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THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
(web version)

October 2, 2018
Residents’ Council Website: ccicharlestown.org

President Wendel Thompson called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm October 2, 2018. The September 4, 2018 minutes were approved as distributed.

65 association members attended. Visitors included residents, Naomi McAfee, Charles Denton and Karline Tierney, members of the Board of Directors, and Clara Parker, Executive Director, and Nathan Blumberg, Associate Executive Director.  The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away.

Wendel called on the following officers and committee chairs for reports; the text of those reports appears following the formal minutes:

  • Anne Erfle, Vice President
  • Sherry Stewart, Secretary
  • Jack Murnane, Treasurer
  • Jean Eichenlaub, Chair of the Benevelent Care Committee
  • Walt Howe, Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Sherry Stewart, to read the report of the Conservation Committee in the absence of Bill Tilles
  • Bob Caulfield, Chair of the Dining Committee
  • Gil Fisher, Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Ted Durr, Chair of the Grounds Committee
  • Louise Dempsey, Chair of the Health Services Committee
  • Hope Tillman, to read the report of the Housekeeping Committee in the absence of Diane Lyons
  • Seldra Funk, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
  • Lois Kimber, Assistant Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
  • Sam Cushman, Chair of the Resident Life Committee
  • Janet Allan, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None

NEW BUSINESS:

  1. Anne Erfle made the following motion: Resolved that Clara Parker and her team receive a commendation for the Town Hall meeting September 25 regarding the Friday incident. Seconded by Lois Kimber. No discussion. Passed unanimously.
  2. Anne Erfle made the following motion: Resolved that the Council take up the issue of gun presence at the next work session on October 8. Seconded by Seldra Funk. Ted Durr spoke for adding mental and emotional health of residents to this motion. It was agreed to take this topic up separately. Anne Erfle pointed out that this will be an organizing meeting to decide how we would proceed. Sam Cushman urged that we have someone attend who can provide legal knowledge. Wendel agreed that before the work session meeting there will be a debriefing, by someone with information related to the law. The motion passed: Yes 14, No 2, Abstain 1.
  3. Anne Erfle made the following motion: Resolved that the Council take up the issue of mental and emotional health of residents at the next work session on October 8. Seconded by Sherry Stewart. Anne Erfle pointed out that this topic would need to be approached with the same approach as #2. Janet Allan saw this discussion as the beginning of treating a very complex issue. The motion passed: Yes 15, No 2.
  4. Jack Murnane presented the 2018-2019 budget for approval. Anne Erfle moved that the budget be approved. Seconded by Bob Caulfield. The motion passed unanimously.

Clara Parker then presented “Words from Management” which appear below for those residents interested in reading the full text of her message.

President Wendel Thompson ended the meeting by sharing a flyer from Patti Goldberg urging residents to express their love for life here at Charlestown by going to various social media to indicate their love of Charlestown. Copies of the flyer were available on the table outside the door to the Auditorium.

President Thompson adjourned the formal meeting at 7:53 p.m.

Sherry Stewart, Residents’ Council Secretary

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Assistant Secretary

REPORTS—EXECUTIVE TEAM

ANNOUNCEMENTS/ PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Wendel Thompson):

Mission Moment: Donna Ferrara was recommended anonymously by a resident facing surgery who is a gardener. This situation was especially stressful since the operation was scheduled during the summer growing season. Upon learning about the planned surgery, Donna volunteered to assist with the garden plots. Daily she watered, picked vegetables, and brought them to her friend’s apartment.  Donna also volunteered to hand deliver Fab Forties literature to those members without email.  She most recently was involved with the collection of school supplies for Riverview School.  On Saturday mornings Donna works with the Invasive Plants Team. She seeks no recognition but her caring and concern for others and our community is a definite example of going above and beyond to create harmonious living at Charlestown. Thank you, Donna.

Report: The Friday incident leaves us with a mixture of emotions and thoughts which were on full display last Tuesday at the Town Hall in the Conference Center where we gathered to be a community in the midst of tragedy.  The thought that came to my mind during the Town Hall is this: “be kind to those persons you meet, for you don’t know the kind of burden they may be carrying.” I thank Clara Parker, Nathan Blumberg, Michael Fischer, and Myla Carpenter for creating that experience for us and Tom Moore for transmitting it live and recording it. The recording can be found on Community Videos on the My Erickson website. If you don’t have access to My Erickson, find someone who does so you can see the video.

The Emerald City Gala which is our Benevolent Care’s major fund-raising activity was held a week ago Friday. The place was decorated with balloons galore. You can still enjoy some of the balloons if you go to the Chesapeake Fireplace where you’ll see our balloon rainbow. We congratulate Lisa Zehring and her team of friends who created this joyful experience for us.

