Many of you are aware that there has been some discord lately between the Stephenville City Council and its management regarding the Senior Citizens Center. The city council readily admits there are problems at the Center and there are some in city government who would like for the challenges of providing minimal assistance to the seniors to just go away. Some want to incorporate the seniors into a “Multipurpose Complex.” The city has privately estimated it at a cost of 10 to 20 million dollars.

I have invited them to tour the Mansfield Complex to see how well it works with seniors in wheelchairs and walkers dealing with children running down hallways at the same time. (I got no response.) There are many other issues at the Seniors Center that I have addressed to the city. Again, no response.

The City has said they want the seniors to come to council meetings. Those of you here, who have been around seniors and empathized with them, visualize the possibility of folks who have any number of physical challenges in life and who have no public speaking experience, coming to council meetings when they are trying to end the daily activities. They deal with the city advertising which says, “Come to the Senior Citizens Center, it’s not just for seniors anymore.” They recently enforced this philosophy by sending dozens of school children to the center for their immunization shots. As the screaming from frightened children enveloped the Senior Center, I listened to the seniors (who were confined to a small space) make many comments. Among those were, “How many blood pressure points is this going to cost me?” “I’m glad I brought my nitroglycerine tablets,” and, “I don’t know how long I can take this.”

Three did not.

Remember this as you go about your life, taking care of your parents, or someone else who may need the services of a caring and concerned Senior Center.

Ron Wall

Stephenville