(Editor’s note: The following letter was inadvertently misplaced. We apologize for the oversight.)
To the Editor:
I am responding to Irwin Nesoff’s May 27 letter to the editor.
I’m not going to get into the details of how many years my family, my husband’s family, and we have lived here in Hull, but suffice it to say that over the past century a member of our family and we have summered and wintered in Hull for more than 100 years. In that time there have been changes in Hull, but then some things never changed. Although I agree with Mr. Nesoff’s premise regarding the town meeting and electoral process, I think a few things should be taken into account and looked at realistically.
Looking back at the town when I was a child, the summers were always bustling, but when we would come to Hull for a Sunday ride in winter to check on our cottage it was literally a ghost town. The meters in Kenberma were removed; the traffic lights were covered with burlap; most of the homes in the Cadish Avenue neighborhood where we still reside were boarded up.
Today is very different. Our population has grown to a predominantly “all-year residential area” and doubled in size. The town meeting is no longer a workable method of government. If all the citizens of Hull who are able to vote in town meeting did show up, there is literally nowhere available in town to accommodate such a meeting. Perhaps now, important questions and changes to town policy should be voted on in a more formal venue.
Certainly, the COVID-19 pandemic and the variants that continue to plague us are on everyone’s mind, too. Being an immune-compromised person, I, for one, have no interest in being in a large group of people for any extended period of time even though I have received the Pfizer vaccine and continue to wear a mask in public. Not knowing who has been vaccinated and who has not is concerning at best. This, too, could contribute to people not attending a town meeting. The recent primary for mayor of New York City was underwhelming in attendance. People are just overwhelmed and tired, and COVID has a great deal to do with this, too.
I also look at how things in the town have progressed or not over just the past 50 years. Let’s take the “development” of the town or the lack thereof. In my own lifetime, much has changed or, should I say, attempted to change with no success; perhaps therein lies the problem with apathy in Hull.
Paragon Park came to an end in the 1980s, and a prison-like structure took its place. Families and businesses were removed in what is the Hull Redevelopment Authority property, and today there is a beach parking lot and a “park” and gazebo in its place where multiple homes and businesses were to take their place to “improve the town.” We moved to New Hampshire in 1992 and returned in 2004; nothing had changed.
Now we are seeing a development group, which, I believe got its foot in the town by promising a “state-of-the-art” entertainment destination on the boardwalk. Now they are talking about developing that into another overwhelmingly sized structure with apartments and a few businesses.
I saw the recent proposal in the Times, and I envision a strip like Miami, Revere, etc. rather than a Hewitt’s Cove-type development like the one in Hingham. The renderings that were presented were once again massive, unattractive, brick and mortar buildings cluttering up what was once one of the most beautiful coastlines in New England.
Hull is built on what is predominantly a sand bar. Climate change should dictate how buildings are constructed going forward. Those of us who lived here during the Blizzard of ’78 know how the ocean reclaims the land. It will happen again, and we need to prepare for that day when it does. The beach I played on at high tide as a child is now inaccessible on an average high tide. The water now reaches to the street level. What is disturbing is there seems to be no discussion or immediacy to address the rising tide situation.
So, Mr. Nesoff, although I hear you and totally agree with you, I think it’s a good thing to have discussion on just what the issue may be. But I also see a history that perhaps the majority of Hullonians have just become used to. It really is a shame because Hull more than any other South Shore town has so much to offer as far as our seacoast. We were the Cape before the mass migration to Cape Cod after WW II. We could be that once again if only we had the vision and the leaders to want to bring it to fruition.