Council on Aging Director Nancy Williams said it aptly in the story in this week’s Sun Transcript that the delivery of a new shuttle van for the Senior Center is a wonderful Christmas gift for the senior citizens of Winthrop.
The new van will be a much needed asset for the Senior Center, which provides services for hundreds of our elder residents every day. The center had a nine year old van that was approaching 100,000 miles of use, so the new van could not have come at a better time with the harsh road conditions of winter approaching.
The new van also symbolizes Williams’s hard work and diligence. Nancy is celebrating her 25th year at the helm of the Senior Center. It was Williams who worked on, and submitted, the 25-page grant application to the State Department of Transportation. She waited patiently for news about Winthrop’s grant and then learned that the town had a brand new $40,000 van coming our way.
We also might mention we’re sure that Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo, who is President of the Friends of the Council on Aging, had a hand in helping the town in its efforts to receive the grant.
We also would note that the success of Nancy in securing the grant shows what a significant contribution can be made by a grant writer. We realize that the voters rejected the Proposition 2 1/2 override referendum to hire a full time grant writer, but as we said then and will say now, that was a penny wise and pound foolish decision. Sometimes you have to spend money to make money. Barbara McNeil brought many times her salary in grants to the town during the many years that she was our full time grant writer.
With the literally billions of dollars being made available by the federal government through stimulus packages and other programs, the issue of hiring a grant writer needs another look by Town Manager James McKenna and the Town Council.