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Future of Gadsden Senior Services unclear after board members resign

Tuesday's workshop lasted three and a half hours
Posted: 5:41 PM, Mar 13, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-13 21:41:02Z
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GADSDEN COUNTY, Fla. — The Board of Gadsden Senior Services now has just five out of eight members and it's possible more could be headed out after a special meeting on Thursday.

Tuesday's workshop lasted three and a half hours. Residents spent most of that time trying to convince the board to resign.

It worked, to an extent. After one board member stepped down, two others agreed to do the same. That included Katrine McSwain, who said this before the resignations started.

"If they're not here, we lose dollars. We lose funding. So, what are we going to do as a board? Are we going to let them continue to strike, or are we going to do something about the situation? The center is not for us. It's for the seniors. We have not responded to their complaints," said McSwain.

The Area Agency on Aging for North Florida handles funding for the board to run the center. Tuesday night, the agency's executive director said the board is not in compliance with its own bylaws. She said four of the eight members have stayed past their terms.

Board Chair of Gadsden Senior Services, Inc., Berta Kemp, is one of the four.

"What we would like to do, we will meet with the Area Agency on Aging, and if that is what their recommendation, then I think we will resign," said Kemp.

The seniors staged a walkout a few weeks ago to protest how the board is running things at the center. They said they won't come back until Executive Director Jo Ann Hart and the others resign.

We talked to Hart Tuesday night. She said she has nothing to say, but some county commissioners didn't hold back at the workshop.