To the Editor:
I attended the Oak Bluffs selectmen’s meeting on September 6 and was totally appalled at the suggestion made by the finance committee to dismiss the three-person staff of the Senior Center and replace it with a staff of one person — a coordinator they called it — with the rest of the staff just volunteers.
This has got to be one of the biggest examples of disrespect of our senior population I have witnessed in a long time. These people have worked their whole lives serving this community in innumerable capacities and have come together to create a haven, a respite if you will, to support each other with a minimum of staff and resources. Their current volunteer efforts are already amazing, considering the ages of most of them.
They have stretched their volunteer capabilities to the max. They volunteer through illness, handicaps, financial hardship, and situations we can’t even imagine. Yet, they are always there for each other, doing what they can do to get through what are supposed to be the golden years of their lives.
To take the professional staff they depend on to guide them is unconscionable. To expect the senior center to survive with only one staff person is ridiculous, and to put our senior center in a position to close is a crime.