Call me a cynic, but the following things come to mind:
- Rep Smith is not exactly the "star performer" of his class in the Legislature.
- Rep Smith is regularly getting skewered for being behind in his property taxes at Smith's Restaurant (a great place to eat, by the way). He once (in)famously blamed his wife for the accounting lax. Smooth.
- Rep Smith knows that the crowd that opposes the Methadone clinic is loud.
Look, I'm a realist. I know that having a Methadone clinic in a residential neighborhood is not a great thing, which is why the one proposed would be located in an Industrial Park. I also realize that many who oppose this clinic are probably acting out of ignorance than anything else, their minds filled with visions of 70's cop shows like Kojak, where drug-addicts litter gutters and steal fruit. But I also try to use logic to think there things through; and a logical place to start would be to look at where a clinic like this already operates and evaluate its "threat" based upon that review. Lucky for us a similar clinic already exists in Wilkes-Barre, where again (as I understand it) there have been very few problems.
In case this hasn't been loud and clear enough, I think a Methadone clinic located in an industrial park near the interstate is a great idea. There are drug-addicts in this area. There are drug-addicts in Dunmore. The people who would use the services of this clinic are people who want to get off of drugs. The clinic can be structured such that there is no loitering allowed. What's the harm here?
Let me answer that last question: the harm is to the idyllic vision that some folks have of their home town. They don't want to believe that there is a need for this; and if there is a need, it probably exists someplace else, you know like in Scranton. These folks use things like traffic studies and legislative action as excuses to oppose this clinic when the real reason is that it simply offends this idyllic vision of Dunmore that has never really existed anyway. How very sad, for both them and their communities.
As a final note, someone could respond to this posting by saying: "Dear Idiot, would you want a Methadone Clinic next to your house?". Fair enough. The problem is that I live near a school (JFK Elementary in Scranton), not an industrial park. Locating such a clinic in a residential area does create a few legitimate issues of concern, but that's not the case here.