MINUTES OF THE BELMONT COA BOARD OF DIRECTORS MEETING
June 7, 2010
Present: E. Hamann, M. Cahalane, D. Dick, N., Hegarty, J. Kantor, H. Kazarian, A. Lougee,
A. Santoro Mullin, J. Semuels, P. Solomon, N. Niv-Vogel, Executive Director
E. Hamann (chair) called the meeting to order at 7:30 p.m.
Acceptance of Minutes:
Minutes of the meetings of May 4 and May 17 2010 were approved as amended. The 3 new board members abstained.
Senior Citizen Concerns:
None were mentioned at this time.
The Board of the Council on Aging presented the Director, Nava Niv-Vogel, with a bouquet of flowers, in appreciation for all the work that she does for the Center and the COA.
Reports and Correspondence
(A) Springwell Report: Mr. Hegarty reported that the Springwell working group met two weeks
* Springwell is awaiting notification about its application to continue a service contract with
the Executive Office of Elder Affairs as an “ASAP” (Aging Services Access Point).
* While state funding continues to be tight, Springwell is able to maintain a balanced budget.
(B) Director’s Report:
The Director learned only on Monday June 7th of the scheduled closing of
Beech Street for final paving this Wednesday, June 9th.. This information was learned by a
volunteer who just happened to find a flyer on the ground outside the Center. The Director said that she is forced to cancel all Center programs for Wednesday including
meals as access to the Center will be nearly impossible. Transportation to
medical destinations will still be available. There was discussion of the problems
caused by lack of communication between the Town and the Director on this matter: for example, in this case the
Director not receiving valuable and
timely information; and causing a potential liability issue. (The town could potentially be liable if someone unknowingly going to the Senior Center, falls on the rough surface of Beech
Street.) The Board Members agreed that this event and future requirements for
communication should be discussed at the Selectmen’s Meeting. Joel Semuels made a
motion, which was seconded, that the Director and Ethel Hamann as Chair will prepare a
memo to the town saying that the Director should be notified at least 48 hours ahead of any
event that would impact the Center and its guests, so that the participants of programs can
be notified and meal service halted. It was suggested that this could be done using the CTY
communication which proved to be very effective in spreading information the state of
hazardous water for several days recently and the scheduled flushing of the hydrants.
* Patio Furniture:
Patio Furniture is being handled by the Building working group which is
reviewing the various companies as suppliers of the furniture.
* Wiring taking place at the Center:
The Director learned of the town’s plan to place cameras in the Multi-Purpose room when an electrician arrived and started work at the Center on installation of a camera in the MP room and outside on the roof. June 7. The reason given for the need of a camera in the MP room was not offered but the director was told that it would have been helpful to have one when the lectern was moved from the stage. The Board would like to know who ordered the cameras from the town’s building and grounds department. The director also informed the board of a camera scheduled to be installed in the computer lab for the purpose of surveilling any possible inappropriate use of the computers. The Board feels strongly
that the placement of the cameras is totally inappropriate and might cause a significant legal issue, since the privacy clause, Chapter 40, Sec. 8B of the General Laws, specifically protects seniors from intrusion of their privacy. A motion was made to send a letter to Tom Younger, cc.ed to the Board of Selectmen, presenting these significant concerns of the COA and recommendation for the removal of the wires.
* It was noted that the town has yet to respond to the proposal sent by the Board of the COA regarding marketing proporal for rentalsand that a reminder should be sent.
(C) Senior Center Building Committee:
Phyl Solomon reported that the water sprinklers at the Center are installed and ready for planting by the landscape architect. The Board remarked how nice it was to open all of the windows in the second floor conference room.
(D) Friends of the COA:
Ann Lougee reported that the last Friends’ meeting was held June 2nd and the latest Friends’ newsletter has been received. Planning and preparations are now taking place for crafts fair on Nov. 26 Karen Nichols will discuss with Tom Younger how some fees associated with the new requirements of charitable organizations could be waived. The Friends are working on ideas for various community activities and fundraising events.
(E) Long-term Financial Planning Group:
Joel Semuels said that the working group of Ethel, Nava and himself is waiting for town budget issues to be resolved before proceeding further They plan Carman to schedule a meeting with Floyd and the Selectmen regarding creating some sort of endowment for the Senior Center. This could be accomplished by changing the wording in the tax bill to read, instead of “Senior Center,” the “Senior Center Stabilization Fund.” This would provide another way by which donations could be directed to the Center for improvements and substantial renovations. Neil Hegarty remarked that the BEC (Belmont Elderly Citizens, Inc.) will no longer be in existence after its funds are exhausted with the purchase of the fitness room’s equipment. Joel will send Floyd an e-mail requesting the meeting.
- Fitness Room Working Group:
The plans for operating the fitness room are getting closer to being finalized..
7. Old Business:
(C) Update on Vacant Board Member Position:
The three COA Board Members ending their service to the Board, Phyl Solomon, Jack Kantor and Henry Kazarian has notified the Selectmen Henry offered to extend his tenure on the Board if no suitable new members can be found. The Selectmen will appoint the new members at either their meeting on June 14th or June 21st. The next Board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, July 7th.
8. New Business:
(A) Discussion of Board Strategy for the FY’12 Budget:
* The COA Board would like to send one or two representatives on a rotating basis to each
of the Warrant Committee meeting, as it was agreed that more communication between the
two groups would benefit both.
* Seniors represent over 20% of the town, are taxpayers and are important. The
sentiment was expressed that not only do we help seniors, but we help the families
* It is important to see who the new COA Board members will be.
* A motion was made for COA Board members to sit down with the Human Services
Warrant Subcommittee to discuss issues in the document "Response to Warrant
Committee Report.” We do not know who all the subcommittee members will be.
* A motion was made to meet with the Warrant Subcommittee of the COA. The
Board would like to have a working group of the board to decide on the exact points to address with the Warrant Subcommittee. Our working group
should meet at the end of June and will be composed of Ethyl Hamann, Anne
Lougee, Neil Hegarty, and Joel Semuels. An agenda should be set first
(B) Review of Changes in the Open Meeting Law:
While reviewing the rules for executive session, the Board Members noted the
expectation that minutes be kept for executive sessions. We will do that. In the future distinctions in the agenda may be made between updates and reports.
(C) Discussion of Possible Fees/Donations for Use of Programming such as Ping Pong,
Pool and the Computer Lab:
This agenda item was deferred until the next meeting.
Adjournment: The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m. The next COA Board Meeting will be held on Wednesday July 7 at 7:30 p.m. at the Beech Street Center.
Diana Dick, Revolving Recording Secretary, and Michael Cahalane