Maybe there are some other options out there

While there was much discussion during Monday night’s Anderson County Operations Committee meeting concerning a new home for the Anderson County Senior Center, it was mostly just that — discussion.

A so called “research” of surrounding senior centers was presented, but comparing a city-funded center with a center under the guidance of the Older Americans Act is like comparing apples to a pile of rocks.

Any senior center not under that umbrella, actually.

I do believe a few shots were taken across the bow of The Courier News, but hey, our research is solid and it stands on its own.

I would like to, however, point out a couple or three things I learned Tuesday morning.

Last month I reported that only four county commissioners had visited the Senior Center on Edgewood Avenue. Commissioners Josh Anderson, Jerry White, Robert McKamey, and Robert Jameson.

I was wrong.


I found out Tuesday morning that many other commissioners have indeed visited the center.

During the last countywide election, asking for support at the voting booth and making promises of full support for the senior population on this county.

My understanding is that the only commissioners to visit the center and spend a little time learning — researching, as it were — what services are offered, how they are funded, what the center actually means to the people who use the center — since that time are Anderson, White, McKamey, and Jameson.

The services offered are varied. The funding is federal dollars — except for the free meals, which are funded by donations (and it’s kinda illegal to charge for those meals), and what the center means to the folks who use it … That you can’t put it into words.

I’ve been there. I’ve seen what it means to these folks. I’ve heard what the families of the seniors who use the facility say. I know the people who conduct classes at the center do so as volunteers and don’t charge a dime.

The Edgewood Avenue center was originally leased as a temporary solution.


And then another strange thing happened: More and more senior citizens started coming.

I do understand that some commissioners have nothing against a larger facility for the seniors — their only concern is wanting to know exactly how a new one is going to be funded and the expected cost for things like maintenance, heating and air, etc., would be … And once they get a detailed report that looks good and shows reason, then they are probably all in.

I’m sorry if I’m assuming too much, but that’s the impression I get.

There are a lot of “knee jerk” reactions going around.

I like that term, by the way: “Knee jerk.”

It just sounds so … Goofy?

Every time County Commission is asked to look at spending (I prefer investing) funds on a larger senior center, that’s what happens.

“Oh, but look at 205 Main! Look what happened to us there!”

“Oh, but it’s only $1 a year!”

“Oh, they charge for those meals in Union County!”


Anderson County Mayor Terry Frank made her intention known Monday night that she wants to find out everything there is to know about how the county got saddled with 205 Main Street.

And what happened with 205 Main should have no bearing whatsoever on the current needs of Anderson County senior citizens. They had nothing to do with it.

The last commission purchased a pickle.

It’s going to be interesting when all of this shakes out and we see who’s holding the pickle jar.

The old Armory — with a lot of spit and polish and even more money — might be a great senior center. It’s in good shape for a 75-year-old building.

That will cost at least as much — if not more — to fix than a certain other option.

Who knows, maybe more options will come along.