James Rada, Jr.
(2/21) The Frederick County Department
of Aging doesn’t like it when seniors at the
Thurmont Senior Citizens Center try to prepare
their own lunches.
When the Thurmont Senior Citizens Center
wants to sponsor a potluck lunch, whether as a
fundraiser or just an opportunity for
fellowshipping, they have to do it without
some of the regulars at the center. The county
van that transports seniors to the center
takes anyone who doesn’t want to participate
in the potluck lunch in Thurmont to the
Emmitsburg Senior Citizens Center for lunch
“That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever
heard,” said Senior Commission member Carol
Hutson during the Jan. 7 meeting of the
Thurmont Senior Commission.
However, Frederick County Department of
Aging Director Carolyn True said that because
the department is a county agency, it needs to
follow regulations that are sometimes beyond
“The health department has told us we
cannot have pot-luck meals because of concerns
over how meals are prepared and whether they
were prepared in sanitary conditions,” True
Though the county provides transportation
to the center for seniors, it does so in a
limited time frame. Thurmont Senior Commission
member Helen Deluca said the county is willing
to discuss expanding the hours, but only if
the county is added to the senior center
lease. However, True said Thurmont’s center
gets about the same amount of transportation
hours as other centers, but drivers and
resources are limited.
These are just two ways in which the goals
of the county department of aging, which
provides services inside the center, conflicts
with Thurmont Senior Citizens Center Board of
Directors, which provides material and
furniture inside the building it rents from
the Thurmont town government, differ.
The Thurmont Senior Center is the only
center in the county not owned by Frederick
County. County officials would like that to
change and have tried unsuccessfully for years
to be added to the lease between Thurmont and
the senior center board of directors.
Commission Chairman Wilbur Buehrer
suggested that perhaps the county should be
added to the lease.
“Then it would be a county-owned facility
member,” Goodenough told him.
True says that wouldn’t be the case, but
the county is paying for electrical service,
water and sewer service and maintaining the
kitchen equipment in the center, among other
things. Because all of these things deal with
the building, she feels the county should be
signatory to the lease, but it does not mean
the building would be county owned.
“One of the handicaps here is that it is
not a county owned building,” Buehrer said.
Deluca didn’t favor the idea. She said if the
center became county owned, the $25,000
treasury for the senior center, earned locally
to support local seniors, would become county
funds to be spent where the department of
aging chose to spend it.
“It’s not our money, and it won’t be,” True
said. “That’s an unfounded worry.”
Buehrer said the county provides a lot of
services to the center. While no one argued
that point, Deluca pointed out that the
increase in county services has really only
happened in the past few years.
“We even paid for the telephone,” Deluca
said. “We didn’t need it. Anna (Rollins, the
center director who is a county employee) did.
If we allow them anymore foothold, they’ll
take over completely.”
Thurmont Commissioner Bob Lookingbill,
senior commission liaison, seemed to agree.
“The way I’ve been hearing it, the city’s not
the problem. It’s the county. They want you to
name your baby after them and then give it to
them,” he said.
True said, “We’re not trying to make things
difficult, but there are certain expectations
and regulations I’m working under.”