Despite budget woes, mayor says senior center is safe

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From left are Al Patchus of Absecon; Rita Purdy and her son, Mayor Don Purdy; and Anna Jezycki. From left are Al Patchus of Absecon; Rita Purdy and her son, Mayor Don Purdy; and Anna Jezycki.

GALLOWAY – Mayor Don Purdy assured seniors here that their long-awaited center would not be in the middle of any cutbacks for 2013.

He had a big grin as he stopped by to address people at their first party in the new senior center on the White Horse Pike and Carton Avenue.

 “I’m happy to see people in here,” the mayor said. “We’re going to have to have budget cuts – but they’re not going to cut this facility off.”

He told the people that they pay taxes and get little in return.

“You never call the police,” Purdy said. “Well, maybe you call the ambulance.”

He said the building went over budget so it doesn’t have a kitchen yet.

“I talked to (Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson) about three weeks ago,” Purdy said. “The county wants to use us as a nutrition site. We are working on a kitchen with the county.”

The mayor said the squeaky wheel gets the grease.

“I’m squeaking loud,” Purdy said.

He pulled at his blue T-shirt.

“I’m a blue-collar guy,” he said. “You could elect someone who’d come in here wearing a suit and lie to you.”

The mayor spoke of transportation problems.

“We’ll have a list of people who need transportation,” Purdy said. “I don’t want an empty building. Meanwhile, events will continue to go on. We – the Galloway Township Council – will continue to support this center.”

He said the municipality will help where it can.

“We’re going to help with advertising,” Purdy said. “We’ve got to work some quirks out.”

The mayor promised a drop-off for seniors at his office.

A man in the audience of about 30 said that seniors are set in their ways; they plan things out in advance.

“Then the politicians get their hands in it and you really have problems,” Purdy said. “I said let the seniors run the center. They will make up the schedule. Give us the information. We’ll send out your calendar for you.”

Mayor Don Purdy addresses seniors. Mayor Don Purdy addresses seniors.

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