Dartmouth Building Commissioner Joe Braga has started performing on-site safety inspections at hotels and motels across the city. According to DartmouthWeek.com, they are long overdue. Inspections are carried out in conjunction with Dartmouth Police and the Board of Health. The publication reported that Braga briefed the board on the process at its August 23 meeting.
Making sure 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 also the seedy ones on Route 6.
The failure of state and federal governments to meet the housing needs of the needy has resulted in many people being stuck in hotel and motel rooms across the region. Chairman of the Board, Shawn McDonald, is concerned about conditions in motels, which lack proper kitchen facilities and living space.
Another of McDonald’s concerns is all the police activity that takes place in the Route 6 motels. “Every time I come home,” McDonald is quoted by Dartmouth Week, “There is a cruiser at one of these locations.”
The city had to place an electronic notice board in the middle of the median of Route 6 to alert drivers to watch pedestrians on the roadway. Several people were struck while walking or trying to cross the highway.
Motels such as Moby Dick, Best Western, Dartmouth Inn, and Capri are not the best place to house the needy, especially children, outside of a temporary emergency. It is odious that our elected officials cannot come up with something better than that.
It is also evident that some of the people who live in these establishments are dealing with an overly generous and uncontrollable bureaucracy that is in dire need of reform. Anyone capable of working should be obliged to do so and provide for their own housing needs.
Barry Richard is the host of the Barry Richard Show at 1420 WBSM New Bedford. It can be heard on weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter @ BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.