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Petition to Block Senior Center at Ward Park Started

The Ward Park Neighborhood Association has put together an online petition to stop the construction of the new Senior Center at Ward Park.

Ongoing opposition to locating a new Senior Center at Ward Park has taken the form of an online petition through change.org.

The petition — created by the Ward Park Neighborhood Association — takes the position that the park is too small to locate the proposed 13,000 square foot senior center within the grounds of the park. The petition also raises concerns of a lack of a "rigorous evaluation process" and the loss of recreational space and opportunities at Ward Park.

The $7 million new senior center would be located on the land currently being used for the skating rink in the park.

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The petition's issues with the senior center encompass many of the arguments residents speaking in opposition as a public forum last year.

The forum came after the for the design phase of the project. At the time, Matt Elder, the Ward Councilor for the area, voiced his objections to the process and not being informed of the location earlier. He then organized the public forum to discuss the location of the senior center at Ward Park.

City officials have said that the construction of the center would increase chances of improvements to the park being funded through grants.

Over 300 people have signed on to voice their opposition to the location of the senior center. The petition's goal is 1,000.

JM January 25, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Just my opinion but why a senior center in the middle of a city park? Just doesn't seem like the right place for it. Sort of like putting an adult video store downtown...
Damon Michaels January 25, 2013 at 01:38 PM
How about instead of bribing people with "grants" (which comes from tax payers, so just increases taxes in the long haul) that we instead use some of the rainy day fund money to improve the park. Either rent a building for senior center usage, or repurpose what we already have for buildings. Does Marlborough need to continue to be in the real estate business? Look at the crumbling buildings we already have, obviously we do not do a good job on maintenance.
arnold January 25, 2013 at 03:27 PM
The petition makes some compelling arguments for revisiting this apparently grossly flawed decision process. It also raises the more fundamental question of whether a "building" is actually NEEDED. Where is the comprehensive study that shows the DESIRES of certain seniors warrant building a new building. Why have other alternatives have not been considered- such as leasing space in another existing building for some period to determine if real utilization warrants such a large and on going expense. So long as the bill goes to someone else there no limit to what is 'needed'.
resident January 25, 2013 at 06:09 PM
I don't understand the reasoning either, and no one I've spoken with thinks this makes any sense at all, especially given the historic nature of the park. The Mayor and City Council are truly missing the mark on this one. The petition at only ten days old, now has a total of 450 online and handwritten signatures. Marlborough residents clearly don't want their public park land used for a municipal building. City officials need to reverse this decision. The petition can be viewed and signed at www.savewardpark.com
Chrissy January 25, 2013 at 08:09 PM
True that Councilor Elder formed an opportunity for residents to voice their concerns about the proposal which took place on Dec 19th. Unfortunately communication ceased immediately following the meeting with those who had expressed opposition from the beginning. When those same individuals reached out to him via email on January 7th, he still believed there was only a 'handful' of residents, 'mostly abutters' that seemed to be opposed, and added, and I quote, "As President Pope mentioned at the (Dec 19th) meeting, the neighbors of Ward Park are extremely luck to have ANY recreation areas near them." REALLY?! Is the park new?...was it built after I purchased my property and I am just lucky to have accidentally fallen upon a park on my street? NO - I purposely bought my property near the park and have been volunteering my time for years asking what I can do to help get the park improved. Another email was sent to Elder later in January noting that the perception that there are just a 'handful' of people opposed was simply not true. I sent the email, and did not get a response. It was then that our group decided to take action to be taken seriously. The petition is getting the facts out and learning that more than a 'handful' seem to be opposed - from almost every Ward in the City. www.savewardpark.com Contact a Ward Councilor and tell him/her your opinion!
Peg January 25, 2013 at 09:27 PM
Too bad I don't live in Marlboro anymore - I'd love to sign that petition. It's been a bad idea ever since the idea even came up. Listen to your people, Marlboro government!!! There's empty commercial buildings all over the city-use one and renovate it. Leave the park alone.
Chrissy January 25, 2013 at 10:05 PM
Peg - feel free to sign the petition and enter a comment that connects you to the Park. Although we are encouraging current residents so the City does not discount the numbers, we ask that nonresidents choosing to sign leave a a note in the comment section as to why they are signing and what their connection to the Park is. 90% of the (as of now) 380 online petitioners (does not include over 70 hard copy sigs) are from Marlborough and half of the remaining 10% used to live in the City and have mentioned their opposition and why. www.savewardpark.com
Anon January 26, 2013 at 02:29 AM
Let's talk Vigeants destruction of the city. The forest park project he pushed thru (forcing the resignation of 2 zba officials) is slated to break ground next month.  The cornerstone company of this forest park project announced a whopping 71% decrease in profits in q4.  71%!!!!!  And the projections for 2013 for this company are bleak.  This forest park project is a bust and we will be paying for it for years.  Dont let vigeant bully ward park & be another one of mistakes.  Don't let vigeant destroy Marlborough.  
resident January 28, 2013 at 03:16 PM
This petition now has well over 500 online and hand signed supporters. Stop the taking of parkland for the construction of municipal buildings. Sign the petition at www.savewardpark.com
Dom January 28, 2013 at 05:39 PM
That's absolutely great news! Lets keep those signatures coming!
resident June 18, 2013 at 03:30 PM
Come speak out to show there’s a strong and well-informed opposition to building at Ward Park! The mayor is hosting a “public forum” about his project – taking away Ward Park land to construct a city building. This forum includes unveiling of conceptual plan and building layout. He’s hosting this at the Senior Center, Main Street, Marlborough. Wednesday June 26th 5:30pm. It’s only the 2nd community forum held on his project in a 7 month period! Who knows when there will be another chance to be heard! The mayor has chosen to host this at 5:30 on a Wednesday, when most are just getting in from work and feeding their families. It is likely a most difficult time for many. Please come to this forum to say NO taking away public park land for a city building! www.savewardpark.com

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