Senior citizen issues discussed at Tombigbee meeting

Published 3:17 pm Sunday, October 14, 2012

By SARAH COOK | Selma Times Journal

For their 42nd annual meeting, representatives from the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Association met in Selma on Wednesday night at the Carl C. Morgan Convention Center and discussed state issues, specifically those pertaining to senior citizens.

After a brief business session led by Judge Kim Ballard during which a budget was adopted and a slate of officers passed, Neal Morrison, director of the Alabama Department of Senior Services, spoke on the affects of the recent Sept. 18 referendum that was passed and how it will affect Alabama senior citizens.

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Mainly, he thanked those who voted yes and encouraged them that it was the right decision.

“A lot of you went and voted yes and you held your nose when you did it,” Morrison said. “But we’re appreciative you did because that vote is going to allow us to not have to cut any meals from seniors who are receiving them today.”

He added that Alabama is among the top three states in the country that has the highest percentage of senior citizens that go without daily meals, and this is an issue that must be addressed. Also, Morrison said the number of senior citizens in Alabama is growing.

“The state of Alabama is growing, but the fastest part of that growth are those individuals age 60 and older,” he said. “It grew by 23 percent in the last ten years.”

In an effort to make sure seniors are taken care of, Morrison said he wishes to streamline government and make sure all spending is carried out in a conservative fashion.

Marengo County is one of ten counties that the Tombigbee Regional Commission serves.

Morrison closed his speech by reiterating that he is doing everything possible to make sure Alabama is in a financially sound state.

“We ask people to put their faith in us by voting yes, but part of that is we also promised that we’re going to look at every program, reevaluate them and reevaluate whether or not they’re necessary and then make necessary changes,” he said.