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SilverSneakers is one of the health care initiatives created by private stakeholders partnering with public stakeholders to reduce health care costs. The primary objective of such initiatives is to get senior citizens moving or exercising.

But in Champaign-Urbana, development and implementation of the SilverSneakers initiative is uneven and bizarre.

The Champaign Park District, for example, participates in the SilverSneakers initiative — its members can use the Leonard Recreation Center (and Fitness Center), but they cannot use the park district’s Sholem swimming pool — that does not make good sense.

The Urbana Park District, for example does not participate in the SilverSneakers initiative. Their reason for not participating is they lack fitness equipment. But they fail to inform SilverSneakers that the Urbana Park District has a reciprocal agreement with the Champaign Park District, whereby Urbana taxpayers can participate in Champaign Park District’s programs and use their facilities.

Champaign-Urbana leaders and University of Illinois leaders, partnering with real estate developers, have found a solution to the overbuilding of luxury apartments and cottages: Grow the university and encourage senior citizens to relocate from Chicago to Champaign-Urbana.

The News-Gazette should tell prospective participants of the Great Northern Migration, that in Champign-Urbana, senior citizens receive less for their tax dollars from a community that is focused on young, wealthy University of Illinois students.

TERRY TOWNSEND

Champaign

News-Gazette