It was nice to return to New England and particularly to be back in Essex County. I arrived back in Boston on Saturday afternoon and at the time I landed at Logan Airport the temperatures were in the mid seventies. On Saturday it was a bit warmer here than where I came from in the Tampa section of Florida. Let’s hope that the wonderful day on Saturday and the fair day on Sunday are a sign that maybe this year we might experience a spring season. Now as I made the trip into the office this morning in the heavy, wind blown rain, I wonder if spring is on the way or not.
I am back in the Essex Heritage office this week and after an early morning staff meeting on Monday, I am quickly finding myself back into a more normal, regular routine. While I was away, I provided BLOG postings twice each week on Tuesdays and Fridays. At least for the time being, I am going to continue that schedule of postings, and I suspect with that frequency that I can keep you up to date on the activities of Essex Heritage and the work of our many partners. Certainly if news or developments that would be have interest to you happened more frequently, then you can count on me to provide an occasional additional update to the Essex Happenings BLOG.
Historic Health Care Bill Passed in Washington
While the work of the US Congress, particularly as that work pertains to preservation or funding legislation to support the mission of Essex Heritage and for the Alliance of National Heritage Areas is always of great interest to me, it only seems appropriate to make a comment today on the historic health care legislation passed on Sunday. Over the last several decades, a number of American Presidents and Congresses have attempted to address the health issue without any success, and I suppose only the test of time will determine if what was passed on Sunday is good or bad for the majority of the American public. Medical costs in this country have been increasing faster than almost any other segment of the economy, and attempting to curtail those costs by making substantive changes seems to have been worth the effort. The provisions in the legislation that provides insurance coverage for those currently without coverage and the changes that protect families from being economically disadvantaged by a catastrophic illness seems also to be beneficial to many.
It appears to be a good bet that the opposition to the changes that will take place as a result of the current legislation when signed by the President will continue to oppose what has been proposed, and there will likely still be a period of great unrest in the country. President Barack Obama has risked his presidency and his long term legacy on the passage of this landmark legislation, and giving the practices created in the bill a chance to work seems to me to be worthwhile. In this country, we all seem to be a bit impatient, and I suspect that those that have and will continue to be opposed to the current plan will most likely demand instant proof of success or they will continue to line up to try to change what has been passed. I Hope that we might all consider giving the plan a bit of time to see if the promises made by the present administration can be proven and the plan will prove to be beneficial and economical for large numbers of the American population.
Current Round of Essex Heritage Scenic Byway Regional Community Meetings Completed.
Over the last several months a series of regional meetings have been held by Essex Heritage providing officials from the coastal communities included on the Scenic Byway to offer input into the planning for the preservation and promotion of the roadway that winds its way along our spectacular coastline. This third round of meetings has now been completed and Essex Heritage was very pleased by both the level of participation and the input offered. The consulting team, Taintor Associates that has been engaged to help with the planning for the Essex Heritage Scenic Byway will now evaluate all of the information provided at the regional meetings and will prepare a report that will highlight the results of the meeting, and the report will be distributed to the participants for additional comments. This fall another series of public meetings will be offered in the participating communities and at that time the general public will have an opportunity to offer pertinent comments to Essex Heritage and their consulting team. Essex Heritage continues to seek additional funding for the Scenic Byway to help assure that the needs and the wishes of the participating communities have a chance to be implemented. Funding in this difficult economic climate is certainly not assured, but every opportunity will be explored in the hopes of finding additional funding for this highly participatory regional project...
Retirement Reception Invitation Received Today from Eastern Bank
Upon my return to the office, I found an invitation from Eastern Bank to a Retirement Reception for a member of the Essex Heritage Board of Trustees. Sumner Jones has served Eastern Bank and their many customers for a quarter of a century and he will be feted at a reception in mid April. I have been associated with Sumner for many years and have served with him on several other community organizations in this region. In addition to his Trustee role at Essex Heritage that will continue, he has also served in leadership roles at the Salem Partnership, The Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, and Salem Access TV. Sumner is well deserving of the accolades that will be offered at the upcoming retirement reception for his exceptional community activism and service. We look forward to continuing to have Sumner as a Trustee at Essex Heritage where he serves as the Chairman of our Nominating Committee.
Welcome to New part Time Essex Heritage Employee
Essex Heritage has recently obtained the services on a part time basis of Thomas P. Buttacavoli to assist the Commission in the maintenance of the financial records of the organization. Tom is a certified Public Accountant (CPA) and an operationally oriented, seasoned financial executive with proven success in managing financial and administrative functions. In the past Mr. Buttacavoli, has worked in the manufacturing and the real estate business and began his career at KMPG Peat Marwick, Boston. We are pleased that Tom has agreed to assist Essex Heritage in the complex world of financial reporting required of today’s not-for-profit organizations.
As always we value your comments, questions and observations about the work of Essex Heritage. Please contact me with your thoughts at www.essexheritage.org. Thanks. Tom Leonard