|Truth lacking from SMOC||Friday, November 4, 2005|
|Jim Eber, Worcester||Metrowest Daily News|
In Craig MacCormack's article ("Permit unlikely to find support," Oct. 31),
SMOC executive director Jim Cuddy says of SMOC's five projects being developed
in Worcester, "The cities and towns outside Framingham have been less
hostile toward SMOC's plans." He says people in Framingham "are
fearful because of the misinformation that's been spread" and doesn't know
"how to change the dynamic."
Well, the only way to change the dynamic is with the truth -- something Mr. Cuddy uses only when it suits his needs. The only reason Worcester has been less hostile to SMOC is that SMOC abided by a city moratorium on social service programs until October. As soon as SMOC's plans were revealed, Worcester started to fight back.
Most galling is that Mr. Cuddy accuses our city of the same "fear" and questions similar "misinformation" when that misinformation often originates with SMOC. He will paint us as discriminatory and NIMBY, throw the law in our faces, and hope to shame us into backing down. Like other agencies, he will claim we target the residents of these programs, using them as pawns in the big business of social service.
But SMOC is neither above nor immune to reasonable questions of appropriateness of location and program size, sketchy operation and parking details, and a dubious connection to "education." Like Framingham, our goal is to preserve our neighborhoods and to make agencies like SMOC act responsibly and follow the law, not prevent responsibly sited programs from opening or close programs that are good neighbors.
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