Letter to Editor: Magnolia Senior Center Closure

South San Francisco, CA   May 20, 2020 by Margaret Baxter, SSF Resident

{Dear City Manager Mike Futrell, Mayor Richard Garbarino, Vice Mayor Mark Addiego, and City Council Members Karyl Matsumoto, Mark Nagales, and Buenaflor Nicolas.}

In response to the San Mateo County Health Department’s recent guidance to cancel or postpone large events in an effort to limit the spread of COVID-19 within the County, South San Francisco postponed, canceled, or modified several events and programs.


I have heard that deep budget cuts to the Senior Recreation Program are being discussed at the City level, and that the Magnolia Senior Center may not be reopening after these health restrictions are lifted.   I am one of the many residents who participates in many functions at our only senior center – The Magnolia Center, and its closure would be a great disservice to those of us who have lived in, and supported this city for decades. Our senior citizens (myself included) rely on the center for the important emotional and physical health benefits that it’s programs support, and I am calling on all of you at the city management level, not make the temporary cancelations of these programs permanent.


The 10% pay cut for all state workers (including Governor Newsom) is the current proposal at the state level to mitigate some of the shortfalls produced by the economic slowdown from the  Covid 19 Pandemic.  I think that before you consider shuttering this senior center, that you might first consider proposing a temporary 10% pay cut for all city workers to show solidarity with all those who rely upon our city budget for these services.   A reduction in some services to all of us is to be expected, but the total end of service to all senior residents of South San Francisco – most of whom are retired and living from a fixed budget, is unconscionable and cruel.


We all understand the needs for an economic recovery after the incredible drop in city revenues, but this pain should not be born by just one group, and one that can least sustain the impact of these cuts – our Senior Citizens. Thank you for your consideration.




Margaret Baxter

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