Talking Low Income Housing on the Willard School Land Blues
Back in 1992 the Housing Authority had nothing to do
They said, “We’ve got to get some land to build some housing for the common man.”
Women too. Little children and old folks, without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sexual orientation or place of nation origin.
So they looked at all the for sale signs
They looked at the ads in the New York Times
Then they cried, “This will not do.
An acre of land costs a grand or two.”
We can build affordable housing, we just can’t afford to put it anyplace.
So thought a bit and they thought some more
How are going to house the poor
Then they said, “Hey we’re not fools
Let’s go have a talk with the schools.”
All those little buildings. All that empty land.
So they looked around and studied plans
And decided they‘d found some surplus land
Then they went to the school committee
And asked them to come to the aid of their city.
Well I know Concord is just a town. But town doesn’t rhyme with committee.
The committee asked the school to report
The superintendent told them what he thought
The committee said that they agreed
The Willard school had land it didn’t need
Not used now. No plans for the future.
Whe word got around about the deal
The neighbors said, “No. This can’t be fore real.”
They yelled at the committee for an hour or so
Then they left. It was time to go.
Didn’t stay around to hear about the budget. Now that was something to complain about.
The plan moved on right through the town
They got their approvals and made the rounds
Then it got to the final point
The selectmen must the plan annount.
But hark. What’s this? Opposition? Time for a special town meeting.
The people came from far and wide
Everyone wanted to get inside
They came in all sizes and ages and races
Until they ran out of parking spaces.
There were so many cars lined up you’d a thought it was a Sunday afternoon at Foxboro Stadium, or the grand opening of a new Chinese restaurant.
There were so many people they couldn’t fit
There weren’t enough places to sit
Folks were so crowded they couldn’t speak
So the moderator said, “Come back next week.”
We’ll go to the high school. Folks can get a look at that Phase 1 construction.
So the following week they tried again
They filled the auditorium and the gym
With overflow in the cafeteria
Which was carefully scrubbed of all bacteria
They wanted to be clear that if anyone got ill, it was from the speechifying, not the environment.
I’ll tell you it was quite a scene
Watching people talk on the TV screen
And when everything was said and done
The town folk made it clear it was time to move on.
The petition was defeated. The land was ceded. This here story is now completed.