ATVs in Newport

To the Editor:

“If you want to kill a big dream, tell it to small minded people.” Is the title of an October 12, 2019 article in The Guardian and I can’t help but think of that happening in Newport regarding the passing of the ATV ordinance. The ladies who circulated the petition are known to attack everything happening in Newport. They know nothing about ATV’s.

They are shooting down this opportunity by representing the process was failed. How lame.

The process was anything but failed. The Newport City Council exercises their authority and anyone who has taken a basic civics course would know this. The council held 3 very public and respectful meetings. The meetings were well covered in the local media and there were no surprises about the process of presentation, questions and answers and vote. The majority of the council voted to approve an ordinance allowing a 5 month trial period of ATV’s on certain city streets during a curfew. It is sad that the president of the council not only voted against it but instructed the naysayers on Facebook how to go about getting a petition to overturn the ordinance, how sad, it makes you wonder why she is on the council in the first place? Those streets give access to all businesses located within the designated downtown as well as include access to the public works garage and the recycling center for trailheads. The council has received huge support at several community meetings that they support promoting the outdoor recreation economy and support Newport as an outdoor recreation destination.

Reasonable people will vote no to repealing the ATV ordinance, particularly when it is a test. The ordinance will allow city officials to take stock of the impacts to our downtown businesses, safety and enforcement. Most city officials are looking forward to assessing these impacts. If there are problems, they will be addressed by going through another due process.

The Guardian article’s advice is to stay away from small minded people, keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Stay disciplined to the idea of new innovations, such as the ATV ordinance, and don’t be jealous of other people’s dreams. Vote No to repealing the ATV ordinance on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020, in Newport City.

Jacques M. Roberge

Newport, Vt.


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