The NFL’s (Melissa Northern, Al Filidoro and Steve Lyda) 2012 campaign material states “Opened first free standing senior center”. I have been involved in promoting senior advancement in Flower Mound for seven years. During those seven years, I and others have worked not only for the temporary center or the “free standing senior center” as NFL refers to it, but for a permanent senior center.
In 2008 Seniors In Motion (SIM) moved into a temporary senior center, the Golden Lounge at the Community Activity Center (CAC). Within a year it became clear we might have to consider another temporary center before a permanent center would be completed. With assistance from Mayor Jody Smith, I and several other seniors began reviewing various sites for another temporary senior center.
The building referred to by the NFL as the ‘free standing senior center’ was designated before the NFL was elected to fill this need. While it is a very nice facility, we have maxed out capacity on several occasions, particularly on parking. The building falls short in comparison to other senior centers around the area. SIM is growing out of another temporary location. Even with this, the town still has no concrete plans for a permanent facility.
SIM’s approach is to work with the town to define reasonable options for a permanent center now. While our Parks Master Plan identifies the location of our permanent senior center near the CAC, we are willing to consider other locations. The CAC location was chosen by the seniors because of the nearby CAC amenities, low cost (the land is owned by the town) and exceptional outdoor space.
The most important ingredient to most seniors is not necessarily ‘where’ but ‘when’. A permanent senior center has been on the town’s Capital Investment Plan (CIP) since 2005. It has slid down the priority list to 2018 and it’s expected to continue moving into the future. This is happening without any input from the senior community.
With all of this history to draw on, I was surprised to see NFL claim credit for a project that was not conceived by them. NFL was at the ribbon cutting, but without the hard work of other councils there would have been no ribbon to cut.
Even more surprising and disappointing was that their statements would lead the uniformed voter to believe the job has been completed when it clearly has not been.
Being on council is not about claiming credit as NFL seems to do. It is about serving Flower Mound. I look forward to working with a council and mayor who embrace ALL members and residents working together for the good of our community, not group politics.
Past President, SIM Advisory Board
Flower Mound, TX