Cuts to COAs and their Programs


Are Our Older Adults Worth $7?

By Tina Gorman, Director, Westfield Council on Aging
The Westfield News, Monday, June 11, 2012

The Great Recession Hits

By Ruthann Dobek, MCOA Legislative Chair
From Focal Points, Spring 2010

The Boston Globe
Funding cuts hit services for the elderly

By Christine Legere
Globe Correspondent / June 11, 2009
Shrinking state aid and decreases in local revenue have forced many officials south of Boston to focus their dwindling coffers on municipal services classified as "essential" under state law, with public safety and schools making the cut.
But senior services in a number of communities are losing because they fall in the "non-essential" category - even though many elderly depend on them.

Cuts Implemented / Cuts Projected

These are the Cut-backs our members have shared.

  • Wareham — FY13   Wareham Town Meeting eliminated the funding for a COA Director effective 7/1/2012
  • Ware Senior Center — FY13   Ware SC has had 4 employees receive a 10% cut in pay, including the director.   Our hours have been cut:   Director from 40 hrs to 36.5, outreach from 30 to 28, cook from 19-15 and maintenance from 19-15.   We now open an hour later each morning, closing at 12:30 on Fridays instead of 4pm
  • East Bridgewater COA — FY12   As with all other town departments, the COA was asked to decrease its budget for FY12 by 1.5%.   This was far better than the 3.5% that was initially requested by the town administrator.
    On a happier note, the Center at Sachem Rock Senior/Community Center is under construction and we hope to occupy the building next summer/fall.
  • Chatham COA — FY12   reduction in second Outreach staffer from 20 hrs/week to 11 hrs.;   other Outreach staffer remains at 25 hrs/week
  • Florida COA —   Council on Aging eliminated
  • Norton COA —   Council on Aging eliminated
  • Stoughton COA —   Director position eliminated
  • Gloucester COA — FY11   new Director;   FY09   Director position eliminated
  • Lakeville COA — FY11   at 20% cuts, which translates to van service reduced from 5 days to 3 days, p-t clerk eliminated, and senior center closed on Fridays.   A 3-Question override is scheduled for Saturday, July 18th 2010
  • Mansfield COA — FY11  cut 5% from budget;   lost half-time Volunteer Coord. position - $15,254;   plus a cut in expenses of $1,338
  • •   •   •   •   •
  • Amherst COA — FY10   Volunteer Coordinator PT 20hrs eliminated; Activities budget eliminated
  • East Bridgewater COA — FY10   budget cut 3% for all town departments;   staffing change payroll decreases mitigate the impact on services provided.   This is a town without a senior center.
  • Gill-Montague COA — FY10   Director position of 20 hrs + benefits is now 17 hrs + NO benefits.
  • New Bedford COA — FY10 all personnel of city of New Bedford (with the exception of those who worked under 20 hrs/wk) including Unit C Personnel lost 4 hrs/wk due to Furloughs
    FY09   all personnel of city of New Bedford lost 1 hour a week to Furlough (with the exception of those who worked under 20 hrs/wk)   Unit C personnel (managers,supervisors,directors) lost 6 hrs/year due to Furloughs
    In addition to City Budget Cuts, the COA had a cut in Formula Grant forcing us to cut staff hours.
  • North Attleboro COA — FY10   1 hr/wk eliminated from all positions;   Volunteer Coordinator laid off;   Outreach Workers 18 to 15 hrs;   Department Clerk 15 to 12 hrs;   Nutrition staff stable due to Bristol Elder Services (AAA)
  • North Reading COA — FY09   1.3% cut
  • Oxford COA — FY10   Position of Clerk eliminated as of 7/1/09
  • Plainville COA —   One full-time Assistant/Outreach became 37 hrs in FY08, 30 hrs in FY09, and is now 20 hrs in FY10;   only one travel/phone Asst. p-t at 15-20 hrs
  • Sterling COA —   FY10 budget has been cut by $1000. so far
  • Sudbury Senior Ctr — FY09   budget cut by $1000;   transportation salary removed from budget;   FY10 losing $3,600 (roughly half) of general operating budget;   and 100% cut of subsidized taxi program funding (we are folding the program)
  • West Boylston COA — FY10   As of July 2009, another 10% was cut from the budget, which now consists of the Director's salary and the telephone bill (we hope it is enough).   Every other purchase is made from the Formula Grant, donations, or from the Friends Group.
    FY09   July 2008, the Assistant COA Director was laid off due to budget cuts
  • Weymouth COA —   We have been asked to cut our budget by 10%
  • Williamsburg COA — [FY10] Uncertain...
    FY09   $500 cut from the Town of Williamsburg;   $200 cut in the Formula Grant;   Citizens Match dollars being suspended means a $3,200 grant has become only a $1200 grant — a $2,000 cut from Highland Valley Elder Services — Total of $2,700 in cuts
  • Worcester Senior Ctr — FY10   Losing program funds;   cutbacks affecting WRTA medical transportation, elder home maintenance, etc.
    FY09   lost 3 staff (clerks, custodian)
  • Wrentham COA — FY10   4% cuts, mostly from expense side, salary freezes for all COA salaries at FY09 levels, driver and bus are now under a reimbursable contract with local transportation authority (GATRA)

