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Some Dedham officials still want senior center

Posted by Your Town  July 9, 2008 08:02 AM

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Last weekend's solid vote in Dedham against funding an $8.65 million senior center sent a resounding message to officials that they have to revise the plan and try again - at their own risk.

"It's clear that a need has been identified for a senior center," said Town Administrator William Keegan. "Now the issue is whether we can create a proposal that will garner the majority's support."

The proposed facility, which would have served the town's 5,000-plus residents age 60 and older, has been a subject of discussion for two decades, with at least five locations considered, and rejected.

Obviously, the economy is not the best, Keegan said, but "the cost of building a facility will increase the longer we delay. It will just cost more in the long run."

At the same time, he said, "the need for the facility will not go away."

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7 comments so far...
  1. I don't live in Dedham but am a Boston Senior Citizen (over 60). Funding for a Dedham Senior Center was turned down using our 'democratic vote'. What's the problem?
    "It's clear that a need has been identified for a senior center," said Town Administrator William Keegan. Well - the majority of voters don't want to pay for it.

    We can't have everything in life and that includes seniors. I still go to work every day to help out with expenses and all I want from government is safety. I'll take care of the rest, thank you!

    Posted by Brenda Breen July 11, 08 09:23 AM
  1. Where to begin? Town officials don't "have" to do anything. The resounding message was NO, not come back later. Advocates always try to spin no into "yes, but" - that doesn't make it so. Second, a "need" has not been identified. A desire has been identified. Dedham is over three hundred and fifty years old, and has gotten by just fine without a Senior Center just fine. Third, the town's 5000-plus residents age 60 and over will not be served by a Senior Center - most will never put a foot in the building, but all would have to pay for it in increased taxes.

    Posted by MarkB July 12, 08 01:12 PM
  1. 2 decades is long enough.......
    Our Senior's have paid taxes in this Town all of their lives !
    How about making some space for the seniors in the "New Building" Commissioner O'Brien lives in !

    Posted by resident July 14, 08 11:33 AM
  1. As a long time resident of Dedham, I am delighted with the voters decision. Why should I pay for a senior center that I will never use? With all the new mall construction going on in Town, I don't plan on living here much longer. If Dedham truly wants a senior center, get the money from the Mall owners, developers and construction companies and that are currently ruining the Town now or better yet, have them build a little place for the Seniors at Legacy Place as a good gesture!

    Posted by TC July 17, 08 10:55 AM
  1. A typical problem with a suburban town. People have lost site of the importance of looking out for ones neighbors. This be seniors, low-moderate income, children and such. 61 dollars a year! That was the increase to provide a service to some of those who are in the most need??!! unbelievable! This could be your mother, your father, your aunt and uncle, your sister or yourself. For those of you who have family/friends that you can lean on and get the companionship you deserve---good for you. You are lucky, but there are many who don't have these support systems. Caring for those who are our most vulnerable is not just a "desire" as one commenter so (graciously) used to describe this---it is a essential to a vibrant and healthy community. the pure short sightedness of Dedham is astounding.

    Posted by resident_who cares July 17, 08 11:05 AM
  1. These senior centers seem like such boondoggles. Why not rent out some creative combination of existing church/synagogue basements or parish centers which probably go unused during the week. Put the money into the program, not bricks and mortar.

    Posted by Kevin, Boston July 18, 08 07:01 AM
  1. The voters have truly spoken in Dedham and have made it clear that the proposal for the new senior center was way out of line. Location of a Sr. Center on the town line of Dedham and Westwood is not appropriate for our seniors. What were they thinking? They were willing to spend $8M to build a new building which was half underground. Why not redirect that proposal down a different avenue and lease and rehab St. Mary's school which is more centrally located within the town and has parking.

    As a voter in the town of Dedham, I did not appreicate being bombarded by mail from the Selectman and others for a project whereby only an estimated amount to construct was given. Common sense should prevail. It is a given that a Sr. Center is needed but let's not put the tax payers in any more of hole than they are already in because of emotional voting eg. SMA Fathers property.

    Posted by Posted by CM July 21, 08 11:13 AM
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About override central Coverage of Prop 21/2 override campaigns in more than 30 communities in Greater Boston.
Christine Wallgren is a correspondent in the Globe South bureau.
David Dahl is the Globe's regional editor.
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