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Letter: Seniors Deserve Restored Bus Service

Almost a year and a half ago, Levittown’s Yours Ours Mine Community Center closed. Seniors who relied on the YOM for social interaction and meals were devastated (not to mention the families who relied on the daycare and adult programs). My mother and her friends were encouraged to participate in other nearby clubs. While they missed the familiarity of the YOM, they started to settle into their new centers, grateful that they still had somewhere to go.

Flash forward to a few weeks ago when several county-provided bus drivers were ‘encouraged’ to retire, rather than be given the raises they asked for. Now senior centers like Jewel Quinn in North Merrick are facing the challenge of getting the folks to the club with fewer buses and drivers. In some cases, the seniors are even being told they can only come in on certain days, forcing them to stay home on others.

The County Exec’s claim that new bus drivers are being sought, but in the meantime, our seniors are again left in the lurch. A number of them have no other community outlets, and many of them count on the inexpensive hot meals as their food for the day.

I hope my fellow Levittown and Town of Hempstead residents will join me in supporting our elderly parents, grandparents and neighbors by asking County Executive Ed Mangano and his associates to speed up the hiring process for new bus drivers. Our seniors deserve to be treated with respect for all their years of hard work and contributions. And remember, the years go by fast — soon it may be you sitting alone at home without a decent meal and the laughter of friends.

Tom LaSusa