Winters seniors push City Hall to form commission on aging

Seniors in Winters came together last week to demand city officials move forward with the creation of a localized commission on aging.
Graphic: Winters Express
Graphic: Winters Express

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report published last October and reviewed by city officials that same month that called for a number of improvements to city infrastructure and services that specifically target senior citizens in Winters. At the top of the list was a recommendation that the city spearhead the launch of a commission on aging that would specifically advise the city council and city manager on “the leadership for the development of programs and services in Winters.” When the report was presented by Yolo Healthy Aging Alliance Executive Director Dr. Sheila Allen last year, city council members were impressed with the thoroughness of the study that was undertaken in large party by a volunteer coalition of local seniors. But that was five months ago, and the city has not revisited the topic since, prompting a group of seniors to address council members on the topic during a public comments period at last week’s meeting. Karen May, the head of the Winters Senior Foundation, kicked off what would be several pleas to city officials by local seniors in forming the commission on aging. She asked for the item to be placed on the city council’s agenda “as soon as possible.” “It would be an advisory committee with appointments by the council members, so you’d have a lot of input into who would sit on it,” May said of the proposed group. “We feel it’s something that we really need to have in place, so we’re urging you to please do it.” May was not alone: She was joined by several of her fellow seniors in making pleas to the council regarding the formation of the group. Marlene Bell said data gathered by Allen and others on the volunteer coalition showed seniors created a significant amount of the city’s overall population: According to the report, Winters has “a higher percentage of adult residents in the 50- to 64-years age range compared to the immediately younger and older groups.” More than 2,000 seniors within that age range reside within the city’s limits, data in the report revealed. Resident Marianne Boyer argued the sheer number of seniors living in Winters merited the need for a senior-led advisory committee as recommended in the report. “Their voices want to be heard in the planning of the senior center,” resident Marianne Boyer said. “You also need to hear from seniors how difficult it is to walk around town due to bad sidewalks or no sidewalks at all…our voices needs to be heard, not assumed by a few. We want and need all our voices to be heard in Winters.” Although city officials could not deliberate on the issue at last week’s council meeting because it was not on the agenda, it appears seniors will get to have their voices heard on the matter: The issue was listed as a discussion item for the April 2 council meeting.]]>

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