The Shortline Café opens Monday, October 15. Chef Paul says we’ll have milk shakes available.

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Anne Erfle):

No Council Communication Forms to report this month.

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Sherry Stewart):

At the September 10 Work Session, plans for the year were discussed, budget discussion was started, and members got acquainted with one another.

TREASURER’S REPORT (Jack Murnane):

During the month of September, I did not issue any checks. One check for $9.01 issued in August was posted to the account. I received deposits in the amount of $ 210.00. There were seven (7) checks that were donations for the Charlestown Archives. At the end of the month of September, the book balance amounted to $ 4,494.25 and the bank balance amounted to $4,494.25.

REPORTS—COMMITTEES

BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):

The meeting opened with Patti Santoni, Emily Fowler, and Lisa Zehring from Philanthropy.

GALA Recap:  The event netted $79,000.  Slightly less than last year.  The Silent Auction – $3700, Ring Raffle – $600.

Many thanks to the volunteers who assisted the professional balloonists in creating the Wizard of Oz decorations.

The ELLIC presentation in the auditorium was well attended; so far 29 new donors have signed up for monthly donations of $20 or more and 6 green leaves have been secured (donations of $5,000+). The Financial Assurance meeting will be rescheduled.  The Coat Sale will be held on September 28 and those proceeds go directly to the Benevolent Care Fund.

The new chairman of the Benevolent Care Foundation Board is Naomi McAfee.  The current amount is $6 million with a goal of $10M.  All contributions to The Legacy Tree go directly to the Foundation.  Discussion ensued on how to increase the fund. The Secret Admirer campaign previously held in February will again happen in 2019. Naomi noted that a resident who is on the 20 Meal Plan, donates the money he saves (~$60 a month) to the Fund.

Volunteers staffing the BCF Table with the Wheel found that some people here still do not understand the concept of Benevolent Care.  One of the Erickson communities changed the name to the Resident Care Fund, but we felt that was confusing.

Finally, a discussion was held about the TV skit that combined BCF and Finance Committees.  It has been withdrawn from 972 and several ideas were discussed about how to emphasize the purpose of the Committee.

The next meeting is October 24th, 2018, CTS116 2:00.

COMMUNICATIONS (Walt Howe, Chair):

The Communications Committee met on September 24th at 2:00 PM in Charlestown Square classroom 216. The Communications Subcommittee met there the previous hour.

  • Resident Council binders kept at each of the seven lobby desks to provide Council information to all residents have been updated with the new members, meeting schedules, and latest meeting minutes.
  • Video skits already produced to promote Resident Council meetings and those projected for future production are being reviewed by the newly constituted Resident Council committees.
  • Planning is underway for a new survey of resident use of communications sources, last performed four years ago, and a systematic review of the website.
  • The ELLIC class titled Charlestown 101: Treasures of the Resident Website is scheduled for November 14th at 10am.

The next meeting of the Communications Committee will be on October 22nd, at 2:00 pm. The next Website Subcommittee meeting will be on November 26th at 1pm just before the Communications Committee meeting.

CONSERVATION (Bill Tilles, Chair):

Attending the meeting were committee members, 1 guest and Michelle Fenn, Housekeeping Supervisor.

We recycled approximately 29 tons of trash in August which is about 10% higher than our monthly average of 27 tons for the 11-month period from September 2017 to July 2018. Overall, for the year, September to August, we recycled about 25% of our total trash. We have been consistently in that range and we will continue to emphasize the importance of recycling in hopes that we can grow to an average of 30% of our total trash.

The on-campus plastic bag collection project continues to work well. This project is supported through the efforts of several resident volunteers who collect the plastic bags from containers in each of our eight campus laundry rooms two to three times a week and take them to the super markets. Residents are encouraged to collect their plastic bags and deposit them in the containers in the laundry rooms.

Periodically, the community will see the tri-fold bulletin boards at the various restaurants
on campus showing what can be recycled and what cannot. An accompanying handout is also planned to be available in the near future.

As a reminder, to cut down on trash and encourage reuse, dining services is offering for one-time purchase, to-go containers for carryout meals. Residents purchase the container once then bring it back for washing and sanitation in exchange for another.

The next meeting will be October 16, 2018, in HR142 2:00 pm.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair):

The Council Dining Committee met on September 17, 2018 in BR 1 at 2 p.m. with 11 present including Ken Zahn and two guests.

