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Typical of our current society, we fail to recognize hard work of others who may be approaching the issues differently. After following the discourse on senior services in Clinton, I am disheartened that the task force split up. One faction was addressing critical needs of transportation (medical and other), tax abatement, affordable senior housing, and safety, the other focused on “Senior Center Now.”
It is clear that the current selectmen are in favor of working to provide a more inviting lunch room in the Town Hall Annex and to help solicit furniture donations and funds to expand the hours of use. Since there are no appropriations in the town budget for senior services apart from the funding for the Estuary Council of Seniors (ECS), a larger expansion or a dedicated building would have to await next year’s budget, our new Town Council, and town manager. It’s time to ask questions of all the candidates for Town Council as to how they would approach expanding and improving senior services in general including working toward a dedicated senior center.
Clinton seniors turn to the ECS not just for Meals on Wheels but also for other services such as transportation, recreational programs, exercise, and therapy classes. ECS is one of a handful of centers licensed to provide Meals on Wheels and deliver them to home-bound seniors and others taking part in lunch programs in the nine affiliated towns. The amount of money that Clinton gives to ECS covers a small portion of costs associated with Clinton’s participation.
Clinton seniors need ECS services, but they also need their own senior center and expanded services to this sizable group. Sadly, Clinton’s budget fights and decreased wealth have contributed to neglect of seniors.
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