In response to the article in the Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015 edition of the Beatrice Daily Sun, “BRAAA will move forward with new director”:
“She (Hippen) worked alongside Coranne Moss” -- The only contact I had with Ms. Hippen was a meeting at the BRAAA office at 19th and Court on May 26. I was terminated June 4.
“Lade (BRAAA Secretary) said the BRAAA board has had no internal problems.” At the last BRAAA board meeting Aug. 24, one BRAAA board member walked out during the meeting in anger. Lade himself lost control and shouted at the Senior Board President, Larry McKee. No internal problems here?
McKee and I still have unanswered questions about the funding of food from BRAAA. Our questions have been ignored. We were told at the Aug. 24 BRAAA meeting there was a “statute” prohibiting us from offering a “Meals on Wheels” program here. After consulting with Cynthia Brammeier, Administrator of the State Department of Aging, we learn this is not true -- there may be multiple providers of home delivered meals within one community.
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The statement from Mr. Zimmerman, BRAAA Board President, is most disturbing to me. “The previous director was more lenient and couldn’t help BRAAA get the cooperation from the Senior Center where it should be.” The Beatrice Senior Center owns and maintains all kitchen equipment here. BRAAA has purchased kitchen equipment for other sites, but never us. Our building rent charges for the Handi-Bus office and the kitchen, plus janitor costs are $665 per month and haven’t increased in ten years. The Senior Center has supported food programs and paid for entertainers to increase meals for BRAAA.
Up until June 2015, the senior center volunteers and I did all the “foot work” on a “Senior Companion Grant.” The Senior Center received $9,000 of this annually and Blue Rivers Area Agency on Aging received $18,500 annually. What more cooperation could BRAAA have had from us?
We cannot provide “carry out” meals from the Senior Center any longer. We were told by BRAAA management prior to Hippens’ arrival we could do this to “increase the meal count.” Hippen objected and yes, this is addressed by the ‘Old Age Act.” We discontinued this service and now several handicapped seniors who cannot ride the bus are denied nutritious meals as a result. Just look at who the rules have hurt here! This is a rule McKee and myself tried to bend and we’re proud of it!
There are several fences to mend and we also are looking forward to new leadership and honest guidance.