The following is a summary of the meeting which includes reports from the restaurant coffees and the Dietary Focus group and updates from Dining Service:

  • Leigh Ann Cooper will be the new chair of the Atrium Dining Room group.
  • The Recyclable Green containers program was discussed: Policy recently implemented in an effort to standardize varying types of carry-out containers and to become “greener” as Baltimore County no longer accepts some of the old containers for recycling. It was emphasized that this program is voluntary and an ongoing work in progress. Residents’ early response to the program is positive. Residents should be reminded that the containers are for reheating in the microwave, not for cooking.
  • Progress on the Shortline renovations—mid October opening. Finalizing equipment installation followed by staff orientation.
  • New menus introduced in the dining room venues on September 10.
  • New server training began on September 16. Emphasis on “hands on experience”: carrying the tray, serving the meal in proper sequence, clearing the table, coordinating the flow of service between the servers and the runners.
  • In a September 26 meeting, Aida said that new uniform shirts for dining room personnel will be introduced next week, that exterior development for the Atrium has been delayed due to extensive rain and listed the following dates for the Shortline Opening:
    • October 8—Soft opening for invited guests
    • October 12—Ribbon cutting ceremony
    • October 15—Grand opening for all residents

The next meeting will be held on October 15, 2018.

FINANCE (Gil Fisher, Chair):

The Finance Committee met on September 25 with Heather Reck of the Finance Department. Pam Stiner, Finance Director, was ill and unable to attend.

Heather presented the August Occupancy Rates and Financial Reports. Occupancy Rates for August were very good. In fact, skilled nursing occupancy exceeded budget projections, for the first time in several months.  Relative to occupancy, Heather said that 7 residents are temporarily housed in skilled nursing care while they wait for beds to become available in assisted living or memory care.

The August Financial Reports for operating revenue and operating income each were greater than budget projections by almost $200,000. Operating expenses were $11,000 lower than budget projections, more good news. Heather indicated that August was an exceptionally good month.

For non-operating income, investment income was $883,000.

Turning to restricted funds, 16 residents received assistance in August for benevolent care. The expenditures were around $82,000, slightly less than in July.

Other agenda items were postponed until the next meeting, which will be October 30 at 9 am in Brookside 2 Classroom.

GROUNDS (Ted Durr, Chair):

The committee did not meet in September because of the Town Hall meeting.

HEALTH SERVICES (Louise Dempsey, Chair):

The meeting was held on September 11th with 8 members and 1 guest present.

There were two flu clinics held during the month of September. The vaccine administered is the special formula for age 65 and older population.

Another successful collection of old/unused medication was held on Monday, September 24th.  Prescription drugs, over the counter medications, and pet medications were collected. The next collection is scheduled for January 14th.

Despite the National shortages of the shingles Shingrix vaccine, our CVS Pharmacy currently has an adequate supply so that anyone who has already received the first dose can be assured that the second dose is available. Currently some doses are available for those residents who have not gotten the first dose and Pharmacist Jeromy Finck will continue to coordinate with Dr. Carpenter to assure that second doses are available. He expects that by the first of the year manufacturers will meet the demand and shortages eliminated.

As a result of the Maryland state pension reform law passed in 2011, retired State employees who are eligible for Medicare will no longer have Prescription benefits through the state effective December 31, 2018. State retirees must sign up for Medicare Part D by December 7th to be covered by January 1st. Those affected should have been receiving correspondence from the State with this information. For questions or more information, call 410-767-4775.

Continuing Care: David Gearing, Director of Continuing Care, and his staff have expanded their bi-monthly electronic newsletter. The publication offers lots of information for families of residents in Continuing Care. It has been suggested that the current name of the newsletter “Continuing Care “Crier” be changed. Following are suggested names that residents and/or families can vote on: Chronicle, Circular, Clarion, Courier.

Caton Woods: The Ladies Boutique held at Caton Woods in August was enjoyed by the residents. Another sale there will be scheduled and advertised.

Residents expressed concern that the new hand washing signs in the public bathrooms have inadequate instructions for proper hand washing.

Residents expressed concern about privacy issues in the Specialty suite near the Pharmacy. It was stated that personal questions by staff; e.g., reason for being there, medications, etc. could be overheard by others waiting, citing HIPAA Regulations. This issue will be directed to Dean Crawford, Medical Practice Administrator.

The next Health Services meeting is scheduled for October 9th at 11am in HR142.

HOUSEKEEPING (Diane Lyons, Chair):

The meeting was held on Friday, September 21.  Seven members plus 2 guests attended.  Due to unforeseen circumstances, the Housekeeping Department was not represented.  However, all committee members submitted reports on their areas and these are listed below.  Also, a detailed email containing repairable issues was sent to Earl Shaw and Michelle Fenn.

Committee members from the various buildings on campus identified areas where carpets needed cleaning.  Specific concerns were misuse of Harbor View laundry room by other than residents.  In Parkview 3rd floor the public area has become stacked with boxes of puzzles.  A note has been left asking that the completed puzzles be donated to the Treasure Sale.  A request was made to the Housekeeping Dept to relocate the chest to its original site.   On Herbert’s Run 6th floor, a flag draped over the railing is not an appropriate place to display.

