COA Minutes: September 13, 2010
Present:M. Cahalane, D. Dick, E. Hamann, C. Hegarty, D. Leclerc, A. Lougee, A. Mullin, T. Olson, P. Schafer, J. Semuels
Ethel Hamann called the meeting to order at 7:30 pm
The current COA Board hosted a pot luck supper in honor of the outgoing members of the COA Board. The members of the new Board wished to thank the previous members for their service. The Chair thanked all the members for making it a festive occasion.
Ms. Hamann called for any Senior Citizen concerns. As there were none, the meeting continued to the next item on the agenda.
The prior Minutes were approved with a correction to the spelling of Penny Schafer’s last name.
The Chair announced that Diana Dick, a current Board member, will be moving out of state to Washington DC at the end of October and, therefore, will be resigning as a member to the COA Board. A new member will need be appointed
Neil Hegarty reported that one issue surfaced in August when the COA Board did not have a meeting. Under new guidelines, Aging Service Access Points such as Springwell must submit their candidate for Director to the State for approval. The state would screen and review candidates and has the power to veto an ASAP endorsed candidate. ASAP board presidents were invited to a meeting with the Secretary for the Executive Office of Elder Affairs for their input. It was suggested that the reason for the State’s policy change was to avoid conflicts of interest and political issues. Discussion ensued with the sentiment expressed that ASAPs should be autonomous in the setting of policy and compensation.
The Chair discussed the Director’s report.. Nava Niv Vogel was unable to attend due to out of town airport problems. Susan Silva has been on-board since last week. Two Boston College Graduate School of Social Work interns will start next week. One will be a clinical intern; the other will be an policy and administration intern.
The Adult Education program has been difficult to initiate. LaSalle has not responded to Ms. NivVogel’s request for a satellite program. Dan LeClerc suggested looking into the interesting offerings available at UMass.
Joel S. mentioned the Life Long Learning program at Tufts might be another option.
Ms. Niv Vogel’s report indicated that interviewing for a part time Administrative Assistant has been going slowly. She hopes to have a decision in the next few weeks.
Penny S. asked what tasks were assigned to the Administrative Asst and how were they being handled now? The Chair said that others are currently handling those functions at the Center along with their regular jobs.
Ms. Niv Vogel also reminded the Board that she would be away attending the Mass Council on Aging conference from October 5 through October 7.
Senior Center Issues:
Penny S. reported that the Town is presently attempting to sell the generator. The paperwork to sell the generator has been completed and sent to the Town.
The one-year warranty on the construction of the building is soon to expire. Bill Lovallo and Kevin Looney are listing issues to send to the Contractor.
The purchase of outdoor furniture is being pursued through the State contracts list.
HVAC breaking issues appear to be solved.
Diana D asked about the leaves on the trees being eaten by insects. Penny S. was uncertain but said it was a Town issue since September 25, 2009, instead falling under the responsibility of the Buidings and Grounds Department. It also appears that a couple of trees may have been lost due to lack of watering.
Penny S. also added more detail to the generator issue. The generator was considered by both the town of Holyoke and Cambridge. Holyoke unfortunately could not afford it. It was too small for Cambridge’s needs.
Anne L. reported the scheduling of the upcoming (September 16) concert to be given by Al Natale Swing Orchestra . A number of sponsorships were secured in order to keep the prices at $10 per ticket.
Also mentioned was the planned Annual Meeting to take place October 7, the membership drive to be announced in the Senior Advocate, and 2 additional fundraisers, the Meat Raffle (Coordinated by Brasco and Sons) and the Craft Fair scheduled for the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Admission to the Crafts Fair is $1. Revenues are also generated from table rentals.
Anne L also reported on getting insurance for the events.
Long Term Finances
Joel S.,in conjunction with Floyd Carman, Town Treasurer, and Tom Younger, Town Administrator, is working on draft language to permit residents to donate to a fund which the Town Treasurer and the COA would help establish. It was expressed that this fund should be used as a stabilization fund but not used to replace needed funds from the Capital Budget. One such vehicle might be an Enterprise Fund. More info will be forthcoming.
Neil H. reported that talks continue with the Waltham YMCA for an onsite presence at the COA for a limited number of hours (20/week). If agreed upon, COA members would take a monthly membership that would allow access to a staffed gym at the Beech Street Center, as well as provide access to all the services at the Waltham YMCA. There will be an introductory monthly fee of $30.00 for the first three months of operation, whil will rise to $40.00 thereafter. Belmont Elderly Citizens, Inc. will provide start-up funding for the first three months of operation to enable the program begin before the level of memberships rises to the point of being sustainable.
Rentals for Events
The team met with Tom Younger. A poster and brochures have been created with help from the Town. It was reported that there was substantial interest at Meet Belmont. An event is planned for 10/3 from 4 to 7 pm, inviting local businesses to tour the Center and learn about its availability for functions rentals.
It was expressed that the COA Board be proactive in its discussion with the Warrant Committee. The next meeting of the Warrant Committee is scheduled for 9/22. Diana, Angela and Susan volunteered to attend the meeting. Penny and Ethel will attend the 9/29 meeting.
Penny S has been working with the Transportation Coordinator, Brian Jennings and the Programs Coordinator, Kristen. Some fundamental data has been compiled. Refinement of the data is continuing but the beginning information appears to be valuable for future discussions with the Warrant Committee.
The policy for use of Security Cameras within the Center will have to wait for the Ms. NivVogel’s update upon her return.
The Chair reported on the Board Orientation Program. All involved felt that it was very helpful.
A Bylaw change was recommended to present the slate of officers in November and to have elections occur at the December board meeting. The new Chair would take office in January.
The Board voted to accept the Bylaw change.
Former Selectman Paul Solomon requested that the COA Board endorse the Conservation Preservation Act that will be on the ballot in the November election.
Tomi O. indicated that she is unable to support the CPA. Joel S. suggested that the COA Board’s endorsement might appear to be a conflict of interest as the COA is borth an appointed town board and town department. The Board declined to take a position on the CPA.
Next meeting: October 4. at 730pm
The Meeting was adjourned at 9:10 pm.