A student of civics and policy can find proof of shifts in any community and Mansfield is no different. If one were to comb local social media you would quickly get a snapshot that Mansfield is held in fairly high regard at least in the area of being better than many other places. This is simply an unfortunate myth people of any community tell themselves for a legion of reasons.
A great example of what I’m driving at can be explained in a handful of pictures. It is my opinion this captures the spirit of a number of issues Mansfield is facing and doing so in less than an ideal manner.
The above image is the for sale sign for the property that includes the former Paine School,the former medical building and a private residence on Central St. This location is listed at $3 million.
The most visible parcel is the former school building which in the early 90’s still housed some Town offices in it. Long abandoned and exposed to the elements and wildlife this site is for all intents a demolition in waiting. It is so visible at the crossroads of Copeland Drive and Rt 106 and bears testimony to how zoning and development can cause stagnation.
The above image is exactly what it looks like. A place where someone attempted to set up shelter. It is located on the site of the former medical office. The area here is in pretty good shape waste wise and this along with no obvious damage to the structure itself would leave one to guess the person(s) who sheltered here were focused on living safely and without malicious intent.
All together this makes for a larger picture of opposites and decline. $3 million seems like a high price for a site that calls for the demolition of at least two structures. A place with multi million dollar parcels is also home to people sleeping rough on the streets. Most people would claim this doesn’t exist in Mansfield. It does.