SMOC should give something back Sunday, June 25, 2006
Donald Grose, Framingham Metrowest Daily News
I read with interest the front-page story ("SMOC talk no help to critics," June 21), reporting that neighbors who attended Monday night’s meeting were unconvinced by SMOC’s promise to be a good neighbor.  I don't blame them.  Executive Director Cuddy wondered if residents thought the agency arrogant when it delayed meeting with them until SMOC could legally proceed.

Why shouldn't neighbors think SMOC arrogant?  Not meeting first with neighbors to hear legitimate concerns about SMOC's programs begs the question, does SMOC really care?  If SMOC had a history of involving its neighbors in planning its programs, those neighbors might believe that SMOC really cared about them.

And I'm baffled when non-profit social service agencies like SMOC do little to contribute financially for emergency services we provide and then wonder why they get so little neighborhood support.  SMOC could make payments in lieu of taxes, as some non-profits do, and contribute back to the community for the emergency services they use.  I'm not aware that they do.  Maybe if SMOC established student scholarships or sponsored family days in the park, our neighbors would believe it cared about our neighborhoods.

SMOC claims it's a good neighbor.  I think it's time it acted like one and started responding to its neighbors’ very legitimate concerns.

And SMOC should stop taking for granted our tax dollars that provide it with fire, police and ambulance services and contribute something back to the community.  Maybe then SMOC could claim it's a good neighbor.

Send comments to: