Tuesday, December 7, 2010
Council Approves Purchase of St. Sebastian's School
Council members also heard support from seniors and veterans in support of the project.
Several residents suggest that the proposal to fund the Senior Center was a costly endeavor in difficult financial times and that the measure should come before voters in a referendum.
A half dozen veterans and senior citizens also testified to the need for a home for a new Senior Center and Veteran's museum.
"For the past 30 years every administration who has sat there has said 'We've got to do something for the seniors,'" Senior Service Commissioner Ed Dypa said. "And nothing has been done. We've spent 40 years in a single room in Sbona Towers and nothing has changed."
When Democratic members of the Council returned from a caucus in the chamber lobby, it became evident quickly that the Democrats would be supporting the Senior Center, but not unanimously.
"I think it's very, very important," Klattenberg said. "And it's something we have to move on quickly. We have to act tonight. The building at St. Sebastian School solves a multitude of problems. A new building would be nice, but St. Sebastian's is what we can afford."
Klattenberg was joined in support by Council members Daley, Bauer, Loffredo, Pessina, Streeto, Bibisi, Kleckowski.
"What other community our size does not have a senior center," Daley asked. "This is the opportunity for us to acquire an asset to address a number of needs in the city today."
Daley assured community members that eligible organizations would still be able to compete for CDBG dollars.
Council members Serra, Faulkner, Kasper and Santangelo opposed the purchase on the grounds that financing was questionable.
"I'm not sure what it's going to cost," Santangelo said. "I'm not sure where the financing is coming from."
After the vote, Mayor Sebastian Giuliano expressed thanks for the support of the purchase, and an understanding of the opposition.
"We've come up with a viable plan that is concrete," Giuliano said.