Dear Editor:

It has come to my attention that the county commissioners are planning to close down the senior center.

The seniors that come to the senior center are your constituents. They consist of at least 60 percent of the population of Pagosa. The center is very important for them as a place to meet with others of like mind, and as something to “do” with their time. The senior center is one of many seniors’ routines they have been counting on for many years.

Why is it that the commissioners want to close the center and at the same time raise the salary of county employees? Are these raises more important to you and the county than the seniors, who, by the way, are still paying their taxes. Remember, they also vote when election time comes around.

One time, not too far in the future, you will all be seniors, like us. Being a senior myself, I would have no place to go to all week, as I’ve routinely done for many years, and which I’ve looked forward to. Many of us no longer have family … mates who have died, or other issues. Being able to go to the senior center offers a great social atmosphere, with food, and especially the pleasure of being able to talk, play various card and board games together, and discuss local events.

Just because a few “old” sour pusses have complained about the center doesn’t mean most people are not happy with the service it provides. They don’t have to attend, and it seems they would rather destroy the service for everyone else rather than it not go “their” way. They can stay in their homes and continue along with their Alzheimer’s if that is what makes them happy, but please don’t allow them to take it out on the vast majority of seniors who enjoy the center.

Please don’t close the center that serves the community and that helps many seniors locally. Where else would you have us go to meet with our own peers on a regular basis? Do you relegate us all to the “discard bin” because we seemingly no longer provide what many feel is a “service” to the community? Maybe you should actually “talk” to us and maybe we could provide ongoing service from experience … something we have in ample supply, and youth needs.

Is it that costly to keep a majority of local seniors engaged in the community?

Mary Lou Maehr

This story was posted on May 16, 2013.