CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Kanawha County officials want to know -- in writing -- why the state Bureau of Senior Services won't bid out a nutrition program that hasn't been up for bid in 20 years.
Kanawha County Commission President Kent Carper filed a request under the state Freedom of Information Act last week raising questions about why the nutrition program has not been re-bid.
The Putnam Aging Program Inc., which provides services, including a meal program, to senior citizens in Clay, Fayette, Kanawha and Putnam counties, has had the state contract to provide food to area seniors since 1993. But lately, Carper and Kanawha County Commissioners Dave Hardy and Hoppy Shores have questioned whether Putnam Aging is providing the best service to Kanawha County's senior centers and senior citizens.
"I find it difficult to understand why, in the biggest county in West Virginia, there's not a private entity or a public organization that can't serve the needs of Kanawha County's senior citizens more efficiently than someone in another county," Carper said Monday.
Although Putnam Aging officials say they have gotten no complaints about food service in Kanawha County, Carper said he has heard complaints about the food at senior centers in Dunbar and Charleston and about long waits to get on Putnam Aging's meal delivery list. He recently sent a letter to Robert Roswall, commissioner of the West Virginia Bureau of Senior Services, asking that the Kanawha County food program be re-bid.
"They didn't even respond to me," Carper said Monday.
Roswall did not return telephone calls on Monday.
On Friday, Carper sent Roswall a FOIA request. Among the information he requested were: