As chairman of Citizens for a Better Newport, I find it a bit dismaying that in some newspaper stories we are labeled as a "pro-growth" group while those opposed to Measure A on the Nov. 25 ballot are labeled as a "slow-growth" faction. The distinction is unfair and simplistic.
The truth is that Citizens for a Better Newport is a coalition that favors measured, careful, well-planned growth. This is what the Newport Center General Plan Amendment calls for. It is a plan that will take a decade to unfold, with every phase keyed to road improvements--more than $40 million worth--that will accommodate traffic needs that go far beyond the needs of Newport Center itself. It is a slow-growth plan--a plan that will bring, in time, many entertainment, cultural and retail shopping benefits to our community, as well as sorely needed road system improvements.
Calling the foes of this plan "slow-growthers" implies that those who favor it are "fast-growthers." And that is absolute nonsense. We are "pro-growth," yes. But it must be managed growth--reasonable, rational and needed growth. Citizens for a Better Newport would not have it any other way. So please take care with those labels. They can mislead.
WILLIAM P. FICKER
Citizens for a Better Newport