Clean up the mess

The future life of the Ashland Senior Center is now in the hands of the Ashland Senior Program Advisory Committee. Two members of this ad hoc committee, Mike Gardiner and Jim Lewis, are members of the Ashland Parks and Recreation Commission.

These same two gentlemen are currently up for recall from the APRC by the Support Our Seniors group. The cecall cites mismanagement of APRC’s annual budget, mismanagement of and firing personnel at the Senior Center, under-publicizing meeting results and wasting $230,000 for outsiders to decide the future of our beautiful Lithia Park. They also spent $49,000 on a performance audit that recommended “Do a better job with what you have before making any changes” and “Conduct a comprehensive community needs assessment before acting.”

I have been a member of the Ashland Senior Center Society for many years and am very concerned about what is happening there. Prior to APRC’s firing of the paid personnel a quarter of a year ago, our center was a haven of fun and pleasure. Now, without supervision, it is all falling apart. No one is there to answer to the senior problems that were handled so well in the past. I don’t trust the ad hoc committee, especially as it was set up by the APRC and two of its people are being recalled.

I think it’s time for the Ashland City Council to step in and clean up this mess by either taking back the Senior Center or making it an entity by itself without the mishandling of the APRC.

Earl Haveman