Dependency is SMOC's lifeblood Thursday, September 29, 2005
Harold J. Wolfe Metrowest Daily News
Social service agencies like SMOC that have school-aged children in their tax-exempt facilities in Framingham are merely an unfunded mandate on the Framingham taxpayers.  Each such school-aged child costs the taxpayers $13,000 a year.  Such children are not even the focus of SMOC services, at least for this generation, but they propably will be the next generation of SMOC clients.

In fact, many of these children come from other communities and states.  It is imperative that our PILOT committee find out how many such children exist so that we have a clear understanding of all the good things that SMOC does, even though we the taxpayers seem to be paying for it lock, stock and barrel.

It is my firm belief that the South Middlesex Opportunity Council creates more dependency than opportunity.  This dependency may indeed be SMOC's life blood.

Meanwhile, our Board of Selectman (excepting A. Ginger Esty) is just gushing at all the wonderful things SMOC is doing for the residents of Framingham, but not discussing why property taxes are so high.

According to a cumulative listing of arrests in Framingham, the homeless and the residents of SMOC's wet shelter at 105 Irving St. constitute nearly 16 percent of all Framingham arrests.  Many of these people are repeatedly arrested over any given year in our catch and release program.  Framingham's most frequently arrested individual (homeless by choice) has been hauled in five times in the last three months.  Imagine being arrested 20 times a year.

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