Letter to the Editor

The problems with senior centers

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

To the editor:

In response to several letters and an editorial regarding senior centers: Taxpayer-supported senior centers in Missouri openly practice age discrimination while unfairly competing with taxpaying restaurants and social clubs. In addition, tax-supported senior centers unnecessarily duplicate the meals and social services already provided by volunteers from Meals on Wheels, hospitals, churches, friends and family at zero net cost to taxpayers.

Since when is it a proper function of state government to operate age- and location-discriminatory social clubs and restaurants at taxpayer expense in utility-inefficient buildings that are over-built and grossly under-utilized? Rural seniors and those who do not drive get short shrift from the taxpayer-supported centers.

All taxpayer-supported centers must be abolished, employees terminated and the properties they under-productively occupy sold with the proceeds returned to Missouri taxpayers. The tax refunds could purchase many thousands of bicycles, tricycles, health food and nutritional supplements for the overweight senior citizens to ride on the Cape La Croix Recreation Trail instead of stuffing these poor folks with state-sponsored lunches and secular social gatherings with meals laden with carbohydrates, fat and unnecessary calories.

Is it any wonder then why baby boomers simply don't give a rip about senior centers? Could it also be that their taxes are already being unfairly distributed among today's retired and under-productive seniors? Baby boomers are, and should be, furious about how the state is squandering our taxpayer dollars.

ROBERT T. KRONE Jr., Cape Girardeau