`Shuffle' is in Town's best interests
To the Editor:
A member of the Commission on Aging has recently written a letter to the editor and posted a message on a local news website noting his strong disapproval of the plan commonly known as the "shuffle." Unfortunately, some may believe that the writer's position has been adopted by the Commission on Aging itself. In fact, the writer is the only member of the Commission who is opposed to the shuffle.
By way of background, the shuffle would transfer the offices of the Board of Education to the old library building at 35 Leroy Ave., then move the senior center to the Board of Education's vacated space at Town Hall. Once the current senior center building is demolished, a public-private partnership would explore the construction of affordable senior housing on that site. Both the Commission on Aging and the Social Services Commission strongly support this effort.
When considering the shuffle, I would ask members of our community:
a) Are you embarrassed by the dilapidated building which houses our senior center?
b) Would you like a cost-efficient means of creating a new senior center with virtually no disruption to the individuals who use the facility?
c) Should our senior center be located in a building adjacent to other town services, with a large gym and plenty of parking?
d) Would you like to demolish the existing senior center building, save the significant ongoing maintenance costs thereof, and reduce the amount of space owned by the town by more than 17,000 square feet?
e) Isn't a public-private partnership to develop the current Senior Center property our best bet for actually increasing the amount of affordable senior housing in Darien?
The answers to these questions have convinced the Commission on Aging that the shuffle is in the best interests of our town. We look forward to the RTM's full consideration of this matter in September.
Chairman, Darien Commission on Aging