Tuesday, April 05, 2011

A long time coming and going

MAC's new home come June
After listening to the Director of Metro General Services tell the Mayor during budget hearings last week that the administration of the Metro Action Commission would be moving from their long-time Salemtown home at the historic, but service-delivery-challenged Fehr School building, I grew concerned. My worry was that Metro might be splitting the executives and keeping the services here, which would not solve the problems that MAC and Salemtown have had with dumping utility assistance delivery to needy families in a small school building with inadequate parking.

No more cold morning lines?
I contacted Director Nancy Whittemore and asked her for clarification on her budget hearing comments and she replied to me almost immediately that energy assistance, rent and mortgage assistance as well as GED services would be moving with administration out of the Fehr building by June 2011. Head Start will be staying as originally planned. I support using the Fehr building consistent with its historic educational function, so Head Start staying makes a lot more sense than MAC being here, forcing clients to line up outside early on cold mornings and forcing Salemtowners to brook the high-volume vehicular traffic and increased litter. How other details shake out:

The Head Start kitchen will remain--consequently deliveries will continue to be made to the north location. Maintenance and custodial services currently housed at the north location will also remain until new offices are built along with the kitchen facility. The largest portion of MAC's client base will be served at the new Clifford Allen location except for the North Head Start children and the buses that transport those children.

Given that MAC has been slated to move out of Fehr for years and has had to endure delays, we should watch this transition realistically and not be surprised if the move is stalled once again. But maybe things are different this time around. We also need to start seriously pursuing preservation of an authentic landmark in local civil rights history.

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