Hawaiian Gardens Commissioner Anna Rodriguez Calls City-Sponsored Senior Programs ‘Excessive’

Anna Rodriguez

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BY BRIAN HEWS

Hawaiian Gardens Planning Commissioner Anna Rodriguez, who was appointed by current City Mayor Myra Maravilla, evidently does not think very highly of the City’s senior population.

During public comment at a Hawaiian Gardens City Council meeting, Rodriguez was heard on video wanting to cut from the City budget what she termed “excessive senior programs” and give all the money to the City’s youth programs.

“No offense to the senior citizens, I see a lot of programs that I don’t feel that there should be, its excessive.” 

As a planning commissioner, Rodriguez receives a stipend every month from the City, while also traveling to conventions, going to the pricey Contract Cities Convention in Palm Desert this past May.

Rodriguez went on to say, “no offense to our senior citizens but I feel like some of the programs and events or trips they go on are excessive.”

There are a small number of senior programs that is offered by the City, including arts and crafts, billiards, bingo, and Zumba.

Others can be termed as activities occurring at the City’s Recreation Center such as cupcake decorating and free computer use.

The City also runs a well-attended Golden Age Senior Club, Sunshine club, and delivers 1,540 meals each month to Hawaiian Gardens seniors.

Two or three excursions are offered each month to places such as the Getty Museum and Pala Casino and average 30 participants on each trip.

Still, the number of programs and excursions caused Rodriguez concern, indicating that “she wanted to see more funds spent on our youth.”

Then Rodriguez said something that caused everyone in the room to gasp.

“Yes, I would like to see more of [the money] geared towards our youth because eventually we’re all going to pass away anyway.”

Former Hawaiian Gardens Mayor Ray Rodriguez was incensed, telling HMG-LCCN, “Ms. Rodriguez clearly said why not take money from the seniors’ budget and give it to the youth programs they are going to die anyway, unbelievable.”

Resident-activist Joy Zermeno told HMG-LCCN, “Anna Rodriguez, our Planning Commissioner, said the seniors are eventually going to die, so take money from their budget, disgusting.”

“She is a commissioner and gets a stipend each month as a public servant, so why doesn’t she propose to cut her own stipend to help the senior’s out, how about cutting her travel budget too?”

Emails into Ms. Rodriguez from comment went unreturned.

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