Open Letter to Mission Council – Seniors’ are Adults & Mentors too
Dear Editor. sSeniors are adults and mentors too must ring loud in the ears of politicians who must adopt the COSCO motto, “Plan with Seniors’ not for them”, which if understood and a mutual respect unfolds, progressive and empathetic progress will create age-friendly inclusive communities.
Seniors are quickly emerging, accounting for 15% of population, with the Silver Tsunami impressing all with the power and resolve developing in the hands of Seniors’ political power to change governments and seniors assume many mentoring roles.
Since 2006 I have assumed a pro-active role as a Seniors’ advocate/facilitator, one who will speak-out for seniors’ and as Edmund Burke alludes, “Evil will flourish when good men and women stand by and do nothing”, so seniors may count upon my diligence, knowledge, enthusiasm and unequivocal support to assertively pursue Seniors’ needs, rights and to achieve respect for seniors generally.
Mission seniors have felt the full brunt on successive mayors and council indifference, lack of empathy, moribund governance and lack of respect for the many contributions Seniors’ have made to our Community and contributions from a lifetime of paying taxes.
Seniors remain a pawn of Council indecision, lack of fortitude and resolve to treat Seniors’ respectfully, as most every other Community in BC enjoy an independent form of Seniors’ Activity Centre, yet at Mission, we still share a small inadequate facility with Youth and an unacceptable sharing of access control with Parks & Recreation, rendering seniors as second-class Citizens’, at best.
Finally, former CRMG council took an initiative to form a pseudo Seniors’ Task Force, in my opinion, as it did not actually represent a good cross-section of pro-active Seniors’ but rather a group, some more inclined to be conservative, less passionate and informed but nonetheless the Task Force did a reasonable job and made recommendations to council. Now sitting in obeisance to Council pleasure, we sadly find a loss of the co-ordinator Senior Planner, now retired, the total Council now replaced, some informed seniors passing on, illness or fed-up with delay, many who have contributed to the process for many years, not achieving their dream of enjoying a sSeniors’ Activity Centre in their life time.
Personally, I have taken issue with some colleagues, which my being an advocate/facilitator with non-partisan yet political overtures, which may not be unexpected that, I would pursue objectives & goals for Seniors’ advocated since 2006. Yet this raises the ire of some who feel their way is the only way and thus my intervention is seen as problematic to them but sobeit, I have pursued measures with far greater opposition and my resolve is to get the best deal for Seniors’, to expedite the process without undue compromize that is unproductive, at best, that may set pre-existing conditions or unreasonable expectations as pursuing a multi-generational facility may.
Hence, my request of politicians is be visionary, empathetic, understand who seniors are and what they need. They are adults and mentors, they need and deserve their own facility, not a misnomer multi-generational. Further, stop procrastination and study. Build on district owned property adjacent the Leisure Centre, incorporate low-cost to market housing to cover costs of building, with any additional cost paid from accrued surplus. Establish the appropriate fee-for-service. Permit Seniors’ the respect to govern their own facility and the option to rent out available space, as they deem and stop placing these caveats upon Seniors’ they must be seen to be part of some community venture, like a multi-generational shared facility. Please stop making Seniors’ feel guilty in order to appease some spending of public funds needed to create a safe, friendly and needed facility for Seniors’ to enjoy and enhance their lives through exercise, health programs, crafts, entertainment and so forth. Refer to our web.site www.thecouncilclaw.ca ‘click’ Elder Citizen Action Coalition and view 23 pictures of the new Seniors’ Pitt Meadows facility for an example of what I envisage for Mission.
Simply, I am requesting Council to complete the process underway to finalize that component of information gathering that will complement the final phase, that of deciding upon location and final concept, building costs and financing. That Council may exercise good judgment to permit my intervener status even though I may be seen to hinder the “buzz word” of the day, “multi-generational”.
George F. Evens
The Elder Citizens Action Coalition (ECAC)
www.thecouncilclaw.ca ‘click’ CONTENTS for specific areas of interest