France's gift to Framingham Thursday, July 6, 2006
Jack Prindiville Metrowest Daily News
Politics aside, the residents of Framingham owe a great debt of gratitude to Frances's football team for its magnificent victory over Brazil last Saturday.  Had the French not prevailed, Framingham's downtown would have been subjected for the fourth time in recent weeks to mayhem and complete disruption of one of the town's principal thoroughfares.  This is costly in terms of resident inconvenience and the need to provide police, security and health back-up services.

If Brazil had been victorious, there would have been not only a fourth major disruption of normal activity in the area, but we also would have been faced with potentially two more disruptions in the next ten days if Brazil had gone on to the finals and won.  As the intensity of emotions would have reached feverish heights as Brazil neared the finals, one can only imagine what would have happened in downtown Framingham if Brazil had gone on to win the cup.  This was an accident waiting to happen with the potential for injury, loss of life, and serious property damage.

Kudos to the Framingham Police Department (FPD).  At last Saturday's aborted event they were out in force, including a fire truck and ambulance behind the Memorial Building, barriers in the center of Concord Street to stop jaywalking, and cones to prevent parking in certain areas.  The police are doing the best they can under very demanding circumstances.

The questions arises:  What have we, the residents of Framingham, allowed this situation to come to pass in our community?  The answer is very simple:  lack of political will and leadership on the part of the Board of Selectmen.  They have the authority to instruct the FPD to prevent further disruptions in the downtown area.  They are derelict in their duty for not having done so.  The next World Cup is in 2010.  Let's start planning now, so that the potential for something disastrous happening in downtown Framingham does not take place at that time.

Meantime, vive la France et merci.

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