Boston, Quincy Butt Heads on Long Island Ahead of Crucial May 7 Meeting

Mayor Martin Walsh’s assertion late last week that Quincy was giving up its opposition to the Long Island Bridge and its Recovery Campus has seemingly roiled the rocky relationship between the two cities once again, this time ahead of a critical May 7 meeting on licenses for the new bridge.

Now, Quincy said Boston is playing games and Boston indicates that Quincy may be softening its position.

Last Thursday night, the Mayor’s Office reported that the City of Quincy had moved to support Boston in its effort to establish a treatment center on Long Island. That came after a couple of years of legal wrangling between the cities on the re-built bridge.

It came as a surprise to most.

The City pulled out a quote from a lawsuit filing that came on April 19 between the City of Quincy and Habit-Opco – a Methadone clinic provider. The lawsuit had come as a result of Quincy denying permits for Habit-Opco to operate.

On the first page of that suit, there is language that indicates Quincy supports Long Island.

“… the city now seeks to support the City of Boston in reestablishing a treatment center on Long Island,” read part of the legal filing.

Mayor Walsh immediately stated that he would welcome Quincy’s support on the regional Long Island campus.

“Boston’s efforts to create a regional recovery campus on Long Island have always been guided by our fundamental belief that every person deserves a chance at recovery,” he said. “We are in a crisis that is not dictated by town or city lines, and we would welcome the City of Quincy’s partnership as we take the bold steps required to help those suffering find their path to a better life. The Long Island Bridge carried the weight of those in need for more than 60 years and it’s our hope that the island will once again serve as the sanctuary that it’s meant to be.”

City officials said it was the first time they had seen anything suggesting that Quincy supported Long Island programming.

Not so fast, though, said Quincy.

The Mayor’s Office in Quincy said their position hasn’t changed whatsoever, and Boston was simply playing games with words.

“Our issue has never been anything related to any use on the Island, but our issue has always been relative to how the Island is accessed,” said Chris Walker of the Quincy Mayor’s Office. “That hasn’t changed. The City of Boston knows this and anything else is just playing games with words.”

The war of words comes just one week ahead of a critical Chapter 91 Waterways environmental permit for the Long Island Bridge rebuilding project. That meeting will take place in Quincy, and Mayor Walsh and his administration have been pushing for a large turnout at the meeting by South End residents.

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