Find a Win-Win for the Stigmatines and the City of Waltham
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We, the undersigned, ask that Waltham City Council, The Mayor of Waltham, and the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers work cooperatively to reach an agreement on the future of the Stigmatine land that strengthens the position of each of these entities while serving the best interests of the residents of Waltham.
Waltham needs a new high school, and, having researched every viable parcel within the City, our educational leaders have recommended the Stigmatine property on Lexington Street as the ideal site for this multi-million dollar transformative project. Constructive negotiations between the Stigmatines and the City for the sale of the property began, but they ultimately broke down.
City Council and the Mayor are at odds over how or whether to re-engage the Stigmatines. If the City cannot acquire this land, the School Committee and Waltham residents will be forced to accept other options that won’t fully address the educational plan for Waltham students and that also leave the Stigmatine property open to possible large-scale residential development.
The Stigmatines have indicated that they wish to continue their ministry and they wish to do so in Waltham. Our elected officials and the Stigmatines can guarantee that these needs are met by working together on a purchase and sale agreement that includes identifying an acceptable alternate site for the Stigmatines to continue their work and provide a comfortable home for the retired priests. And by cooperating with the City, rather than opposing it, the Stigmatines would be able to use the proceeds of the sale to expand their ministry, furthering their mission to serve the public and greatly enhancing their proud legacy.
City leadership would be credited with working together to solve a multi-faceted, vexing problem to the benefit of our community:
- Waltham would acquire the ideal property for the new high school.
- Waltham would preserve the existing high school building for use as a grades K-8 school in the future, heading off this very same problem from recurring almost immediately.
- Waltham would address the needs of the Dual Language Immersion Program, Parent Information Center, and Central Office facility.
- Waltham would eliminate the threat of large-scale residential development on the Stigmatine site, further adding to neighborhood traffic and overcrowding in our schools.
- Waltham would secure the brightest possible future for our students and their families, delivering a world-class educational facility that would be the envy of every other town in the Commonwealth and beyond.
- Waltham would provide a new home for the Stigmatines to live peacefully and continue their extremely important and valuable work.
We’ve seen the division caused by the different parties working in opposition. It’s time to take a different tack. We ask all parties -- Waltham City Council, the Mayor of Waltham, and the Stigmatine Fathers and Brothers -- to turn the page TOGETHER and sit down to work out an arrangement that’s not just mutually acceptable, but actually mutually beneficial, for all. For the sake of everyone involved, for our collective future, let’s put aside the mistrust and the bad will and look for the better path forward, together.
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