Keep our seniors a priority | AspenTimes.com

Keep our seniors a priority

As a citizen of Pitkin County who has spent the past 42 years living and working in the Aspen area, I find myself paying close attention to Referendum 1A on several levels.

I consider myself a senior citizen and need to pay close attention when drastic cuts to basic senior programs are proposed. I hope to retire in what I consider the best spot in the country ? not somewhere south, but right here in Pitkin County.

Our county is not impressive merely due to its location; its strength lies in the fact it continues to provide an outstanding quality of life for all community members.

Referendum 1A provides us a unique opportunity to continue funding community priorities such as senior services at a relatively low cost. Each taxpayer is being asked to replenish the general fund, which is experiencing a shortfall due to decreased sales tax revenue, by paying an additional $4.20 for each $100,000 in property value.

From an economic standpoint, our current general fund costs of $26.20 per $100,000 are significantly lower than our neighbors in Vail ($57.20 per $100,000) and Breckenridge ($60 per $100,000), who allocate far more of their resources to general fund use. We are being provided a unique opportunity to vote as a community to keep our standards of service high.

A vote yes on Referendum 1A will continue valuable senior services which include meal delivery, physical fitness classes, nutrition programs, lunches at the senior center and seminars on health care and other important issues.

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These programs not only provide essential information and care for our older community members but, more importantly, keep our senior population connected and involved, thus perpetuating a diverse, well-rounded community that supports people in all stages of life.

I believe that to continue the quality of life we have all come to treasure in this valley and hope to enjoy well into our twilight years, senior programs need to be kept a priority in Pitkin County.

On Nov. 5 please join me in voting yes on Referendum 1A. Vote to keep all members of our community involved and cared for.

Mimi Schlumberger, president

Seniors Independent