The Salem News
---- — To the editor:
I visit the Danvers Senior Center once a week to take a one-hour line dance class. The fee has been $5. A few weeks ago, the director came to our class to explain their new fees. She started by saying that because the center charges different fees for different groups of people — different age groups, different fees for Danvers residents versus outside residents, etc. — that it had become a bookkeeping nightmare. My thoughts — how about charging everyone the same fees? That would solve the bookkeeping nightmare.
She further explained to the class that starting that day, we would be given two options. The first, join the Friends of Danvers Senior Center for a fee of $25 per person and we could continue to pay $5. If we chose not to join, our fee would go up to $7!
I attend line dance classes in the following local senior centers: Melrose, Marblehead, Salem, Swampscott, Peabody, Beverly and Saugus. Melrose charges $3, Salem, $3, Beverly, $2. The remaining centers charge $5. All these centers manage to keep their fees at a reasonable rate — why can’t Danvers?
Senior centers are funded by our tax dollars. It is a wonderful place to go, to socialize, and take part in many of the activities that are offered — all at affordable prices.
There are many ways to raise extra money for the centers, but charging seniors outrageous fees is definitely not the way.
These new rates at the Danvers Senior Center smack of poor judgement and discrimination.