As of January 1, 2011, senior citizens who utilize the Frank Bailey Center and the J. Charley Griswell Senior Center began paying more money for their yearly memberships.
Clayton county seniors now pay $12 for a yearly membership, up from $1, non-county seniors who used to pay $10 must now pay $180, and the costs for meals were raised by $1.
According to a press release, the department lost grants which helped fund the senior centers. That in conjunction with a loss in tax revenue and fees led to the Board of Commissioners’ decision to raise membership fees, and the BOC “… continues to evaluate what other actions are necessary.”
Most will agree that if anybody deserves a break financially, it is senior citizens. To that end, Clayton’s seniors will receive the best deal on their yearly membership costs, and rightfully so since they pay taxes here and have presumably contributed to their community and/or county in some way.
But believe it or not, many come from surrounding counties to utilize all of our recreation centers, and I’m not just talking senior citizens. Those other counties also charge non-residents more money to use their facilities. So, why should Clayton operate any differently?
However, the steep increase could drive non-county residents away from Clayton’s senior centers, leaving those who remain to get hit with higher increases and/or lost services.
Either way, senior citizens aren’t going away quietly. They have threatened lawsuits against the county, will sign petitions to protest the BOC’s decision, and intend to rally. Those with memberships set to expire in June also want to ensure that their contracts will be honored despite these new increases.
Your thoughts? Should the yearly membership fee be spread more evenly amongst all seniors, regardless of where they live?