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Senior Center Needs Cooperation

Seniors can get help from a Town Meeting committee that can offer neutral ground for debate over the Senior Center.

Again Dedham will try to place a Senior Center somewhere inside its boundaries.

This has been a stand-off between town elders for generations.

If it continues with two or more elder groups refusing to cooperate with each other, the new try for a new location will fail again.

That – more than the money or the location – is the problem; seniors have to settle their differences before they can decide where to have their center.

Latest of the proposals will have an official town committee formed. That group, the Senior Center Site Committee, will raise $50,000 and with that funding will come up with a proposal in 2014.

On that Town Meeting vote, the tally was 108 for it and 103 against.

Hardly a mandate: the only thing that will make it work is a careful selection of  members and a strong leadership.

A Town Meeting authorized study committee opens the possibility for some sort of compromise among those interested, including ordinary citizens.

What is vitally important now is that a truly objective group tackles the question. A biased committee will not solve the issue. Committee member must find a method to give all sides a workable alternative.

Alternatives are the key.

If they cannot be found, no progress will happen.

After all the failures elders have met in trying to find a Senior Center, Dedham citizens are not going to come up with big money to build or retrofit a new spot for a group of bickering seniors.

A barely successful 108-103 Town Meeting vote to have a committee spend more than a year to come up with a proposal sounds like delaying the decision; it isn’t.

If this method works, the wait for a center might be over in just a few years.

Should it fail, the waiting game continues indefinitely.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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