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Letter: Clarence senior citizens denied voting privileges

Clarence senior citizens denied voting privileges

Clarence Senior Citizens (CSC), a member corporation, is incorporated under New York State not-for-profit corporation laws. This status provides dues-paying members voting privileges to elect board directors for the senior center.

Members, however, have not been afforded voting privileges. The board determines for itself who will be permitted to serve as directors, who are then referred for appointment by the Town of Clarence.

Concerted efforts to rectify members’ voting privileges have been an ongoing endeavor for five years. The matter was submitted to the New York State Attorney General’s Office. A representative from the office intervened, bringing together the town, CSC Board and a representative for interested members. In this meeting, the AG’s Office sought to facilitate a conversation regarding available options. Unfortunately, the town and CSC Board were unwilling to allow members to elect board directors. Recent bylaw changes, without member approval, further disenfranchise members.

Seniors would have to “pony up” thousands of dollars for court and legal fees to challenge decisions to deny a voting voice for members. Most senior centers hold member elections for directors. Why elections cannot be held in Clarence is very mystifying.

Members pay membership dues and taxes. The town should consider these issues and support a member-elected board for the senior center.

The annual meeting of the CSC will be held at 1:15 p.m. Thursday. Attendance is encouraged for the good of the center!

Ruth Haas

East Amherst

Thomas H. Scott


Lawrence and Janet Vito