In Fayette County recently, municipal authorities have suddenly become concerned with spending millions of dollars to accommodate a group of citizens who may or may not ever come. They are doing so at the expense of 20,000 of us citizens who are not only here now, but have been for years. I’m referring, of course, to senior citizens.
Roughly 20 percent of the current population of Fayette County is covered by this title. Fayette County has more senior citizens than surrounding counties combined.
When I came to Fayette County in 1966 I would have fit in the as yet unheard title, millennial. I was 34 years old. I bought a house in Fayetteville, reared two children who eventually graduated from Fayette County High School, helped start the Fayette County Chamber of Commerce, co-chaired the start of the Fayette County Historical Society, co-chaired the county’s 150th birthday celebration, volunteered as an emergency medical technician for over six years while working during the day to feed my children, and put together two histories of the county.
Now that the title I fit in is senior citizen, how does the municipal authorities return the favor? By not allowing enough disabled parking places for us. The Waffle House is a perfect example.
We do not go there in pairs, but singly. There are probably four or five of us seniors in the Waffle House at any given time, yet because the federal government says only two places have to be marked, the city of Fayetteville will not insist on more.
My eye doctor, with its main offices in Atlanta, built a brand new building in Fayetteville two years ago.
At my first visit I stood outside looking for the automatic door opener as I have to walk with a walker and there was not an automatic door opener to be seen.
Finally another patient came and opened the door for me. When I inquired of the building’s construction manager concerning the matter, he informed me the city of Fayetteville did not require one. He also admitted that 50 percent of the eye doctors patients were senior citizens.
Yes, the county and city municipal authorities must plan for the future. Yes, beginning to set aside funds for a new City Hall must be done. By the by – my son went to second grade in the present city hall. But allowing homes and condos and rental property here that only older citizens could afford, “hoping” they will draw Millennials is false.
Let’s put some of that planning money into accommodating those of us who have lived here for years, who have paid our city, county, and board of education taxes, who have bought our cars, our groceries, and our clothing locally by allowing more disabled parking places and for heavens sake, insist on the automatic door openers at each new public building.
I probably won’t be here even another 10 years, but there are thousands who could be here as long as 30 years more. Please give us all our due.