Letter to the Editor: RSVP vs. Douglas County

To start off, let me clarify something. All of the information in my previous letter to the editor on this subject was accurate. I was not misinformed as the RSVP staff would like to have you believe.

The dispute between Douglas County and Nevada Rural Counties RSVP has escalated to the point where RSVP was scheduled to terminate all services for Douglas County as of July 1. Douglas County will now have to assume the functions performed by RSVP, hopefully using the existing volunteers. This affects many county services such as the libraries, museums, sheriff's department, schools and senior services.

The impact to Douglas County Senior Services is especially severe. RSVP not only tabulated the volunteer hours but also reimbursed volunteers for the personal automobile mileage and fully supported the Home Companion, Life Line and Rural Elder Law programs. They also made annual awards to the volunteers. Most of these volunteers are members of the Young at Heart Senior Citizen's Club, and as president of that organization, I have a vested interest in solving this predicament. As usual, seniors are the victims of another political dispute.

One problem is that Douglas County is proceeding to replace this function permanently, which means that the services of RSVP will no longer be needed within the county. RSVP is an outstanding organization with hundreds of hard working volunteers in rural Nevada.

It doesn't seem right that a reputable national service organization like RSVP would single out Douglas County for punishment simply because they were unable to negotiate their expenses and grants. Also, I am sure that they have notified these agencies and organizations that they are no longer supporting the rural county with the largest population in Nevada. This tactic by RSVP is not new. In the past they have temporarily suspended services to Lyon and Churchill counties.

Most Nevada counties and RSVP are having budget problems, but I am sure this situation can be resolved. It's time we set aside our egos and sit down and negotiate this problem.


Young at Heart Senior Citizen's Club President



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