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Letter: Clarence Senior Center should be a town department

The advent of the executive director leaving Clarence Senior Center (CSC) January 2019, brings about a new opportunity for the Clarence Town Board to incorporate the Senior Center as a town department like so many other senior centers. This is long overdue.

CSC, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation governed by a board of directors, receives an annual town stipend the main monetary support for the center. The board has requested a 2 percent increase while at the same time continues to invest taxpayer money in the stock market, value over $100,000, rather than utilize profits for the good of the center. It is perceived the town would be better stewards of finances, accountability, transparency,

CSC “cherry picks” board appointment recommendations for Town Board approval. CSC board, appearing biased, is not consistent with the corporation’s best practices for board recruitment. Qualified board processed applicants approved by the board serving on committees are bypassed for appointment for applicants perceived less qualified. Targeting members must end. Members have no voice in board appointments, thus ensuring self-serving board empowerment.

The board continues to shut down the public’s “voice” considered “toxic” by not allowing public speaking at meetings, written “public comments” accepted at board meetings (new policy) are ignored. Latest attempt, email comments are not welcomed by the board.

We wonder if a town representative came to a board meeting, would the board deny “the hand that feeds them” public speaking time.

CSC questionable board practices raise a myriad of ongoing concerns relevant to compliance with Open Meetings Law, annual disclosure, bylaws and policies. It is time to move forward. Preserve the dignity of our senior community. Disband the CSC board. Transition the Senior Center to a town department.

Ruth Haas

Williamsville

John Keisel

Muriel Steinel

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