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Giving thanks for a new senior center

March 28, 2017, was an historic day for our Montclair seniors. The passing of Resolution R-17-090: Resolution to Affirm Commitment to Establish a Comprehensive Senior Center in Montclair represents the culmination of a decade long collaboration between the Township Government and the Montclair Senior Citizen Advisory Committee (SCAC). This resolution is testament to the fact that the diversity we celebrate in Montclair includes age diversity.

Retirees are the fastest growing demographic in our Country and we are grateful to the Town Council for affirming the central importance of a senior center as part of its ongoing commitment to making Montclair age friendly. This resolution sends a positive message of inclusion to our over-age-60 residents and a call to action to the SCAC and Township professionals to continue working with all of our community partners to make this vision a reality. Montclair seniors already make a positive difference in this Township every day — through volunteerism, cultural involvement, the grandparent economy, paying taxes . . . ad infinitum. A centrally located, comprehensive senior center will make a positive difference in their lives — a one-stop shop for energizing, engaging and enlightening those who continue to make this community their choice for their retirement years.

We want to thank the Mayor and the entire Council, and specifically Renée Baskerville, Rich McMahon and Bob Russo of the Township Services Committee for bringing this resolution forward. We want to extend our gratitude to Brian Scantlebury, Montclair deputy manager; Sue Portuese, Montclair director of health and human services; and especially Katie York, Montclair director of senior services/Lifelong Montclair for all of the actions undertaken on its behalf.

Ann Lippel

Montclair

The writer is chair of Montclair’s Senior Citizens Advisory Committee.

Don’t waste tax money on leafblowers

I am far from the only Montclair resident who believes our taxes are unnecessarily high and dislikes this. For years I have protested the installation of Belgian block curbs and spending $1.1 million a year for premiums on the Garden State Insurance Consortium, for which there are less expensive and more ethical alternatives.

However, it is only in the past few years that the township has been using tax money to pay for leaf blowers.  Many objective studies have corroborated my observation that they don’t save time, but recently their users have taken more time than the alternatives as they scramble to remove every piece of organic matter from a lawn. A few hours later there is no difference.

Leaf blowers are a terrible waste of money, along with making vulnerable people like my husband sick and damaging the soil so that more expenses are needed to have comparable lawns and gardens as properties treated more kindly.

A March 17 New York Times article reports that using a leaf blower for a half hour generates as much greenhouse gas as driving a small truck from here to Alaska. If we care about our children’s future, we will ban leaf blowers altogether.

Meanwhile, let’s stop this terrible waste of taxpayer money. I was touched recently when a much praised young Montclair teacher who grew up in town said publicly that because of our high taxes, he must raise his own children in Bloomfield. Let’s stop squandering money on leaf blowers.

Pat Kenschaft

Montclair

Thanks for an E-Z ride

EZ Ride For seniors is great. I’ve used the mini-bus to go to Brookdale ShopRite twice. The first time I was so low on supplies, I spent a fortune.

I knew getting around without my old Camry would be tough, but now there is no excuse about groceries. I’m thrilled and grateful to Montclair’s EZ Ride for seniors program. Senior taxis are cool, too.

Thanks Montclair for being senior friendly.

Joan Adams

Montclair

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