Community support needed for COA
To the Editor:
The Council on Aging (COA) thrives on its community of volunteers, friends, and includes all generations in its activities. As long-standing taxpayers, we support the excellence of our schools, strong town services, and our commitment to open space and conservation. However, this year with the growing needs of our elderly—700 plus over 70 years and 200 over 80 years—we are requesting additional hands to support the social service needs of our seniors.
The COA requests an additional $28,000 added to its level service 2020 budget to hire a part- time outreach/social worker. We are, however, informed by the Selectmen, town administrator, and Finance Committee that we will face tight budget constraints this coming year—no more hours worked for current staff, or additional personnel. At most a cost of living increase in operating budget for town departments has been suggested. Some may wonder at the needs of those aging in Carlisle—with >30% of those of us now over 60, consuming less than 0. 8% of the town budget.
Yes, our staff of five (two full-time and three part-time positions) and 100 plus volunteers are overworked and committed to meeting the needs of the aging in town. We drive residents over 200 trips each month to appointments, provide participation in 500-600 combined classes, activities, and meals every month (140 home delivered); we listen and reach out to the lonely and those going through life’s transitions. And we help as best we can the 100 or so elderly living one surprise from eviction and even poverty—yes, even here in Carlisle we have approximately 200 living under the median household income ($55,000) and approximately 100 living on less than $35,000.
The COA and all of us moving into our wise/grandparent cohort need additional help to assist our committed staff and volunteers in our mission to shape a better and stronger Carlisle. Please reach out during our budget discussions with the Selectmen and Finance Committee and support the COA request for a part time outreach/social worker.
Abha Singhal, Chair
On behalf of the Carlisle COA Board
Bow hunt is over; feedback sought
To the Editor:
The bow hunt for deer on Carlisle town-owned land ended a half hour after sunset on November 31, a day before the big snowstorm. I wanted to take a moment to thank the residents of Carlisle for sharing the land with the hunters as they perform this service for the town. This year’s program ran smoothly with cooperation and respect on all sides. For this season, the Deer Committee held two public input sessions as well as a “Meet & Greet” for abutters to meet the hunters. We hope to continue to gather input from the community in the coming months. In the meantime, if you have comments or suggestions that you would like to share, the Deer Committee can be reached by email at email@example.com. Please note that hunting on private property, as well as on the US Fish & Wildlife Service Great Meadows property, continues until the end of the deer season in Massachusetts on December 31.
Chair, Carlisle Deer Control Committee