Letter to the Editor

What gives here?

To the Editor,

I was unable to attend the most recent Eagle Hill Association’s May meeting and wish I had been there after reading the East Boston Times news story (  CDC’s  Meridian Street Library project under fire, June 1).

However, as an Eagle Hill resident, I was very much upset by the news story written by John Lynds and by the accompanied letter to the editor from a resident who was appalled by what was seen at this meeting.

I too am very concerned of the proposal aired for the Meridian Street Library building at this recent meeting by Al Caldarelli of Community Development Corporation (CDC) and Frank Ramirez of the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC).

When developers were selected last summer for the building the community was fully involved in the process. However, when the same spokespersons for the two agencies chosen as developers show up with brand new plans of their own for the property, one would think the new plans need to return to the community process for input for these new plans and ideas.

What really burned me about this story is a quote in the East Boston news story that “unapologetically hinted during the meeting the building would not  be all inclusive, multicultural or multi-generational.” What gives here?

Al Caldarelli  has every right to his opinion that both he and Mr. Ramirez “represent low to moderate income people that need our help and that’s what we will continue to do.’ That is all fine and dandy but perhaps it shouldn’t be with the old library building. I seem to smell a bait and switch here with their bid. Am I the only who thinks this whole thing no longer passes the smell test?

This building has the potential to be a great place for the whole East Boston community. It doesn’t need to be balkanized into someone’s apparent agenda.

East Boston is a growing and thriving community of all kinds of people from many parts of the world. Mostly, things have gone quite well as newcomers move in and become part of the whole.

It seems that a CDC and a group with the word “ecumenical’ in it should have greater insight that what seems to have been exposed at the recent Eagle Hill Association meeting.

Perhaps as many have suggested, it is time to reopen the bidding process and get the community’s input once again.

I have no agenda other than what is best for my neighborhood I call home. I don’t know Mr. Caldarelli or Mt. Ramirez from a hole in the wall. I do know what community organizations or CDCs ought to be doing because over 30 years ago, I was very active in Charlestown and was elected to the Charlestown Economic Development Corporation and everything we proposed was for the benefit of all Charlestown residents.

I am not sensing that here in the story over the future uses of the old library building. Are there others out there like me who think we should go back to the drawing board and get it right this time?



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