Putnam County legislators plan to sign a lease for a senior center at the Lahey Pavilion in Cold Spring at their Oct. 4 meeting.
Before they do, I wish that for once they would tell us exactly what they are agreeing to. I want to know the name of the center. I want current competitive estimates for what it will cost to renovate Lahey for this use. I want to see the floor plan or at least get a good description of it. I want to hear about the program offerings. I want to know whether the center is strictly for seniors, as originally announced, or for the community, as legislator Barbara Scuccimarra recently commented.
After they tell us these things, I would like a period for public questions and comment before they sign the lease.
Why would I make these demands?
The legislature has not kept us up-to-date with current, accurate information throughout the process. The most recent numbers come from an attachment to the Sept. 6 meeting agenda, and there have been some revisions since then. Overall, the lease and the plans appear to be strongly in favor of the developer, and not great for us taxpayers. When questioned, the legislators have refused to provide current, accurate information to support their claims that the Butterfield senior center is a good deal. Their refusal to communicate has created an atmosphere of hostility and distrust.
The seniors who have been waiting so long and working so hard to get a senior center here deserve to have it. For that matter, I will be a senior in a few years, and I will want to use the senior center. I just don’t want us to have to pay considerably more than we really should.
And that’s why I’m making these demands, and that’s why you should, too.
David Limburg, Nelsonville