Back in November, when opponents of proposed changes in Senior Center operations launched a recall campaign against three Parks and Recreation commissioners, we called the effort misguided. Nothing has emerged since to change our minds. We recommend a no vote on the ballots now in voters' hands.
City officials can rightly be criticized for the way the Senior Center changes were handled. Some center supporters felt blind-sided by what appeared to them to be an abrupt change in direction for the program. In fact, a subcommittee of the Parks and Recreation Commission met six times between January and August last year discussing changes.
Despite claims from center supporters that the facility was running perfectly, parks officials say the center's staff operated with little direction from the department, and resisted change. Commissioners say some staff filed volunteer hours as paid time, transported center volunteers in personal vehicles without ensuring city insurance coverage, skipped background checks and liability waivers for volunteers and allowed volunteers to provide financial and estate planning in seniors' homes without training or city insurance coverage.
The ad hoc committee appointed to hear public concerns and recommend changes has done an admirable job under constant attack from recall supporters.
One piece of housekeeping news: The Voices section is being inundated with lengthy arguments on both sides of the recall issue, and we don't have the space to accommodate everyone at length. Accordingly, we are limiting letters on the recall issue to 250 words effective immediately.
Thanks for your cooperation.