Rehoboth Faces Tough Choices    ...the town will face tough financial decisions at town meeting in October that could mean losing a full-time director of the council on aging and dealing with fewer highway and road repairs and services...
Two Towns Approve Overrides:   Senior Centers to stay open
Rockland voters OK $2.8m override    ...other parents formed a pro-override group - Great Schools, Great... have avoided going for an override to fill the gap in state funding... been reluctant to approve overrides, having passed only one operational... 924 voted in favor of the override question involving the schools...
By: Emma Stickgold | Date: Jun 1, 2009
WINTHROP: Voters OK eight of 10 overrides has considered overrides, permanent increases... A $2.5 million override passed in 2001, but overrides were defeated had passed an override. Richard Honan...advocated for all 10 overrides, said residents...
By: John Laidler | Date: May 24, 2009

  • Amherst Senior Center —   FY09 In the Town Manager's initial budget proposal FY09, our senior center is looking at a $4,000 cut to our personnel line item to a position that is half-funded by our formula grant.   Our TM met with our Friends group and they have pledged the money to fill the gap if it is needed.   Our town actually prepared a budget which predicted a worse state aid cut than what the Governor has proposed.   Once the final figure for state aid is set, then the Town Manager has prepared a "restoration list" and our cut is on that.   In the meantime though, the formula grant might be cut 20% and the $4,000 might be needed for that.   We're in a waiting game now.
    FY10Our activities budget line item will be "0" for FY10.
    Our 20/hr a week Volunteer Coordinator position, supported previously by our Formula grant in FY09 is laid off.   The Formula Grant for FY10 will now go towards are Administrative Assistant who annually brings in $24,000+ for the General Fund by her non-senior center work of scheduling one of our local library's attached community spaces which requires fee for use.   So now Amherst is essentially paying the salary and benefits for the Director and Social Worker/Assistant Director, benefits for the Administrative Assistant, plus $1,000 for office supplies and $360 for our MCOA membership.   The Town pays for our facility costs and some office supplies come from Central Services.   All other expenses are paid by donations and fees.
  • Mashpee COA —   FY09 submit Budget 4% less than FY09 allocation;   approved by Finance Committee/Selectmen;   awaits Town Meeting
  • Mendon COA —   FY11 threatened with severe cuts two months into the FY11 fiscal year, along with the Town Library and Parks Depts., all in jeopardy as "non-essential" services.   This, after two separate local overrides ($490K) for the regional school system were both defeated
  • North Reading COA —   FY10 looking at 3% cut FY10
  • Rockland COA —   FY10 Rockland passed all 4 override questions, so COA will stay open
    (Finance Committee recommends FY10 zero funding unless override passes in May)
  • Sterling COA —   Planned New Senior Center has been put on the back burner
  • Tyngsborough COA —   FY10 Hours may be reduced from 40 to 24, or possible closure;   to be decided at June 16 2009 Town Meeting
  • Winthrop COA —   FY10 Voters OK eight of 10 overrides has considered overrides, permanent increases...A $2.5 million override passed in 2001...   Richard Honan...advocated for all 10 overrides, said residents...(Facing Override Menu Vote on funding COA and Library, 19 May 2009 —will have to close if funds cut off)

  • Marblehead COA — We were able to add $18043.66 to this year's budget to increase our outreach worker's hours from 18 per week (all funded by Title IIIB and Formula Grant) to 30 per week. 2012-6-28
  • Shirley Senior Center — level-funded this FY12, but only after a debt exclusion override for $400K passed and another 250K in funding was found.   Prior to that, both line items had been on the list of likely to be cut, depending on the severity of the cuts.

MCOA Logo   Massachusetts Association of Councils on Aging

    116 Pleasant Street, Suite 306, Easthampton MA 01027-2781
    Phone:   413-527-6425       Fax:   413-527-7138

    webmaster —