Senior Citizens Center Board reorganized

FLINT TWP. — The Carman- Ainsworth Senior Center on Graham Road has a new lease, governing board and by-laws in place after a recent reorganization to improve accountability.

The Center had been a source of controversy in recent months because of delays signing a lease agreement with Flint Township and confusion about the roles of its administrative and advisory boards.

Previously the senior center had a governing board responsible for administrative oversight and a advisory board responsible for day-to-day activities. But at some point the governing board was disbanded without notice, said Township Supervisor Karyn Miller, at last week’s Board of Trustees meeting. She served on the board and received no notice of it being disbanded or by whom.

“I don’t think what was done was done properly,’’ Miller said. “ The protocol just was not followed.”

Such actions jeopardized millage funding at the senior center, Miller said. The center is financed by a 10-year millage approved by voters in 2006. But before disbursing millage funds this fiscal year to the senior center, county administrators wanted conditions met including a signed lease, a copy of bylaws and the names of members of the new governing board.

Miller said the new board is required to have one representative from the township and one from the Carman Ainsworth School Board – the two entities responsible for the Senior Citizen Center since its inception in 1976.

The new and expanded board has oversight over center finances, its director, board accountability and other administrative issues.

Concerns about accountability gave the nod as the township’s representative to board treasurer Sandra Wright in a five to one vote.

Wright was chosen after a failed motion by Trustee Belenda Parker, nominating Trustee Barb Vert. Vert, who was absent, had served on the disbanded Senior Citizen Governing Board along with Miller.

Miller stated she questioned Vert’s ability to hold the new board accountable after what happened with the previous one.

“ The purpose of us appointing someone to that board is for accountability and oversight,” she said, referencing directives from Lynn Radzilowski , county senior services administrator and county attorney Celeste Bell.

Parker, who voted in favor of Vert and against Wright, said Vert should not be held liable for decisions that were made without her involvement. She said that Vert is active at the senior center and deserved to continue on its governing board.

Gloria Nealy is the representative appointed by the Carman-Ainsworth Board of Education, according to Dave Swierpel, director of professional learning & community services, who is a non-voting senior board advisor.

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