The board of United Senior Citizens of Bend (USCB) is writing to clarify/correct a few details/facts with regard to the dispute between USCB and Bend Park & Recreation District.

Recently it was suggested to USCB that “the park district offer to pay the debt of Bend’s Community Center (BCC) with money USCB says the park district owes it.” While USCB has enjoyed its working relationship with BCC and supports it in all it does, at no time would USCB consider such an arrangement to be appropriate.

Don Horton, executive director of the park district, has been quoted on several occasions as stating that USCB’s investment in the new senior center was under $300,000. He even sent an email to district staff claiming USCB only contributed $30,000 toward the initial construction of the new Bend Senior Center.

USCB has always maintained that it put more than $800,000 into the new senior center building. An audit of the books by an independent CPA firm confirms it to be closer to $1 million. They carefully researched and produced evidence for every penny that USCB is claiming.

The claim USCB did not want the type of programs offered by the district at the new center (largely aimed at “younger seniors”) is not correct. USCB did not want district programs to be expanded at the expense of USCB’s programs and services.

The district has claimed that it never intended to force USCB out of the senior center. Having your “office” become a desk and chair in the library is a pretty clear message. This, along with an increasingly hostile environment, made the situation intolerable for USCB.

What USCB would like to see is a monetary settlement in order to expand/enhance the programs it offers to an audience that the district does not, and does not want to, serve.

Virginia Reddick

USCB board president