To the editor:
Once again, people who can see no farther than their own agenda profess to know what’s best for the rest of us. I refer, of course, to the notion that we can “turn Salem gridlock into gold.” Gold for whom?
Go to any Salem neighborhood and ask any resident what they think of “Haunted Happenings.” You’d be hard-pressed to come away with an answer that you could print in a family paper. Go to Peabody, where quiet neighborhoods are jammed by Google-map tourists, seeking to avoid the gridlock of their own making and you’ll hear the same.
Sadly, these put-upon citizens have no say in the matter. Their will has been supplanted by an addiction to the fees and taxes generated by this madness, and by a business culture intent only on shearing the flocks of “sheeple” that wander, zombie-like, from one tacky tourist trap to the next.
Is this what Marblehead’s residents want for our town? We already have a Christmas Walk and an arts festival to contend with, but they at least are of short duration. The addition of a month-long Octoberfest is just too much to be put up with by the folks who merely live here. Keep in mind that every neighborhood in town, including the so-called business district, is a residential neighborhood with less than ample parking and peopled by families whose kids need to get their homework done on school nights, of which October has more than a few.
Salem’s Halloween madness already benefits local businesses. People come here complaining that Salem is too crowded. Well, what happens when it gets too crowded here, and with whom? Your typical Salem Halloween reveler isn’t going to go to Abbot Hall for the cultural and historic experience but rather to use the public bathrooms. Perhaps the proposed trolley will make its first stop there, followed by Old Burial Hill, thus ensuring that their already stressed and delicate jewel does not go unviolated.
To the merchant community, while I wish you all the best, you’d do well to be mindful that the town of Marblehead does not exist solely for your financial well-being. No one elected you to determine what is good for our town; you speak only for yourselves and all of this wonderfulness you tout as beneficial to the town is in reality only of benefit to you, while degrading the quality of life of those whose neighborhoods you occupy.
As for the town’s governing boards, remember that your foremost duty is to the well-being of your people, not to special interest groups at the expense of the townfolk you represent. Keep this in mind when the inevitable requests for special permits pour into town.
People of Marblehead, if we do not stand up for ourselves, be assured that no one else will. If we don’t raise our voices loud and often, someday we’ll be living amid crowds, noise and traffic, wondering why we didn’t when we had the chance.
P.S. If you do pimp out the town, give me plenty of notice so that I can stock up on Mammy Redd bobbleheads from China.