I would like to voice my support for the work the Parks Commission has been trying to do in dealing with the services provided by the Senior Center. I’m saying this from the perspective of person who just served four years on the commission and left just less than a year ago.

Much of the controversy related to the Senior Center is unfortunate; however, it is not new. While I was a commissioner there were issues with the Senior Center and looking at the services it was providing and whether they could be better organized or delivered in a different manner.

After reading the various articles, commentary and letters to the editor I’ve come away feeling that the Parks Commission and the parks staff are getting bad press for trying to do their jobs. They made recommendations after several meetings and listened to seniors' concerns.

While initially the commissioners talked about moving some of the Senior Center services to The Grove, they haven’t moved any of the services and have kept all the services intact. One of the original staff members was let go and I understand another quit. So, the paid staff is new. While I appreciate some of the seniors not wanting any change, it seems to me sometimes change happens and perhaps it’s time to move on and work with the new staff.

I’ve worked with all the current commissioners and the park staff for several years. The views expressed that the commissioners don’t appreciate seniors couldn’t be further from what I know about them. Four of the five commissioners are seniors and I think they listened carefully to the concerns of seniors; that’s why all the services have remained intact and at the Senior Center.

I know the effort commissioners and parks staff expend to do a good job for the citizens of Ashland and I believe they are making progress to improve the services at the Senior Center. After all the negative comments related to Senior Center changes I would like to show some appreciation for the effort the commissioners and parks staff expend on our behalf. Thank you.

— Vanston Shaw of Ashland is a former parks commissioner.