New Clinton Senior Resource Committee Working Toward a December Report
Clinton’s new Senior Resources Advisory Committee is underway with a goal of making a report to the council by mid-December on recommendations to help senior citizens.
At a Town Council meeting in August, the council appointed five people (a sixth member has since been added) to the senior resources advisory committee with a specific charge of working to assess issues that face seniors in Clinton.
The specific charges included determining the programming needs of a senior center, developing a schedule that phases in senior services and costs, developing a budget that phases in senior services over five years, studying the current services offered to seniors and whether they can be brought into a senior center environment, and identifying other initiatives that might be needed by seniors.
As part of its charge, the committee will make a final report to the council in December.
“I see the goal of this committee to find out what Clinton seniors want and what Clinton seniors need,” said committee co-chair Shelby Auletta. “The reason for that time frame is to get into the budget for next year.”
“The goal of the committee is to provide the best resources for our seniors in Clinton,” said Michael Hornyak, the other co-chair of the committee.
At press time, the committee has held four meetings at which it had received clarification from Town Manager Karl Kilduff about what he was looking for from the committee and had guests from neighboring towns’ senior centers come speak to the group.
Auletta said the group is interested in getting information from the speakers on how they program, what their costs are, and what does and doesn’t work.
This is not the first time the town has appointed a group to study seniors in town. In late 2018, the Board of Selectmen formed a task force with a primary goal of surveying Clinton’s senior population, which makes up about 18 percent of the town, on what it wanted from the town.
After the survey results were tabulated at the end of 2019, the task force was disbanded because there was no clear path for it to proceed. Instead, the Town Council opted to appoint a new committee with a new charge.
Auletta and Hornyak both said that the work done by the previous committee was very helpful.
Hornyak pointed out that Phyllis McGrath and Elizabeth Goldstein, the two co-chairs of the previous task force, are current members of the committee and added, “They did a lot of research. It’s a really good basis to start with.”
A lot of attention over the last two years has been paid to the concept of bringing a senior center to Clinton. A senior center would be a physical place where seniors could gather amongst themselves to socialize or attend programs geared for seniors.
Vacant properties like the Pierson School, or properties that can be renovated like the Town Hall Annex, have been proposed as sites for a senior center. While the idea is still under consideration, multiple town officials have cautioned that bringing a senior center to Clinton is a long-term goal with associated costs.
Hornyak said that “nothing is off the table” when asked if the committee will look seriously at creating a senior center in Clinton.
The committee is due to make its final report to the council on Wednesday, Dec. 16.