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home : opinions : opinions February 5, 2016

9/13/2013 6:00:00 AM
TIMES EDITORIAL: Council, let's not talk about, let's be about it

Tuesday night's discussion about the Community Center started off with finger pointing and accusations about who is at fault for its current condition. People blamed the county, the health department, and the economy. But to put it plainly in the words of Councilman Wayne Cusick (while discussing another agenda item), "Who cares?"

Those two words sum up the attitude of the community, but in another context, as in "who cares about the community and its current state?" Key players in making decisions about the Community Center and its upkeep seem to be on the sidelines waiting for the next move by the county, while the county is in the stands waiting on the city's move or the outcome of the upcoming elections. Whichever it is, it is time to step up and not just talk about it but be about it. We need the city to begin to take ownership of its own.

Granted the county, may (or not), kick in a few dollars to make the needed repairs at the center, but what about the city officials taking the initiative and getting it done. The "poor Blythe" and "we don't have the money" mantra is old. And we can't continue to look to others to solve our problems and fix our messes. Is it any wonder why outsiders, investors, and corporations look in other directions besides Blythe for new locations? If we can't do for ourselves, how are we in the position to support and help them getting established here in town?

The Community Center has been around since the mid-1980s. During this time Blythe residents and out-of-towners have enjoyed, for a price, the amenities that the place offers. Many residents have made memories in that building and come together for good times such as quinceñeras, wedding receptions, family reunions, class reunions, and various other events. Other times the building has become a blood bank, a mobile bookstore, and cool center. The Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce has played host for many events there with the city's blessing and co-sponsorship including the upcoming City Council Election forum next month.

Most recently and consistently, the city's elderly have convened at the center Monday - Friday for company, a good healthy meal, and other activities that they would not get to enjoy if it were not for Riverside County Office on Aging and the federal government-funded Senior Nutrition Program. It may sound like fun and games for people over the age of 55, which it is, but to disagree with City Manager, it is not just a social club. It is about survival. Without the center, some of our most precious residents would not have one of the most important life necessities - the feeling of being loved, wanted, and appreciated. The Senior Nutrition Program and Office on Aging offers the only contact with someone, anyone, for some of the patrons. Imagine how long and lonely the weekends are for those who are homebound and receive their meals at their doorstep. Those five days of deliveries provide their only conversation and sometimes the only time someone checks on them. The holidays prove even lonelier and longer because the Senior Nutrition Program operates during the county's schedule.

The council directed the City Manager's office, or actually the city manager's assistant and second-time city clerk, Mallory Sutterfield to come up with a plan that resolves the community center's condition and present it at the Oct. 8 meeting. Until then we will wait to see what plan officials present, but the city's residents (young and elderly) are more interested in seeing action in the meantime.

Remember residents, Councilman Joey DeConinck said he would pay for it himself if the city couldn't do it. DeConinck, we, the community, will hold you to it, don't just talk about it, be about it.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013
Article comment by: Where's the beef?

Hey, just where does the monies go when people rent the senior hall? Ask to see the books. If there is one building the city should be held accountable for, it is the senior center... You should show some respect to your elders. City council get this done. Show your power by doing not side-stepping responsibility. If you are waiting for 'the county' to give you money-don't hold your breath. You are lucky that some of them on the left coast of Riverside county even realize Blythe IS NOT in Arizona. Put Blythe on the map in a good way. Become heros not zeros.

Posted: Saturday, September 14, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

This is the problem here, they knew what was going on with that property, and no one did anything about it. Only until it blew up on their face's. Only then, did they acknowledged it. Like nobody wanted to talk about the white elephant in the room. They can point fingers here,and there. We all know poop rolls downhill, this were Lane will come into play, for them. They will try to have him take the blunt of the blame. While they talk behind his back among themselves. Mr. Mayor, and City Council it is your responsibility to make sure things get properly done here in Blythe. So what happen?

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