Former Marquette mayor is re-appointed to aging services board

A Marquette man has been named to a second term on the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging.

Former Marquette mayor Jerry Irby is one of four people that have been re-appointed to that board. The senior services commission has 15 members chosen by the governor. A majority of the members have to be at least 60 years old, and Irby meets that standard.

“Many, many of our seniors up here are very independent,” he said. “They don’t ask for much. Sometimes we have to say, ‘here; take it’. They don’t come to us.”

Irby says nutrition programs are his number-one priority, with transportation not far behind. The percentage of Michigan residents that are 65 or older is rising sharply now that baby boomers are reaching that age.

“We’ve got to be prepared to provide services to our baby boomer population coming on board,” Irby said. “The state OSA, the Office of Senior Aging, is doing that.”

Irby will be on the Michigan Commission on Services to the Aging until July 2017. The aging services board advises both the governor and the legislature.