|SMOC chose wrong option||Thursday, November 1, 2007|
|Duncan Fuller, Framingham||Metrowest Daily News|
While I rarely agree with the editorial pages of the MetroWest Daily News, I feel compelled to compliment you for your editorial "A misguided lawsuit in Framingham."
As you so rightfully stated, this lawsuit lacks legitimacy and is being used as a cudgel against those who would oppose the further expansion of SMOC and other social service agencies in the town of Framingham. However, I disagree with your assertion that their participation in a local PILOT program is unnecessary.
Without rehashing the details of the PILOT study, social service agencies in Framingham are receiving a great value. They receive many town services - schools, public works, police, and fire to name a few - at no cost to them. It is only fair that they participate by providing PILOT payments, especially in light of the fact that many state contracts, such as 808 CMR 1.00, 390, specifically provide for payment in lieu of taxes.
SMOC should acknowledge that Framingham's budget is strained to the max and that we will be soon facing some painful choices, such as cutting services and/or raising taxes. Adding to the fiscal misery by creating an unnecessary expense in the form of potentially immense legal fees benefits no one - neither taxpayers nor SMOC and its constituents.
SMOC could have traveled down one of two roads. Realizing they will always be chronically unpopular with many in Framingham, they could have chosen the high road, and attempted to regain the trust of the townspeople. Rather, they chose to march through Framingham like General William Tecumseh Sherman, which benefits no one.
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