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'Concerned seniors' not entitled to dictate to center

Apr 20, 2012 - Darlene Dahlin, Riverton

Editor:

I believe the acrimony being directed at the Riverton Senior Citizens Center is the work of a small group of "good ol' boys" and women who are disgruntled because they cannot dictate to the board of directors who is hired or fired or how every penny is spent.

The center is a nonprofit corporation, established and operated by caring, civic-minded people for the purpose of serving senior citizens.

The original incorporators adopted bylaws that provide for the management of the business and the appointment of successor directors (unpaid), and this corporate structure must have the approval of the State of Wyoming and the federal government, and be in compliance with the Older Americans Act, or the center would not be able to obtain funding grants and the authority to offer the services it does.

One of the concerned seniors isa former director who apparently had no objection to the corporate structure during his term.

If the complainers had originally approached the board with "the slightest interest" in meeting to discuss their concerns "in a realistic, non-confrontational manner," instead of trying to generate as much dissatisfaction as possible among the center's clients beforehand, "civil talk" might have occurred, but things still wouldn't have worked out to the satisfaction of the complainers since they couldn't have their own way.

The concerned seniors have focused on one objective of the Older Americans Act: to give seniors "full participation in the planning and operation of community based services and programs provided for their benefit," and they apparently interpret that to mean that the people using the center should be able to control its management and operations.

The seniors who avail themselves of the programs and services offered by the center are not shareholders or members of the corporation, they are customers of the business operated by the corporation, and have about the same management rights they have at their grocery store, but their welfare is given much more consideration at the senior center than at other businesses.

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