Lately, the Arc has mounted a campaign to urge Gov. Patrick to appeal U.S. District Court Judge Joseph Tauro's ruling last month that Fernald should remain open. Joining the campaign this week has been state Representative Tom Sannicandro, D-Ashland, who is seeking signatures from his colleagues in the Legislature to a letter in which he contends that Fernald is too large and too expensive to continue to operate.
But what about the compromise plan for a smaller, more cost-effective facility? The Arc has been silent on it. Rep. Sannicandro makes no mention of it in his letter.
Is it possible that it just might work? Is there something fundamentally wrong with it? The Arc and Rep. Sannicandro aren't saying, apparently.
JT of the Arc has written a post on this site in which he has laid out the usual statistics about how Fernald is too large and too expensive to continue to operate. It's a lengthy post, but JT makes no mention in it of the compromise proposal. You'd think he might have found some room to say something about it.
The argument being made by the Arc and Rep. Sannicandro is that because Fernald is so large and expensive, Judge Tauro's decision must be appealed and Fernald must be closed. Period. Everyone living there must be evicted. They must be moved out of the only home many of them have ever known, and, in many cases, away from the only caregivers they have ever known, and dispersed throughout the state. The families who want the Center to remain open are misguided about what's really good for them, and are seeking an unwarranted privilege at the expense of everyone else in the community.
Yet, when the families propose a plan for a smaller, cost-effective facility that would be fully integrated into the community, there is no response.
JT, Rep. Sannicandro, Governor Patrick, let me ask you:
Why can't a solution acceptable to all sides be found? Why can't we discuss this? Why the silence?