Editor’s Note: The following letter was addressed to Orion Twp. Supervisor Chris Barnett and the Board of Trustees, and dated Nov. 10.
At this month’s Senior Advisory Council meeting, we learned that the Senior Advisory Council was to be dissolved. We also learned that the Orion Center (Orion Senior organization) is to become part of a re-organized Parks and Recreation department.
We believe that the disbanding of the Senior Advisory Council is NOT good policy.
The Senior Council should continue, whether as an advisory group of Orion Township, or as an advisory group of the reorganized Parks and Recreation Department.
Combining the Senior Advisory Board with the Parks and Recreation Board means that we would become a small part of a larger board that deals with issues that are completely different from those issues that the Senior Advisory Board deals with. Seniors are typically not significantly interested in soccer fields, baseball fields or sport issues dealing with children and teenagers.
The Senior Advisory Council is a collection of folks who have broad backgrounds and have lived in Orion for many years and know a vast number of other Orionites.
The Senior Advisory Council provides unbiased input to you and other members of the Board regarding planned programs and potential capital expenditures.
We have also found that, over the years, having a senior advisory group is a great way of disseminating critical information to the community in a rapid manner so can it be acted on promptly.
The Seniors have made many suggestions that have been acted upon by the Board over the years, such as, the Wildwood amphitheater, improvements to the Orion Center and the senior center before that, improvements to the amphitheater for handicap accessible, heating and cooling in the Orion center, equipment for the Center, etc.
When Lake Orion Community Schools Superintendent Marion Ginopolis was at our meeting in October, she thanked us for the support given by the community, especially the seniors, in the passing of the millage for special funding for the schools.
As you know, the seniors of Orion make up about one-third of the Orion population AND they vote regularly, as well as provide a significant portion of our tax base.
Please reconsider your decision of disbanding the Senior Advisory Council. We believe it serves a very important function of providing input to Senior Operations and the Township Board.
Joseph “Pat” Belanger
Dr. Robert Hazzard
Members of the Senior Advisory Council