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Ross leads senior center

The Superior-Douglas County Senior Center on Tower Avenue is under new management. The board last week appointed Lynn Ross to head its operation of the center at 1527 Tower Ave. But the senior center board's decision raised some eyebrows this wee...

Lynn Ross
The new director of the Superior/Douglas County Senior Center, Lynn Ross, standing, gives a high five while talking to the "Bunco Babes" at the Senior Center in Superior on Tuesday afternoon. (Jed Carlson/jcarlson@superiortelegram.com)

The Superior-Douglas County Senior Center on Tower Avenue is under new management.

The board last week appointed Lynn Ross to head its operation of the center at 1527 Tower Ave.

But the senior center board's decision raised some eyebrows this week as the center owned and partially funded by the city invited in a new leader.

After all, Ross is married to the city's mayor, and the center is owned and partially funded by the city.

But while the city has a stake in the operation, it is run by an autonomous nine-member board.

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And Ross' relationship to the mayor played no role in the board's decision, according to Nancy Akey, board secretary and treasurer.

"We pick people who are best qualified regardless of their last name and relationships," Akey said. She said the board had no contact with or from the mayor as members moved quickly to find a replacement.

"We needed someone desperately," Akey said

Two weeks ago, the board found itself without a director. While the volunteer board worked to hold things together, they also moved quickly to replace the director to manage day-to-day operations of the center for seniors, running an advertisement in the Telegram to begin the search for a new director.

"She applied," Akey said of Ross.

Jeff Vito, the city's economic development and government affairs director, said he suggested Ross as someone who could fill the position on an interim basis if the board chose to explore other options.

However, Akey said the board found Lynn Ross - whose background includes working as an activities director for a nursing home - as qualified for the position, resulting in the decision to hire her.

Despite the scuttlebutt surrounding her first day on the job, Ross said she is enthusiastic about getting the senior center back on track and working with the city's seniors to make the center theirs again.

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After all, membership at the center has dropped from about 450 to about 106 members today, Vito said.

Four years ago, Ross said she went to apply for the same position after it had been filled already.

"My goal is to help empower the people and help them enjoy their center, Ross said. "I was to bring membership up and I want them to feel welcome ... I just want to help people."

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