How do you know that your town budget is including money to support present and future seniors?
How can you have some impact on whether or not there is money in the budget?
Most people think that by electing a town council or committee that the job is done. But no!
There are at least two other ways to ensure your influence. Don’t forget that seniors are a fast increasing percentage of the population, so this gives you more clout.
- Insist that the money for seniors in the budget is included as a separate line item, so that it is visible.
- Obtain a position on one of the boards for the town. These positions are held by volunteers. Usually you just fill out a form, and you are in. Many towns are short of volunteers, so step in!
Let’s take a look at a few towns in one state (NH) just to give you idea of what you can find on the town and other helpful web sites. If your town is not on this list, send an email to Finn. We’ll try to get it up! Please get involved!
- Hanover, NH has a part-time staff for its senior center. Funding (see Adopted Municipal Budget Documents) of nearly $42,000 comes from tax revenue, because of reductions in federal funding. AND they have a link to the senior center on their front page!
- Population about 11,000
- Seniors about 14% of population
- There is one list for volunteers such as coaches but there seems to be no information on volunteering for the various town boards.
- Keene, NH has set aside $7000 for the senior center, and 9,500 for meals on wheels. Keene has a very nice Master Planavailable for review.
- Population about 20,000
- Seniors are about 16% of population (same as Portsmouth)
- In an otherwise very open website, there seems to be no information on volunteering for the various boards.
- Portsmouth, NH has no mention of seniors. But they are putting $10,000 per year into the upkeep of an old cemetery! What an interesting irony.
- Population about 20,000
- Senior population is over 16% (the same as Keene)
- Portsmouth Boards and Commissions. They need people for the Citywide Neighborhood Steering Committee and the Planning Board and many others.
- Bedford, NH. There is no mention of seniors
- Population about 21,000
- Seniors about 12% of population
- Voluneer Opportunties [TWO TYPOS!!! on their website] has a nice list (right off the front page) various positions open, including two on the Common Development Committee
- Hudson NH appears to be trying to add $300,000 to the existing Senior Center Capital Reserve Fund so that eventually a center will be built. But within the budget, they appear to only have $1000 for seniors, $600 for Healthy at Home.
- Merrimack, NHnever mentions seniors in the budget, but spends $10,000 on town self-promotion (videos, pamphlets and so forth)
- Population over 26,000
- Seniors around 7% seniors (and they proudly state that this is the lowest in NH!)
- On current list of volunteer positions available (you’ll need to click on the link to the PDF file) there are many positions available, such as for the Economic Development Citizens Advisory Committee, Planning Board, Planning Board and many others.
Remember – Get Involved!