Sponsored by the Plum Island Taxpayers & Associates, Inc. 2015

Bringing Plum Island Together


Welcome to Plum Island Taxpayers and Associates (PITA). We are a non profit organization of Plum Island taxpayers who track important issues for island residents, organize island events, and report on issues that affect island taxpayers.

Thank you!

Thank you sincerely to all who have recently joined PITA, renewed your memberships, and made generous donations.   Welcome everyone... and we truly appreciate your support! 

If you have not already done so, please renew your membership now for 2015 and support PITA.

  1. Bullet Read about things we’ve done for Plum Island and what the fundraising is about. Join or renew membership to PITA, see   Presidents Letter and Membership form 2015.pdf.

  2. Bullet Read the current Newsletter and see what we’ve done in 2014!

  1. Bullet Upcoming Events at PITA Hall

        20th Annual Christmas Fair, Dec. 6, at Plum Island Hall, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., with Santa returning by fire truck for his annual visit about 2 p.m. of Plum Island 6pm - 8pm


Regularly occurring event: Zumba Yoga, every Tuesday night at 6PM, and Thursday mornings 9:30 - 10:30AM

  1. Bullet Sign up on FACEBOOK with PITA to get advance notice of events, post your photos and comments. 

  2. Please consider joining PITA to support ongoing island activities and social events. Please contact us for volunteer positions.

Directions to PITA Hall:


8 Plum Island Turnpike.

Newbury, MA 01951



PITA Hall now has WIFI and a Hi Definition Flat Panel TV Screen!

Reduced Hall rental rates for 1/2 day business meetings

call 978 462-8808

Your Ad could go here to support PITA...

Please contact us for details


!  Support PITA   !

Your Ad could go here--contact Ron for details

  Welcome        Newsletter        Newsletter Pg 2    Newsletter Pg 3    Rent PITA Hall     Membership     Aerial Photos

PLUM ISLAND Aerial Photos - courtesy of Ron Barrett /Ross Wescott/ Steve Atherton


November 2014

March 2013


'Can do' is the Beach Alliance way

Posted Daily News: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 3:30 am

The political pundits seem to agree on this:  our nation is about to enter another ...(continued below)

'Can do'...  Continued

frustrating period of partisan gridlock in Washington. It's disheartening to see that this nation, which has so often prospered from a "can-do" way of leadership, is now more inclined to be satisfied with "won't do."

But the roots of the better way of leadership are still here. You just have to look for it.

Here in the Newburyport area, we have an example of good government that should serve as an inspiration, if not a model, for what our dysfunctional federal government should strive to achieve.

It's called the Merrimack River Beach Alliance, and there's nothing else quite like it around here. It has one goal -- to solve problems related to our region's sandy coastline, such as jetty repairs and beach erosion.

There are few things more entangled by bureaucratic snags, competing interests and layers and layers of laws than waterfronts. It can take years to travel through the maze of government regulation to get anything accomplished. Yet, the MRBA gets things done on a regular basis, and it is primarily responsible for the many noteworthy projects that have helped to protect our local coastline in recent years.

How does it do it?

To solve the problems, it meets monthly and gathers together key people from almost a dozen different agencies and bureaucracies that have a vested interest in our local coastline, such as the Army Corps of Engineers, conservation agents, and harbormasters. There are federal officials, state officials, local officials, as well as elected officials such as state senators, state representatives, selectmen and the mayor of Newburyport. There are private citizens who are included because they have something valuable to add -- from longtime Plum Island residents with long memories of what has happened along the coast, to professional geologists with thorough knowledge of the science behind the coastal changes. All of the meetings are held in public, and anyone can attend.

And then there's this, which is remarkable. They all sit at the same table. Actually, it's several tables pieced together in a huge rectangle, but the message it sends is clear. Unlike typical government meetings where the powers-that-be sit prominently at the front and everyone else is in the audience, here everyone gets a seat at the table, literally. It creates the ability to talk on equal terms, and for everyone to have eye contact. Egos get checked at the door.

There's about 30 to 40 members, which sounds like the perfect recipe for indecision. But instead, it is the right formula. Each month, the agenda lays out concrete issues to be tackled, and the solutions are found by allowing a full and frank discussion, followed by the assigning of tasks to whomever is best suited to tackle them. Agencies and people who might never talk to each other in the normal protocol of government, sit across from one another. Thanks to the MRBA they know each other now, and they help one another get things done.

The glue that holds it together is state Sen. Bruce Tarr, the committee's chairman. With his healthy balance of practicality, insight and humor, Tarr has a natural ability to lead effectively. Perhaps its all those years of being a Republican in a sea of Democrats that has honed Tarr's ability to work collaboratively with others to achieve common goals.

In recent days, the MRBA added another "problem solved" to its long list of accomplishments. A plan to rebuild Salisbury's stone jetty hit a snag because the project didn't include funding for a 100-foot stretch that needs to be built. Under normal circumstances, it would take months for this to get straightened out. The MRBA got it straightened out in 2 weeks.

The MRBA was formed a few years ago, when Plum Island was at the height of its most recent erosion crisis. It was an effort to get all the parties together in one room, at one table, to solve problems that were taking too long to solve. It worked.

We've created a nation of bureaucracy, entitlement, fiefdoms and regulation that at its worst can strangle us, as we see abundantly clearly in Washington these days. We need to remember that our nation's strength is its ability to band together to solve problems. Groups like the MRBA show us that it can be done, we just need to focus on the two most important words -- "can do."