2017-04-27 / Letters

Prioritization needed in reining senior spending

To the Editor:

I was more than somewhat dismayed to read the article in this week’s Leelanau Enterprise, “Senior services budget to be slashed”. According to the article, the reasons for the cost over run is that more people have reached senior status in the county and are using the programs offered by the Senior Services Department. Likewise the category of neediest seniors who have been identified through means testing has gone up by 25 per cent from last year.

In the County Commission vote to use general funds to cover only half of this year’s expenses, Commissioner Bunek and Rushton voted no on the measure – apparently not wanting any funds transferred to the department.

Why the lack of compassion? Why not prioritize the department’s offerings, putting the neediest people at the top? These seniors are the most fragile among us and we as a county are going to put some of them on a waiting list? I can understand cutting all programs that include vouchers for seniors which are not means tested. For example, why should financially comfortable seniors get to eat at restaurants and have part of the cost paid for with tax dollars? But Commissioners, please explain to your constituents how you can rationalize not helping all seniors who qualify for assistance?

Unless there is more to the story than what was stated in the article, our county commissioners have some explaining to do, some more than others.

Celeste Crouch
P.O. Box 99, Glen Arbor

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