On Monday, Shawnee City Commissioners voted to establish a new board of directors for Shawnee's Senior Center, as a new contract had not been approved for the next fiscal year. The city intends to take over operation of the facility July 1.

On Monday, Shawnee City Commissioners voted to establish a new board of directors for Shawnee's Senior Center, as a new contract had not been approved for the next fiscal year. The city intends to take over operation of the facility July 1.

Director of Operations James Bryce brought before commissioners a resolution request to establish a new advisory board for the center.

As worded in the resolution, “the city sees the need to bring the committee in under their control as an advisory committee.”

Bryce brought commissioners some details of what the new advisory council would look like.

“The board would have nine members each serving a three-year term, plus a city commissioner,” he said. “And appointees are required to be at least 55 years old.”

Bryce said the members' terms would be established within a rotation period, so there would always be a number of seasoned members on the council.

He said he and his staff feel this is a good step forward for the seniors and residents of the city.

The near future will bring a fresh new beginning with many new opportunities, he said.

Commissioners unanimously voted to name Ward 6 City Commissioner Ben Salter to the advisory committee as its representative commissioner.

As for current operations of the Senior Center, Director Kate Joyce and her several staff members will wrap up their roles by the end of the month, when the current contract ends.

“The former (Senior Center) board decided to dissolve,” Bryce said.

The City intends to take control of the facility July 1.

In a draft of the April 23, 2019, minutes of the Community Service Contracts Review, Bryce recommended the Parks and Recreation Department take over operations and said, “staff is requesting to hire one full-time and two part-time employees to work at the Senior Center.”

Bryce has said he can assure residents for certain that the senior center is not being closed down; it is not being moved.

“All current programing is not affected and we are not asking the seniors to leave.”

Watch for updates.