According to this article in the Pioneer Press, the Lakeville City Council has pushed forward with plans to sell the old senior center and renovate the old Lakeville Police Station to accommodate a new senior center, historical society, and veterans support organization. However, the mayor didn’t like the plan claiming it wasn’t enough and more should have been done so that the city could have been proud of the new center.
From the article:
Mayor Mark Bellows was skeptical about whether the center would accommodate the changing needs of retiring baby boomers.
“There’s nothing new here,” he said. “It’s just the current senior center times two. I want a senior center Lakeville can be proud of…(and) an analysis of what seniors want and need.”
“We live in a community where there is a moderately hostile to very hostile environment toward government spending,” Bellows said. “I’m not opposed to a senior center; I just think this is a substandard plan we have.”
The senior citizens in attendance disagreed with the mayor’s assertions that more needed to be done and persuaded a somewhat reluctant council to move forward with current plans for a new center in the old police station. There have been plenty of other senior centers around town, at least one of which was overbuilt and is possibly still underutilized, while Lakeville’s plan seems like a much more reasonable fiscal solution while being pleasing to those who will be benefiting from it the most.
While the mayor seemed almost too willing to ignore the pleas of Lakeville’s senior community, the mayor’s final comment about Lakeville residents being hostile toward government spending is quite disappointing. He appears to forget that he represents those who live within the city and he is not supposed to buck those trends. If the citizens want to spend less and thus have less due to their preference for less government spending then he should roll with it. However, if he seriously believes the idea to be a poor one and that the space slated for the senior center would be better served as something else some might say he should have made his opinions and reasons more clearly known.
What do you think about Lakeville Mayor Mark Bellow’s comments regarding the planned Lakeville senior center and his perception of the community’s desire to limit government spending? Do you wonder if the senior center was necessary at all and perhaps a sharing agreement should have been made with other nearby communities where centers have already been built at great cost to the taxpayer? Do you think that the old police station would have served a better purpose as something else instead? Whatever you have to say about this one go ahead and comment on below.