SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

September 19, 2013

Letter: Beverly officials should have anticipated a packed meeting

To the editor:

This is regarding the Beverly public meetings being held relating to the controversial rezoning of Brimbal Avenue. I caught the first public meeting quite by accident, while surfing channels two weeks ago. It certainly was most interesting.

It was obvious there is a lot of displeasure from the majority of Beverly residents, who were able to speak their piece. Mary Rodrick, a resident, while taking her turn at speaking, clearly and correctly announced the meeting was not legal due to the amount of residents, city councilors, zoning board members and city employees overcrowding the room. Residents were not supplied with proper comforts, such as seating. I would think the chambers would have a capacity limit posted somewhere, or written in our city regulations. The council president should have spoken up immediately, agreeing with Mary Rodrick that the meeting should be adjourned. Anyone who was either there, or viewing the meeting on BevCam, knows this was not done. Overcrowding in a public building or a business establishment is a major safety Issue for the public.

The council had two weeks to reschedule the Monday, Sept. 16, meeting to a larger facility. For any one councilor to state, “The crowd of last night’s meeting could not have been anticipated” is ludicrous. Was a smaller amount of Beverly residents anticipated for Sept. 16, after seeing how controversial the Brimbal Avenue project is?

The Salem News and Mayor Bill Scanlon have done a great job explaining the project — Phase One, Phase Two, zoning overlays and underlays, and everything else. This has helped educate the residents of Beverly about exactly how the rezoning of the parcels involved contribute to the total picture. This education, however, did not make the project less controversial!

I attended Monday night’s Hearing. After being educated by the media during the week, why torture the residents attending the hearing with a similar presentation regarding traffic? This takes time from residents who would like to speak out for or against the project. After all, what’s the issue anyway? Only another 6,000 vehicles a day will be using the improved exit and entrance ramps, roundabouts and four sets of traffic lights! Oh, but do not worry, after a year or so, drivers will get used to it ... just like we did with the Route 62 “improvements” at Route 128, Elliot, Liberty and State streets!

Ron Janard

Beverly

Editor’s note: The public hearing on the rezoning of part of Brimbal Avenue will continue tonight at Beverly High School. The meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

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