Getting things done

I want to point out that the Ad Hoc Senior Program Advisory Committee is getting things done!

We have three input sessions planned in December on the 13th, 20th and 27th, from 12:30-2 p.m. at the center. Two open houses will also be offered in December, with one in the early evening so working folks can attend. These will be publicized in the paper, Olli Newsflash and City/Parks web page.

A community needs assessment is also being developed to go out soon. We are exploring various ways that input can be collected for the needs assessment so we can reach the most people in our community.

In addition, we are discussing how to provide ongoing outreach and referral assistance to our most vulnerable seniors and their family members.

The parks staff members are supporting these activities but they are certainly not controlling them.

ASPAC is trying to do the right thing for this community. Please support our efforts by giving your input and providing ideas on how we can move forward to create the best Senior Program possible.

Jackie Bachman, chairperson, ASPAC

Ashland

Words matter

Ashland’s mayor and council maintain support of a bureaucratic process initiated by the Parks and Recreation director and commissioners, officials hired or elected to provide “expertise” in managing parks and recreation but lacking expertise in social services — as evidenced by the negative effects their plan has had on citizens’ well-being. There is a persistent belief that Parks and Recreation has authority over the Senior Center.

Resolution 2007-14 repealed previous resolutions, made the Parks and Recreation Department “responsible for facilitation of all senior programs and activities” and gave them “the authority to create an advisory committee for the senior program, if necessary.” It did not give them managerial control.

Facilitators guide and advise. They are not to exert power, give directions or order actions. They are not managers.

Not only has Parks and Recreation’s reorganization plan damaged the Senior Center and the well-being of our citizens, but if my reading is correct, such control has not been authorized.

Hopefully the mayor and council will seek the city attorney’s advice on this apparent misinterpretation of Resolution 2007-14. It seems Parks and Recreation has not only done harm to Ashland senior citizens but also may have overstepped its authority.

Alice Finley

Ashland