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Territorial Dispatch

Yuba City Commission Members Excited for Future

Mar 27, 2024 12:43PM ● By Angela Underwood

Seniors show off their shirts at the Yuba City Senior Center. Photo courtesy of Yuba City


YUBA CITY, CA (MPG) – Newly appointed and reappointed Parks & Recreation and Senior Commissioners are passionate about people.

Reappointed Senior Commissioner Tanna Thomas said that he can build relationships and advocate for the older adults in Yuba City as one of five senior commissioners who attend various civic meetings.

"I have served on the Yuba City Senior Commission for ten years and sought to serve another term because I believe the commission's efforts to be visible and engaged with the older adult population in Yuba City continue to be valuable," Thomas said.

Thomas, an Agency on Aging/Area 4 Advisory Council member for seven counties, said the Senior Commission serves as an advisory board to Yuba City's mayor, council, city manager, and community services department on issues impacting the large older population.


Children play flag football with the Yuba City Parks & Recreation Department youth sports program. Photo courtesy of Yuba City


Thomas cites the National Institute on Aging, which states, " There are more Americans ages 65 and older—just over 49 million, according to the U.S. Census—than at any other time in history."

"Those numbers are expected to grow as more Baby Boomers, individuals born between 1946 and 1964, reach retirement age," Thomas said. "Older adults are a valuable part of our community, and those who remain active and socially involved are more likely to enjoy a healthier and better quality of life."

Quality of life is precisely what the Yuba City Senior Center offers, starting with weekly activities, including Friday night bingo and waffle Wednesday. Not to mention, there are frequent bus trips and monthly schedules filled with activities like yoga, body toning, poker, watercolor painting, quilting, and knitting. 

Looking forward to another four years, two-term Senior Commissioner Tony Kurlan knows the importance of seniors moving.

"Keeping our minds active and using our bodies, even if somewhat diminished by age, helps us stay focused on activities—dancing, card-playing, ceramics, just plain socializing with others," Kurlan said.

Also involved in various non-profits, civic-minded groups, and social organizations, Kurlan said one goal of the commission is to open discussions on how best to utilize the Yuba Senior Center for both residents and non-residents. Another goal is to continue publicizing the various activities, trips, and speakers through the city website and social media.

"I want to continue to be a vehicle for seniors to express their needs and to pass those needs along to city department heads and the city council as needed," Kurlan said.

Newly appointed Parks & Recreation Commissioner Pawan Rai said her passion for serving as a member stems from a deep belief in the transformative power of public spaces and recreational activities to enhance community well-being.

"My background in psychology, healthcare, and project management allows for a perspective that promotes mental health and social connection while ensuring projects are completed on time, within budget, and meet the community's needs," Rai said.

According to Rai, the Parks and Recreation Commission plays a critical role, providing oversight, policy guidance, and strategic planning assistance to ensure department initiatives align with the community's needs and values.

As a platform for community members to voice their opinions and suggestions regarding parks and recreation services, Rai said it is the commission's job to ensure public spaces and programs are responsive and tailored to the diverse needs of our residents.

 "Involvement in the community's recreation system is vital for residents as it fosters a sense of belonging and collective identity," Rai said. "Parks and recreational activities provide a common ground where individuals from diverse backgrounds can come together, share experiences, and build lasting relationships."

Those relationships begin young with community sports leagues for all ages, recreation classes, and park events that, according to Rai, encourage community engagement while also promoting a culture of engagement and mutual support.

"Through these shared experiences, residents develop a deeper appreciation for their community and a vested interest in its success and sustainability," Rai said.

Whether young or old, Yuba City's newest commission members are sure to keep residents active and connected, all that matters most in a community.

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