I’ve expressed my views about previous meetings, and I’m reluctant to repeat these thoughts which you’ve all heard and rejected. The latest City Council meeting was just too much though, and the thought of “kicking the can” down the road for another year or more, while our city declines, makes it impossible to be quiet.

It’s depressing to hear the reasons why retailers are leaving State Street and the best we can offer is to suggest that landlords lower their rents. This makes as much sense as solving the loss in parking revenues by raising the fees for parking. Also, the suggestion that “this is not about cost” does not take into account that the city does not have the money to invest in most of these ideas that may or may not work out.

State Street was a mecca for tourists and locals before the pandemic, and it’s hard to understand why we don’t return State Street to its original condition, give it a good cleaning, and then consider some of the improvements that have been suggested. Upgrading the landscaping and negotiating with restaurants that want to build outdoor seating areas that are attractive and add to the charm and beauty of the city are a few good ideas.

Finally, I believe the visible blight on our sidewalks is the reason locals, tourists, and retailers are turning their backs on this once great city. Can anyone on the City Council, or the Architectural Committee, visit these sites and not recognize that something needs to be done now, not sometime in the future?


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