Supporters of the Ashland Senior Center made themselves heard in no uncertain terms Tuesday, pushing back against plans to move the center from the existing building in Hunter Park to The Grove, lay off staff and push programs to generate more revenue.
The result was a somewhat modified plan. All existing classes and programs, including weekday lunches served by Food & Friends, will remain at the center through the end of the year. But starting in October, a new ad hoc Senior Advisory Committee will begin reorganizing the Senior Center with the goal of expanding its offerings and placing it on firmer financial footing.
Center supporters are justified in feeling blindsided by news of the proposed reorganization. The Parks and Recreation Commission could have made more effort to publicize its plans. And the argument that Senior Center programs should do more to help cover costs would carry more weight if backed up by an open discussion of the center's budget.
Moving Senior Center programs under the Recreation Department makes sense. Other community classes and activities are there; why should senior activities be different?
The important thing to keep in mind is that the reorganization is not a done deal; it starts almost two months from now. Those who want a voice in the details need to get involved, apply to serve on the committee and make their priorities known.