rezoning so Phase One can proceed.

In the upcoming mayoral and council election, I certainly hope the candidate replacing Mayor Scanlon has the strong will, the commitment and the business sense that our current mayor has had. We need a candidate that will move the city of Beverly forward to Phase Two — and fast.

Ron Janard