The Farmington City Council is currently dealing with a lot of bad news. Questions regarding high salaries have been plaguing the city for years and have recently come to a head in recent discussions including an interesting look at the large salary boosts given to a number of Farmington administrators over a relatively short period of time. The City is now questioning the budgets of both the Police Department and the Senior Center. While cities should tread carefully when it comes to public safety budgets, one has to wonder how much money the senior center really needs. However, according to two recent Letters to the Editor which appeared in the Farmington Independent, some in the community feel the Senior Center budget should be left alone.
How sad that after the Rambling River Center’s senior club paid off a five-year, $90,000 loan ahead of time that the city council would even suggest considering cuts at the Rambling River Center.
As far as cutting the $165,000-plus budget is concerned, how does that compare to the large salaries that some of city hall’s employees earn?
As far as teen center is concerned, most of Farmington’s teen population can participate in the wonderful activities that our excellent school district offers, such as sports, music, etc. To add special teen center activities would only incur more costs to the city of Farmington such as increased manpower supervision, insurance liabilities and perhaps drawing some of the wrong elements from other communities that may even be an increased burden to our Farmington Police Department’s budget.
This letter writer is correct that the Senior Center users did raise an inordinately large dollar figure for their center in a shorter period of time than was required by the city. It must seem like a slap in the face to be told your budget may be eliminated because of budget concerns elsewhere in the city when your group has worked so diligently do help with the high costs associated with your program. While the letter writer notes that when compared to the high salary figures of city administrators, the $165,000 budget for the Senior Center seems like nothing, it is difficult to attract top talent who can assist in curing budget woes when the rates they are being paid are what is expected in our area for cities the size of Farmington.
That said, questions regarding a teen center are likely the most valid of all. Why is it that a city feels the need to have a teen center when there are plenty of other resources available for kids that age? Are city facilities really used that often? Are there comparable entities providing similar services to the senior population that the Farmington Senior Center does?
What do you think about the Farmington City Council considering eliminating Senior Center funding when they were able to raise $90,000 themselves in less time than expected? Do you think that the rhetoric out of the City Council regarding the Police Department is similar to that used by school districts when they claim they will cut the big items out of the budget (football, busing, etc) in order to get their way at tax or levy time? Like the comments against the teen center, are senior centers a necessity for cities and should these groups be housed in other areas either publicly or privately funded?
Whatever you have to say about this one, go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.