Montclair lacks senior services leadership (Letter to the Editor)
Is Senior Services in Montclair rudderless? (As per the Lippel/Weis/Dudley letter published July 14).
Yes, I am an active participant in Montclair Institute of Lifelong Learning, as well as other Senior Services-sponsored events. There has been no leadership of the services since Katie York left over a year ago. The new director has been “out of the office” since January 2022.
Michelle DeWitt has done a fabulous job in keeping the MILL going, but there is no one developing a long-term strategy to support the senior community. This strategy needs more than expanding current offerings and getting more people involved. It requires a careful look at demographics, likely future needs and the best method to accomplish them. In other words, it’s work.
It has been an open secret in the past that Montclair Township prefers a younger demographic in its population statistics, with little overt care for the senior community. As a result, many in the older community feel the best option is to simply leave. There are many other places — even in New Jersey — that provide real support and services.
It would be helpful if the township would make some statement about Senior Services, its role, its future and its leadership. And then follow it up with action. If a person cannot show up to do the job, should we not get a replacement? If a person shows up but cannot do the job, should we not get someone who can?
I echo the last paragraph of the Lippel letter: “The time has come for a change.” Please make it happen.