Help Me Get Transportation For Senior Citizens

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By Richard S. Miroe

I have helped seniors and disabled community members get transportation to the Great Neck Social Center and to the Parkwood Pool, and have even helped advocate for handicap parking on residential streets, but for some reason, the Great Neck Library is unwilling to help arrange free transportation for seniors to the library. I have been trying to get a response for nearly a year.

On May 25, 2017, I wrote this letter to Great Neck Library Board President Robert Schaufeld, asking him to respond, and I still have not heard back.

Mr. Schaufeld,

Briefly to reintroduce myself, you may remember I spoke to the board last fall requesting, as per my letter, consideration be given to provide free door-to-door transportation to and from the main library for those seniors, and perhaps the handicap, who otherwise would be unable to partake in the rich resources of our public library.

Now, about six months later and many calls to and from Kathy Giotsas, long conversations, pleading, not my cause, only offering my voice, time and considerable energy on behalf of the often-ignored group, too old and in need of conserving their diminishing energy, just to get through each day.

Robert Schaufeld, you suggested that I speak once again at a public board meeting, reiterating, the now stale request to accommodate a small, but equally important group to gain access to this public facility. I repeat what I told Kathy: “It seems that it’s only going back to the starting line of six months before. I could not repeat that to dozens of seniors, I informally represent.” Kathy was caught in the preverbal squeeze play. Incidentally, Kathy was a sweet, conscientious, hardworking and very well liked by both her coworkers and the public. I know nothing about why and what caused her dismissal—nor at this point will I research it.

I do know that you refused to meet me in a nonpublic meeting, either alone or with some or all the board. Perhaps we might have resolved it and grant a rare victory for the often-overlooked aged.

Below is my suggestion, along with the hope of too many seniors, often faceless, wrinkled and voiceless:

The bus company, Veterans Transportation Inc., has a long, and apparently mutually, agreeable relationship with the public school system. A sizable portion of their total revenue is derived with this contract. I am sure they would favorably agree to the following gratis:

Once or twice a week, volunteer one or two buses and drivers during their down school-day time. For example: Monday and Friday pick up at 1 p.m. and return at 3 p.m. at no charge or cost to the library. It would be good public relations and a charitable act on the part of the library and the bus company.

Mr. Schaufeld, this simple, non-expenditure idea need not be sidetracked and shunted on the bureaucratic route. It wouldn’t require any money spent—it’s a win-win for all three parties: the library, Veterans Bus Company and, most importantly, the grandparents and great-grandparents who gave their life and love to at least two generations. Let’s do it quickly!

I await your answer, so I can put a smile on those wrinkled faces. Thanks, Mr. Schaufeld, for reading my letter.

I have been receiving many calls each week from neighborhood seniors anxious to find out when they will finally have transportation, so they are able to take advantage of all of the library’s wonderful programs. Other community programs have been willing to make this a reality, but no one from the library ever gets back to me. Why is the library so resistant to helping these residents in need?

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Since 1908, the Great Neck Record has served the communities of Great Neck, Great Neck Estates, Great Neck Plaza, Kensington, Kings Point, Lake Success, Russell Gardens, Saddle Rock, Thomaston and the unincorporated areas as a source for local news and community events.

1 COMMENT

  1. Your cause is a noble one. Transportation is a key factor for seniors who otherwise would be isolated from society.
    While transportation to libraries and senior centers is important, visits to malls and shopping centers are important as well. I never understood why merchants (or even mall management) does not provide a regular shuttle service to and from senior centers or assisted living centers. There’s an untapped resource out there for any forward thinking mall operators.

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