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Senior Citizens, Taxes Top Monday Discussion

In a wide-ranging array of topics, Escalon City Council members on Monday night, Sept. 16 offered some relief for senior citizens but also discussed the possibility of raising the local sales tax.

Responding to a request from Senior Fun Bunch organizer Ann Shaddix to waive fees for use of the city’s Community Center for upcoming special senior activities there, the council voted 5-0 in favor of granting the waiver. Shaddix, Paula Rocha and Tina Jensen have spearheaded the new focus on bringing senior citizens together for a monthly gathering, hosting an ice cream social in August. They are also looking forward to the next event, Wednesday, Sept. 25 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Community Center.

“We had over 60 people,” Shaddix said of the initial event. “We have something planned each month through the end of the year.”

She pointed to financial help from the local Rotary and Kiwanis clubs as being beneficial but said the waiving of the Community Center fee would also be a huge help.

“I’m really expecting this to grow and it truly, truly is a service you’re providing,” Mayor Robert Swift told Shaddix.

They are planning some ukulele music, refreshments and reminiscing for the September gathering.

The fee waiver will save the group $650 if they venture out of the smaller Senior Room at the Community Center and use the main hall area.

In other business, Mayor Swift raised the issue of possibly putting a measure on the ballot in March to raise the city’s sales tax as a way to generate revenue, with an eye toward targeting it primarily for public safety. After some discussion, the council asked staff to come back with some options for getting feedback from the community prior to making a decision whether or not to move forward.

Swift also reminded those in attendance that the ‘Highland Games,’ being put on by the Escalon Scottish Cultural Association, are on the schedule at the Hogan-Ennis Park and Community Center complex for Oct. 12 and 13.