APRC “Boggles the Mind” – Call to Action

APRC “Boggles the Mind”

At the study session, 9/18/17, held by the Ashland Parks & Recreation Commission, APRC Director, Michael Black, stated the need to have a “facilitator” to run the process for the new ad hoc committee being formed by APRC.  This committee is being formed as a result of their recent Recommendations regarding the Senior Center and Program.  From his comments during the meeting, it appears that he has someone in mind to contract for this, but did not name them at the meeting.

Are we hearing this correctly?  The APR Commissioners voted to lay off the entire Senior Program staff by October 1. The staff represent decades of experience working with Ashland seniors.  APRC seems to be looking to moving senior activities and classes to the Grove.  This is a location which is not designed for elders and which has no public transportation access.  Mr. Black is stating—even before this newly proposed ad hoc committee has even met—that he feels the need to hire a “facilitator”?  Here is the “boggles”; he laid off a staff with decades of experience for a program that didn’t need fixing – now there’s talk of bringing in a paid facilitator “to help run the process for the ad hoc committee???  Where is the monetary savings?

What is the cost?  Hourly rates for mediator/facilitators can be as high as $350 per hour.  This kind of thinking(?) boggles the mind.  Lay off staff to save money; then hire a facilitator to run an ad hoc committee that is going to log in dozens of hours.

If their action wasn’t so sad; it would be funny.  But it’s not funny.

The City Council and Mayor Stromberg need to step in and save our Senior Program from people who clearly have no idea of its value or importance to those whom it serves, especially our low income seniors who have relied on it for these past 43 years.

Chronicle Staff

Watch for a posting on what you can do about this travesty.