Marilyn Denny: Urges town officials to remember seniors

Thursday, October 03, 2019

I moved to Amherst in 1970 and have been proud to live in a progressive town, one which supports quality education, environmental safety and conservation.

However, almost 50 years later, the town is abandoning my generation. Having rejected contributions from a state grant to renovate and modernize our schools, we are now looking at extraordinary costs to do so. These are important goals, however, they may come at a cost of ignoring the services needed by seniors and others.

It appears that our representatives are not considering how these proposed renovations will affect the seniors who live in town — with increased property taxes, lack of affordable housing, increasing rental costs and public transportation focused on the needs of students,

A friend tells me there is about a three-year waiting list for affordable senior/disabled housing and she can no longer afford the taxes on her house or find an affordable market-rate apartment; another friend takes a bus for 45 minutes to get from Amherst center to North Amherst; and I live in an area with no bus service. When I can no longer drive, I will not be able to live in my home.

Amherst must consider more seriously the needs of the elderly, people who have helped to make Amherst the wonderful place it is, but who cannot afford to continue to live here and who are lacking essential services. These issues must be weighed in the final decision-making about how we spend our not unlimited resources.

I ask that the needs of our seniors become part of our common conversation and decision-making.

Marilyn Denny