Speaking Truth to Power – A Citizen Corrects APRC Statements – Facts Matter!

Dear Editor:

This is in response to the editorial, “Bridging the Divide” 10/10/17, which states, “Seniors who have been using the center on Homes Avenue are legitimately saddened by the dismissal of longtime Senior Center Director Chris Dodson, and the loss of volunteers who resigned in solidarity is being felt. While reasons for the staff change aren’t clear, it is clear a great deal of institutional memory went out the door.”

Yes, it is indeed true that decades of highly trained “institutional memory went out the door.”   While several “volunteers” have resigned in protest of Michael Black’s recent actions (including some with Meals on Wheels, tutors and instructors), what is also true is that there has not just been a loss of “volunteers.”

The entire part-time staff of four of the Senior Program, resigned en masse as of August 31, 2017, upon being informed that we would all be laid off by October 1 by Michael Black.  We resigned in support of our Program Director, Christine Dodson, and in opposition to Michael Black’s and the APRC Commissioners’ taking apart of this successful program.  We felt we had a clear choice:  to resign based on our dedication to the Senior Program Mission Statement, or to allow ourselves to be essentially used while this “reorganization” took place, and then be canned anyway.

Michael Black and the APRC Commissioners can backpedal all they want now, but the “recommendations” were clear in their intent at the time, and their actions  and documented disdain for prior public input have resulted in a big, fat mess where there was none before.

Sincerely,

Susanne Severeid

Ashland, Oregon

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