Open letter to city manager Gerald Caton

Dear Editor:As interested and tax-paying senior citizens of the city of Downey, we strongly appeal to your consideration of the reinstatement of OASIS. OASIS was the sole program offered under the expertise of instructor Harriett Paine that provided seniors with an educational opportunity as well as an outlet for entertainment. OASIS classes were highly anticipated and attended by 70-100 seniors each Monday evening. For many seniors, this was the only socialization that they experienced each week. OASIS not only provided opportunities for the senior citizens of Downey, but various local restaurants as well. By providing dinners for OASIS attendees at the cost of $5 per meal, local restaurants benefited by gaining exposure and advertisement for their local business. Increased knowledge of local restaurant cuisine provided increased foot traffic to local businesses after OASIS seniors learned of what restaurants had to offer. This resulted in increased revenue and taxes from Downey restaurants. We as citizens of Downey encourage you to take a second look at the impact that cutting funding for OASIS has had on the citizens that have faithfully paid their taxes for multiple decades. We respectfully request the reinstatement of the program that has meant so much to so many. We respectfully request that because of her expertise and knowledge as director and teacher of OASIS for more than 30 years, that Harriett Paine be reinstated in some capacity to make the transition from school to city-operated. Over 96 seniors have endorsed this request. --The letter was accompanied by a petition signed by several dozen residents.

********** Published: August 5, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 16