Dartmouth Motels Are No Place to Live [OPINION]
Dartmouth Building Commissioner Joe Braga has begun conducting on-site safety inspections at the town's hotels and motels. According to DartmouthWeek.com, they are long overdue. The inspections are in conjunction with the Dartmouth Police and the Board of Health. The publication reported that Braga updated the Board of Selectmen about the process during its August 23 meeting.
Making sure the hotels and motels are up to code is extremely important and should happen more often. Not only should the more upscale establishments on Faunce Corner Road be inspected, but the seedier ones on Route 6 as well.
The failure of the state and federal governments to address the housing needs of the needy has resulted in many folks jammed into hotel and motel rooms throughout the region. Select Board Chair Shawn McDonald has concerns about conditions at the motels, which lack kitchen facilities and proper living space.
Another of McDonald's concerns is all of the police activity that occurs at the Route 6 motels. "Every I go home," McDonald is quoted by Dartmouth Week, "There is a cruiser at one of those places."
The town has had to place an electronic billboard in the middle of the Route 6 median to alert drivers to watch for pedestrians in the roadway. Several people have been struck while walking along or attempting to cross the highway.
Motels such as Moby Dick, Best Western, the Dartmouth Inn, and the Capri are not the best place to house the needy, particularly children, in anything other than a temporary emergency. It is abhorrent that our elected officials cannot come up with something better than this.
It is also apparent that some of the folks who are living in these establishments are taking care of an overly generous and out-of-control bureaucracy badly in need of reform. Anyone able to work should be made to do so and to support their own housing needs.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.