Flanked by seniors taking a break from playing cards, drinking coffee, and chatting at the Friendship Park Senior Center in Point Place, Councilman Lindsay Webb made a plea on their behalf Tuesday to the voters of Toledo.
Ms. Webb said activities offered for seniors at that center and the six others owned by the city have been deteriorating. In response, voters should support the 1-mill levy request on the November ballot, which has been billed as a way to fund park facilities and recreation programs, but also would pay for senior programs, Ms. Webb said.
"It isn't only children who will benefit if this recreation levy passes, but also seniors," she said.
She said the recent retirement of Greg Holewinski, the last recreation specialist working for the city who was stationed at Friendship Park Senior Center, has been difficult for the seniors who use the facility.
Ms. Webb and councilman Steven Steel, both Democrats, have been emphasizing in recent months the need for a dedicated source of funding for the city's recreation budget, which has experienced a steady decline in recent years.
This is the first time either councilman has publicly put seniors into the debate for the levy.
"We have seven senior centers in the city of Toledo that the city owns," Ms. Webb said. "Each is funded in a different way and each serves a different community."
Levied over 10 years, the tax would cost the owner of a $60,000 home $18 per year, and it would raise about $3 million annually.
Ms. Webb said a master plan that council agreed to spend $25,000 on from the Toledo Athletic Commission Trust Fund would help decide how to spend on senior activities versus other recreation expenses.