Note: As a senior resident of Pepperell, I don't expect you will print this letter because I am not giving my name. There are a lot of seniors that have seen the atmosphere at our Senior Center deteriorate. Some have spoken out to no avail. I hope you print this to let them know that they are not alone. Thank you.
I have been reading the newspaper articles and have been watching the selectmen's meetings concerning the unhappiness at the Pepperell Senior Center. I am a senior and have attended many activities at the center, both the old center at Lomar Park and the new center.
It seems to me that when a great number of seniors and volunteers either leave the center or limit their time spent there, possibly, there is a problem. In listening to some seniors, there seems to be an atmosphere of unfriendliness, unjustified remarks toward certain individuals and lack of compassion from (leadership).
From what I have heard and seen, contrary to what has been in print or heard at the selectmen's meetings, the growing unhappiness did not start when the kitchen manager was hired. The action was "the straw that broke the camel's back." That was when, in a show of support for the kitchen manager, many volunteers and attendees chose to leave the center. The director was well within her legal rights to let the kitchen manager go because she was on new employee probation. But when a person has no recourse against untrue charges that have been made against them, where can they turn to and how can they clear their name?
I believe that these seniors saw what was happening, and being helpless to do anything about it, boycotted the Senior Center. Many seniors have been attending the selectmen's meetings to let them know their dissatisfaction and also have been attending the Council on Aging meetings.
The selectmen keep telling these people to go to the Council on Aging and tell them how they feel. The Council on Aging says they have no authority over the (matter). There seems to be a standoff where no one has control and those who have control won't investigate and then pass their responsibility on to a board with no authority.
Also, at the Council on Aging meetings, some people who complain are treated with great disrespect. ... I hope in writing this you will hear from other Pepperell residents who are concerned about what has happened to our senior center.
I am not signing my name to this because I have found that our leaders close ranks and do not want to hear anything that shakes the status quo.