Pepperell Says No; Interview With Sharon Mercurio
Sharon Mercurio, the Council on Aging Senior Directer, answered a few questions:
BM: First things first: as the Director of the CoA, what do your responsibilities entail?
SM: As the COA Director I am responsible for running the Senior Center (budget, building, staffing, programs, Meals on Wheels) and any Elder Service issues. I enjoy the position. No two days are ever alike and the people I get to meet are incredible.
BM: So — Pepperell voted no. What’s your reaction? What do you think were the determining factors in the vote?
Also, you’re quoted in the Globe saying that seniors are terrified, and that since their SS payments weren’t going up, “A lot of them are fearful of losing their homes.” What have you been hearing from seniors since the vote? How would a “Yes” have affected them? How does the “No” affect them?
SM: I really wasn’t sure which way the vote would go. I don’t know how many people actually got to the polls to vote. I think a lot of folks didn’t really understand what it was all about and some actually thought that it was a done deal when it was voted on at Town Meeting to have an Override. The seniors seem relieved that the vote didn’t pass. We’re not quite sure what will exactly happen to our budgets since the override didn’t pass. I do know some of the seniors are planning to attend school committee meetings this year and try to become more involved with what is going on with their budget.