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Mailbag: Time to proceed on senior center

February 15, 2012

The majority of Huntington Beach residents, who voted in 2006 approving construction of a new senior center in the vacant five acres of Huntington Central Park, need to be heard louder and clearer. The time has come to end this five-year battle by a small group of opponents fighting to delay the inevitable new senior center being built off centrally located Goldenwest Street and Talbert Avenue.

It has cost us city taxpayers an incredible amount of our tax dollars to fight these opponents in the courts. This tax money is wasted and gone. It could have been used for bettering our beautiful city of Huntington Beach, of which I have been a resident for 46 years.

I have seen many changes here and give praise to our past mayors and councilmen and women who could foresee setting aside property for the Central Library, Central Park, the Shipley Nature Center and the Bolsa Chica wetlands, which could have been used for more harbor homes, and instead kept the natural habitat open for all to enjoy.

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Finally, after many years, the appeals court ruled in favor of the new senior center, but, yet again, another delay! Councilwoman Connie Boardman is worried about the raptor habitat, instead of improving better care and services offered to more than 40,000 senior residents in Huntington Beach ("Center vote appealed," Feb. 9). I don't get it! How many more unnecessary delays can we take?

For readers who have never set foot in the existing Michael E. Rodgers Seniors' Center on 17th Street and Orange Avenue, please come by and see all the wonderful classes, programs and events that go on in this 1940s old Air Force barracks building.

If you are not in need today of senior services, believe me, you will be someday as there is no stopping getting older. It is a wonderful thing for retired seniors to have a place to go and stay active like each city's own senior center. It is also wonderful to see our cities able to help those seniors who have no one to depend on and are in extreme need of help and services.

So, in closing, I can only hope that this long-awaited new senior center can proceed soon and finally please the voters who have been so patient in waiting for their new senior center in Huntington Beach.

Carol Settimo

Huntington Beach

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