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More than 100 senior citizens showed up on Monday to protest Warren County’s plan to eliminate four jobs and save county taxpayers $74,000.

But that’s not what you would get from reading the online comments on the newspaper’s story.

Twelve of the 15 morning comments were critical of Warren County, the supervisors and the plan to take away meals from senior citizens.

The only problem was that the plan did not propose taking away the seniors meal plan.

There was never any intent to take the meal plan away from seniors, just to save taxpayers money.

This is the problem with social media – reading comprehension.

It was as if most of those commenting had not even read the story.

Here are the essential nuts and bolts of the issue:

- Warren County supervisors asked Office for the Aging Director Deanna Park to cut $150,000 from her budget.

- Park responded with a plan to move preparation of the meals from the Cedars Senior Living Community to Washington County. The plan would have saved taxpayers $74,000.

- The supervisors thought that was a smart plan because the meal program remains intact and it saved taxpayers money.

- The meals would be of the same quality that seniors are receiving now.

- The meals would not be made by inmates in Washington County.

I point out the facts because most of the comments contained misleading information from, people who apparently did not read the story or understand the plan.

Many of the seniors at the meeting did not seem to understand the background or the plan either. Many rudely cut off Park and booed her when she tried to explain the plan.

But here is the part that is most discouraging: Supervisors John Strough and Peter McDevitt both were cowed by the angry elders and said they needed to revisit the plan.

On Tuesday, morning McDevitt shared an email in which he said the supervisors had gone too far on this issue and that the finance committee should reconsider. He said he was not going to vote for it and said he would try to convince others on the committee to do the same.

What issue? Saving taxpayers money?

Strough said the plan needed to be revisited and Queensbury At-Large Supervisor Doug Beaty said he would not vote for it either.

I would hope that McDevitt, Strough, Beaty and other members of the finance committee remember they represent more than just 100 senior citizens in Warren County. Nobody likes to see someone lose their job, but no one likes to see unnecessary spending of taxpayer money either.



Ken Tingley is Editor of The Post-Star in Glens Falls, N.Y. and writes a regular blog called "The Front Page."

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