Unfortunately, we may be witnessing the slow deterioration of an outstanding program known as SHINE that serves the residents of Barnstable County. SHINE provides free counseling services to thousands of Barnstable County residents on Medicare health insurance issues. And quite troubling is the apparent disinterest of the Barnstable County Commissioners in attempting to understand what is happening to this important program.

We begin with the abrupt, totally unexpected resignation of Tracey Benson, the highly regarded director of the SHINE program in September of last year. She had been the director of the program for the prior five years. During her tenure, the program had been managed in an exemplary fashion. Tracey was an outstanding public servant who loved the program, trained the majority of the 60-plus certified volunteers who serve the program in the county and was highly regarded by her peers across the state.

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