, Salem, MA


July 26, 2013

Letter: Salem power project no Big Dig

To the editor:

Now that the Salem City Council has deemed the vocal minority’s cry of “The sky is falling!” worthy of a ballot question (”Utility cable issue on Salem’s fall ballot,” July 22), it seems like it’s time to weigh in with a more reasoned perspective. Though from the moment the project was announced, a few residents immediately wanted to take up torches and pitchforks, the rest of us on the route thought, “OK, it’ll probably be a little noisy, but it sounds like a good thing long-term.” But if the “squeaky wheel gets the grease,” it’s also true that the loud and fearful can get the political attention. This appears mostly to be longtime residents who oddly have forgotten that at some point in the past, gas lines were put in, sewer lines installed and repaired, and the roads were paved several times over. Yet, somehow, everyone lived through it, and the city was better for it. Maybe the town criers have more time to worry about the “what ifs,” but I still haven’t heard any objective reasoning applied to what amounts to a very simple utility project. As far as construction goes, this ranks way down with the potential disruptions and problems that might come up.

For those residents on the proposed route who have busy lives with kids and multiple activities: Perhaps take the longer view on things, this whole project is basically a NON-issue. Yes, it’ll be noisy, dusty, probably inconvenient, but really? We all need electricity, and to say this fight isn’t a NIMBY issue is just being dishonest. I personally think it’s great National Grid is not ignoring our infrastructure needs and is willing to make the investment for our future! I imagine as more technology businesses move into the city, they also will welcome a reliable source of power, as should all residents. Whatever happened to old-fashioned civic duty, not to mention thinking beyond one’s own selfish interests?

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