In November 2018, Rockport citizens voted to allow the building of the new public library on the previous site of the old library at 1 Limerock Street. One of the reasons that this article passed was that some of the people who had previously supported the RES site now felt that they could support the Limerock Street location with the caveat that ample, adequate and safe parking would be provided as depicted in the conceptual drawings.
Fast forward four months to the eve of the groundbreaking for the new library. A second group of citizens now comes forward and points out that the current plan intrudes too much into the adjacent park and their neighborhood. They feel that a different arrangement of parallel parking would be a better solution.
Both sides present "data" supporting their positions.
The town attorney renders his opinion that the Select Board has the authority to make the decision on its own, should it desire.
What is a select board member to do?
First, I have no personal preference as to whether the parking should be perpendicular as shown in the plan by the engineers, or parallel, as the second group of citizens desires.
I do think that the fairest course of action is to take the current plan as designed by the engineers and present it for an up or down vote by the town citizens in June.
If the plan passes, it moves ahead.
If it is defeated, because the parking will be the last item in the project to be completed in Fall 2020, there will be plenty of time to draw up and engineer a second plan with a minimal cost incurred.
The unofficial slogan of the Rockport Select Board is "I am only 20 percent of the board" so this is only my personal opinion.
For the rest of the story, stay tuned to the Livestream broadcasts of our meetings, or even better, attend one in person.
Respectfully submitted to all of the citizens of Rockport.
Douglas Cole is a Rockport Select Board member