2018-03-08 / Editorial

Town, seniors need an understanding

Oftentimes, two sides can have the same goal but want to get there in different ways. That can lead to unnecessary conflict arising, especially when individual personalities or agendas obscure the greater good.

This appears to be the case in the current dust-up between the town’s recreation department and the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors. The tensions that exist are clouding the fact both sides want the senior center to be as successful as possible and for there to be as many programming opportunities for seniors as there can be.

The changes in the past few years since the town took on more of a role have allowed a larger budget for the seniors, as the town overtook management of the personnel and provided vastly more programs. This is exactly the trajectory of growth most seniors espouse.

The Friends of the Jamestown Seniors may have some legitimate concerns about a loss of autonomy the past few years. Those should be addressed honestly and openly by the reasonable folks who exist on both sides so they can advance toward their mutually stated goal of more and better programming for our ever-growing senior population.

Perhaps an advisory group consisting of the recreation director, senior program coordinator and a couple of members from the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors could meet on a regular basis to improve communication and to discuss program ideas and scheduling for access to the building, as this also affects other town groups who use 6 West St. for meetings.

This doesn’t need to be anything fancy, like a memorandum of understanding that involves lawyers and such, but just a regular sit-down to keep the dialogue open and get everyone on the same page.

It’s clear both the town and the Friends of the Jamestown Seniors want what’s best for our island’s senior citizens. It would be a shame if a few people were able to obfuscate that shared goal and derail this partnership from a path that has led to so much progress and likely will lead to more with just a little patience and understanding.

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