The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA


October 24, 2012

Readers' Forum 10-24 | Senior wary of centers’ future; leader speaks

— Truth – where has it gone? A few weeks ago, a county commissioner came to our Cresson Senior Center. We were to ask him questions. Well, we did, but we didn’t get any answers – only lies and the runaround.

I asked why the commissioners before him didn’t have trouble keeping centers open. Everyone is still buying lottery tickets.

He said he didn’t know but they are doing things by the book. I wonder whose book.

I asked him about whether the county was going to shut down our center. He said nobody ever said that. 

Cresson senior center has no rent to pay as it is owned by the county, so our maintenance is low. When our dishwasher went, we took donations to pay for it. We would like some honest answers. In the next election, who do you think we will vote for? Not you.

Barbara Eberhart


Editor’s note: We asked the commissioners’ office for response, which follows:

Commissioner: All expenses scrutinized

I have been visiting senior activities centers since January and will continue to do so. The senior centers not only provide meals but valuable social interaction and recreational activities.

However, because the state is cutting center funding by $280,000, it would be irresponsible of leadership to not look at the impact this has on our programs.

This is one of many reviews the county is doing in conjunction with its budget. The county is searching for ways to balance its budget, and all expenses are being scrutinized.

The Area Agency on Aging supports nine centers: Johnstown, East Hills, Forest Hills, Portage, Cresson, Ebensburg, Patton, Northern Cambria and Nanty Glo. The goal is to keep the centers open while responsibly reducing costs.

Despite rumors, no decision has been made.

Thomas C. Chernisky

Cambria County Commissioner

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