TV SKIT:   The TV skits are being revised.  There was a discussion with the committee about participating.  Ideas submitted to Walt Howe, Communications Committee, emphasized keeping public areas neat and free of excess items, and also that plants on bridges should be maintained in attractive containers.  Little Theatre actors will present.

Next meeting is scheduled for October 19, 2 pm in HR 142.

LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Seldra Funk, Chair):

The Committee met on Wednesday, September 12 at 10:00 in BR-1.

Preparations were completed, and volunteer activities were coordinated for two candidate events at the Auditorium in Charlestown. Approximately 100 residents attended Senator Ben Cardin’s appearance on September 23. Tony Campbell (Cardin’s challenger for the Senate seat) spoke to residents on September 27. Anne Erfle moderated both events.

Preparations are ongoing for a debate between Representative Elijah Cummings and Richmond Davis (challenger for the House of Representatives seat) scheduled for October 8 at 7:00 PM.

Next Committee meeting will be on Wednesday, October 10 at 10:00 in BR-1.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair):

The Committee met on September 25, 2018 with General Services staff Jesse Morgan.

Issues discussed:

  • Malfunctioning lock at entrance door 715 Chapel Court.
  • Edgewood Elevator wall area {at Main Street level} damaged from chairs.
  • Issues concerning the shuffle board court are to be reviewed.
  • Building 9 side entrance has damaged vinyl cover base at cart storage area.
  • MT2402 and MT2403 still have old plain doors.
  • Shuffle Board Court – bulb out, tile unglued, rubber covered cord loose and a safety hazard.
  • Building 2 elevator cage stops below floor level.
  • Bulb out Bldg. 7 hallway near Terrace Café.

Items resolved:

  • Water inlet at Loop Rd. has been repaired.
  • Fire Plug at Buildings 1&2 have been replaced due to Fire Dept inspection.
  • Music room flooding issues have been resolved.
  • Loose handrail connection at Level G and Level 1 have been repaired.

Next meeting October 23, 2018 at 2:00pm in General Services Conference room.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):

Our committee met September 12, 2018, from 2:00 to 3:10 pm, one week earlier than normally scheduled.  Seven members and 1 guest were present. Sam Cushman, the new chair of this committee, explained that he visualized this committee as consisting of Individuals who worked in different areas with his support and the support of the other committee members.  Introductions were then made. Sam then asked the committee members to state which areas they were interested in:   Pet Lovers, Resident Values and Harmonious Living, Birthday Angels, Eating Together group, Mission Moments, Resident Welcome Cards, Transportation, and Governance; the latter two areas are new to this committee.  EMV’s are also of concern, but not officially the responsibility of this committee.  Each person will be expected to report on their area at each meeting but will work semi-independently.  It was brought to the committee’s attention that some residents of Charlestown owned guns and that they are not required to register them with Charlestown.  This is an area of concern and will be discussed in the future.

Future meetings will be held on the 3rd Wednesday of the month at 2:00 pm, the normal time, in HR142.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):

The Committee met on September 25. 6 members were present. Due to unforeseen circumstances, no staff was present.

Members agreed on the focus of the Committee for this year to include EMVs, Speeding and Parking, Security of Campus doors and at Campus events involving outsiders, Pets, and Road Signage.

Concerns were raised about some EMV users speeding and EMV user competence. Suggestions were to recruit an EMV user to the Committee, continue to urge residents to report speeders and suspected driver lack of competence to Security.

Major concern about Pets was some owners not using the exit nearest their apartment to take their pet outside. Suggestions were for residents to remind such owners of rules and also report to Security. Will coordinate with Resident Life on further actions.

Concerning security of doors, members suggested that General Services provide a periodic update of progress on securing doors. Will ask for protocols from General Services concerning security for big events.  Concerning speeding and parking violations, members suggested widespread communication by General Services of the new rules.

Discussed the issue of gun ownership and members volunteered to be part of a focus group on the issue. Members were in favor of a “Give Back Your Guns” Day.

The next meeting is October 9 at 1 pm in Brookside Classroom 1. Meeting on the second Tuesday of the month is a permanent change.

WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Clara Parker):

  • Clara began by expressing her appreciation on behalf of herself and her staff for the commendation the Council passed tonight. This week on site counseling support is being made available for staff. An awareness campaign for residents is being developed.
  • 55% of residents have completed the Resident Satisfaction Survey. It is still available until October 12. For residents who have lost their survey, they are still available from the Administration Office.
  • The Employee Satisfaction Survey was recently completed. 77% of employees participated.
  • Thursday and Friday of this week, Clara and her administrative team will be at an off-site retreat. The topic to be discussed will be “Leadership Team Effectiveness.” Counseling services for the leadership team will provide crisis response counseling to help with this uncharted territory.