Colchester Commission on Aging
Regular Meeting Minutes
Monday, February 9, 2009 – Colchester Senior Center
Members Present: Chairman Jean Stawicki, Bernie Erickson, Clara Erickson, Sue Maikshilo
Members Absent: Barbara Warden, Betty Ann Oppelt, Bill Wagner
Others Present: Patti White, Rosemary Coyle
1. Call Meeting to Order: The meeting was called to order at 1:01 p.m.
2. Minutes: Sue Maikshilo motioned to approve the regular meeting minutes of 1/12/09. Clara Erickson seconded. All other members present voted in favor. MOTION CARRIED.
3. Financial Report: Bernie Erickson reported that the senior center collected $434.81 in January from bus transportation and of that $93.50 was from out of town trips. This number is a little high because it included some money collected in December but not turned in until January. Clara Erickson motioned to accept the Financial Report. Sue Maikshilo seconded. All other members present voted in favor. MOTION CARRIED.
4. Senior Center Director’s Report: Patti White said she’s noticed there are several people and groups who are operating independent of each other in regard to a new senior center. She met with Linda Hodge and asked her to come to the senior center and explain to the seniors where the town stands on this issue. Linda indicated that there is no money in the budget right now for this project. She asked Patti to meet with the Town Planner. Patti also stated that a new senior center is not on the CIP, or Capital Improvement Plan.
Rosemary added that there is currently a $1.2 million deficit in the budget for this year. She offered to sit down with Patti and Linda to begin a conversation to determine a clear direction in which to go. Bernie said the Friends of the Senior Center had done a lot of research and nothing has come of it. Rosemary stated that it had never gone before the Board of Selectmen.
The senior center was awarded $8,400 in grants from social services. Patti said she has requests currently in procurement for things like computers, and items to fix up the TV room. They are also currently applying for a grant from KEB for an outside park bench. Also, the senior center received donations of a television set and a leather sofa.
Patti will be meeting with Diana Norton Giles who is the head of the Bacon Academy Board of Trustees, owners of the building. They are now have a 501(c)(3) designation, which means they can apply for grants. They are looking into applying for grant money which could be used to update the building. Patti is visiting area senior centers to compare and see what ideas are available to them.
Patti submitted the budget to the First Selectmen. It is the same as it has been. She stated that she only submits the operating budget, not personnel. There will be a forum on February 18th at Bacon Academy on the budget for the next fiscal year. There will be a survey there of six questions so the town can get a sense of that people want to stay in the budget, and what they want cut. She feels it is important for seniors to go to this meeting and give their input. Jean Stawicki offered to help her with presenting the budget in March.
Patti stated that she is applying for Title III funds to pay for the Easter Seals program. If awarded, the money won’t be available until October 1st. She will try to get it supported another way in the interim.
Sue Maikshilo motioned to accept the Senior Center Director’s Report. Bernie Erickson seconded. All other members present voted in favor. MOTION CARRIED.
5. Old Business:
A. Accreditation: Jean Stawicki passed out copies of the accreditation manual she received from the Norwich Senior Center. It includes a list of resources to use to determine the best practices for programming at the senior center. Jean asked members to read the information so they can discuss it at the next meeting.
6. New Business:
A. Vote to fill Vice-Chair spot: Sue Maikshilo nominated Clara Erickson for the vacated Vice-Chair spot. All members present voted in favor. MOTION CARRIED.
B. Vote to recommend moving alternate Commission member to permanent spot: Clara Erickson motioned to recommend to the Board of Selectmen moving Sue Maikshilo from an alternate to a permanent Commission member. Bernie Erickson seconded. All members present voted in favor. MOTION CARRIED. Rosemary asked Jean to send an email to the First Selectman regarding this recommendation.
C. Review and vote on Commission goals toward mission of becoming increasingly proactive advocates for Colchester seniors: Jean Stawicki stated that she sees the Commission on Aging as liaisons between the community, the senior center and the town. She feels the Commission can do many things to become more proactive such as monitoring legislation, pursuing accreditation, publishing information helpful to seniors, and looking for needs that can be filled by the senior center. Rosemary suggested that they can narrow the scope of their focus by beginning to work on
accreditation, as this will cover several of the areas that Jean is interested in. Patti stated that she is notified about any changes in legislation which she then passes on to seniors. She also added that there is currently a coordination underway to publish a community wide notice advertising all the town programs available from all the different departments. Bernie brought a pamphlet describing services offered by the senior center. Clara added that the Busy Bee is also full of this type of information. Jean feels there is other information pertinent to seniors that could be advertised. There was also discussion regarding the housing situation. Jean offered to send a letter to Rob Gustafson asking him to relate any information regarding the needs of people on the waiting list for housing.
7. Adjournment: Clara Erickson motioned to adjourn the meeting at 2:25 p.m. Sue Maikshilo seconded. All other members present voted in favor. MOTION CARRIED.