LETTER: Resident Frustrated That Town Manager Wants To Tie Senior Center & Town Hall Projects Together In “All Or Nothing” Approach, Calls It “Extortion”

Dear Editor,

In a scene from the Mel Brooks movie Blazing Saddles, an old woman, being punched and kicked mercilessly in a shop doorway, turns to the camera and cries out plaintively, “Have you ever seen such cruelty?”

Well, yes ma’am, I have. It was at the Senior Center Building Committee meeting held on November 30. In that meeting Town Manager Jeff Hull announced that he was planning to create a single warrant article at Town Meeting for BOTH a new senior center and a new town hall/school administration building. Why? Well, as he explained, he was aware that the town hall project did not have the “cachet” of a new senior center and therefore would not be as popular. By tying it to the senior center, it would have a greater chance of passing Town Meeting. In other words, if seniors want a new senior center, we’d better be prepared to cough up the money for a new town hall/school administration building. In my neighborhood, that’s called “extortion”.

To add insult to injury, the Town’s representatives (Mr. Hull; Selectman Greg Bendel, a member of the Senior Center Building Committee; and Selectman Kevin Caira, a member of the audience), were strong advocates for the senior center to be built at the site of the current Town Hall. This would mean the new town hall would have to be built first, then the current Town Hall razed to accommodate all the construction around the new senior center. Although the architects said it was possible to create an active construction zone to build the senior center at the Glen Road site while the current Town Hall and the ballfields were all still functioning, none of the many seniors in the audience believed that. Do you?

Besides that, there’s a consensus among seniors that the St. Dorothy’s 7+ acres would be a much better location. The new senior center could be built while both the current senior center and Town Hall stay open for business. The St. Dorothy’s site was also the Senior Center Building Committee’s unanimously preferred location for the new senior center. However, the Board of Selectmen seems determined to keep the senior center away from St. Dorothy’s. It’s almost as if there’s a plan for that site that we, who paid for it, don’t know about. In Blazing Saddles, it was the railroad.

Debra Russo

Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s