Then, as now, the other grocery stores all worked hard to defeat the rezoning. In the current case, Henry’s, Stop & Shop and Shaw’s have all facilitated efforts to destroy the project, fearing, no doubt, the loss of business due to competition. But competition is the hallmark of America, and one has to wonder why such competition would not be a very good thing for the 40,000 citizens in Beverly.
The Exit 19 improvement project has the unanimous support of Beverly’s Planning Board, a strong majority of Beverly’s city councilors, its state senator and representative. Its design has undergone the lengthy scrutiny and input of the Massachusetts Department of Transportation, and the list goes on.
In opposition to this project, we have a core group of people who are either misinformed about the details of the project and/or the painstaking design process that has been undertaken or who, in their hearts, simply fear change. Having listened to their concerns, I feel confident that the changes being proposed are not only for the good of the entire city but that they will also benefit the residents of the area most directly impacted.
I believe that we ought not allow the fate of the many to be decided by a few, and I look forward to hearing the voice of the whole city. We have followed proper process to get to this point. In the interest of transparency, let’s keep going. Let the people be heard.
William F. Scanlon Jr. is mayor of the city of Beverly.