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

November 6, 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 November 6, 2018. The October 2, 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 Sherry Parrish, Director of Resident Life.  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 Benevolent Care Committee
  • Walt Howe, Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Bill Tilles, Chair of the Conservation Committee
  • 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
  • Diane Lyons, Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
  • Seldra Funk, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
  • Jackie Graham, 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. Janet Allan made the following motion to adopt a revised description of the Safety and Security Committee, making consultation and collaboration explicit: The Safety and Security Committee informs and educates residents on internal and external security and safety issues in consultation and collaboration with security staff and management. Seconded by Gil Fisher. Passed unanimously.
  2. Jack Murnane made the following motion: Resolved that the 2019 Residents’ Council Audit Committee’s report with the Residents’ Council checking account summary and account transactions be accepted and approved since no discrepancies were found. Seconded by Bill Tilles. Passed unanimously.
  3. Jack Murnane made the following motion: That the $100 honorarium for Past President Steve Harders be sent to the Benevolent Care fund. Seconded by Walt Howe. Passed unanimously.
  4. Jack Murnane made the following motion: That $300 be donated to this year’s Staff Appreciation Fund. Seconded by Lois Kimber. Passed unanimously.

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

President Thompson adjourned the formal meeting at 7:50 p.m.

Sherry Stewart, Residents’ Council Secretary
Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Assistant Secretary

REPORTS—EXECUTIVE TEAM

ANNOUNCEMENTS/ PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Wendel Thompson):

We have two mission moments tonight. First, John Lorenz, affectionately called “Uncle John, “is an asset to many parts of the Charlestown Community. He is frequently seen with his jovial smile walking around the community, greeting fellow residents and spreading good cheer.  He is very involved with Fireside Sing A Longs and Resident bingo. He also visits residents regularly in Continuing Care. If you see trash bags around the wooded areas of Charlestown, you can be sure John has been busy picking up trash and tidying up from fallen tree branches. John is a “silent” volunteer making a great impact in Charlestown.  He is a role model demonstrating care and concern, responsibility and enthusiasm. John’s nomination comes from more than one source. Thank you Uncle John.

Second is Pat Ward. Pat puts on her bathing suit Monday through Friday and heads for the Charlestown Square swimming pool where she leads a dozen or more enthusiastic residents in an hour of vigorous aerobic activity.  Pat develops the program and makes the exercise session into a social time by giving participants a chance to lead. She adds to the fun by sometimes counting repeated motions in other languages. Realizing the importance of this daily exercise, Pat arranges for a substitute volunteer if she is unable to be there. This resident led activity brings others to the pool for a consistent, free fitness routine. Thank you, Pat.

It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood. We have completed our Benevolent Care Fund Drive. We’ll have a celebration at our Legacy Tree December 5. We will be putting 8 new leaves on the tree signifying 8 new legacy donations to the Benevolent Care Fund. The Legacy Tree has been relocated in the Cross Creek Lobby where the celebration will take place at 2:00 pm, December 5. We are in the midst of our promotion for our Staff Appreciation Fund. If you haven’t contributed yet, please think about doing so.

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Anne Erfle):

No Council Communication Forms were received this month.

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Sherry Stewart):

Clara Parker, Nathan Blumberg and Adam Dickson attended the October Work Session and talked about the commitment of staff to serving on council committees and requested that we involve them with big issues, not Work Orders. Clara stated that we would receive the report about Lake Charles once it has been reviewed by the county and also said that Management is considering a Speakers’ Series (with outside speakers) and a campaign to identify the assistance that residents can already receive here at Charlestown.

Wendel then opened the floor to a discussion about how we can make our community feel safe in the presence of guns. Walt made a motion that the Council study the issue of the presence of firearms and make recommendations at a future Council meeting. Seconded and all in favor with one abstention. Sam and Janet and Ken will take the lead in organizing a meeting to discuss the topic.

TREASURER’S REPORT (Jack Murnane):

During the month of October, two checks were issued in the total amount of $314.14 and deposits received in the amount of $1,443.00. The checks were for NaCCRA (the National Continuing Care Residents Association) Membership $200.00 and for Archive supplies $114.14. The deposits were $1,441.00 in Archive donations and a $2.00 Residents’ Association dues payment for 2018-19. There was a $40.00 account adjustment for a misread ATM deposit.

At the end of the month of October, the book balance amounted to $ 5,623.11 and the bank balance amounted to $ 5,623.11.  No difference.

REPORTS—COMMITTEES

BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):

The committee did not meet in October.

The next meeting is November, 28th 2018 CTS116 at 2:00.

COMMUNICATIONS (Walt Howe, Chair):

The Communications Committee met on October 22nd at 2:00 PM in Charlestown Square classroom 116. 11 members and two guests attended the meeting.

  • The information file “10 ways to stay informed at Charlestown,” originally drafted by Community Resources and available at lobby desks and the web site was discussed. We want to be sure that it reflects the best ways to reach residents and for residents to stay informed. After much discussion, Mary Evans offered to draft an updated list.
  • Charlie Eichenlaub updated us on the latest improvements to the Evergreen topics that he regularly submits to the Sunburst.
  • The scripts for current video skits and draft scripts for future skits have been distributed to the concerned committees for review and comment. Some good replies have been received. It is an ongoing project.
  • Hope Tillman briefed us on her upcoming ELLIC class designed to teach residents how to find information on the resident web site. The class will be held in the auditorium on 14 November at 10am.

The next meeting of the Communications Committee will be on November 26th, at 2:00 PM in CTS classroom 116. The next Website Subcommittee meeting will be the hour before at 1pm.

CONSERVATION (Bill Tilles, Chair):

Present for the October 16 meeting were members of the Committee, 1 guest and Michelle Fenn, Staff Liaison.

The Committee reviewed the recycling and trash statistics for September. Both the recycling and trash numbers were lower than average. The Committee will continue to review the numbers monthly with our staff liaison, Michelle Fenn.

Regarding recycling, it was reported that an additional supply of the new re-usable green to-go containers is now available for residents to purchase for carry-out. To quote Aida Blanco, Dining Services Director, “our green initiative has been well received, and we have received a lot of positive comments about having this option available”. These optional green containers replace the white Styrofoam carry-out containers, which can’t be recycled.  They can be purchased in Charlestown stores in one of two ways: you can either purchase a container or purchase a token which can be exchanged for a container at the restaurants.

The on-campus plastic bag collection project continues to work well. Several resident volunteers collect the plastic bags from containers in each of our eight campus laundry rooms several times a week and take them to the local Giant for recycling. We encourage all residents to collect their plastic bags and put them in the containers in the laundry rooms.

Tri-fold poster boards have been displayed near the restaurants in the past month. This is a work in progress and we will continue to refine the contents to show the items that can be recycled. Marty Tewksbury. the leader of the recycling effort, will post his phone number and email address on the poster boards so residents can consult with him when there are questions. 

The next meeting of the Conservation Committee will be at 2:00 pm on November 20, 2018 in HR142.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair):

The Dining Committee met on October 15, 2018 with 13 members, 1 guest, and Ken Zahn, Dining Services Asst. Director.

Good comments were received by those on the committee who experienced the soft opening of the renovated Shortline, especially the salad bar. The movement of tables by residents to allow large groups to dine together was discouraged because of blocking the aisles and disrupting the flow of traffic. However, there may be some table movement allowed of the tables across the main aisle as long as the tables do not infringe on any aisle space.

Upcoming events include the Dining Services Town Hall on 10/26/18 at 11:00 am in the auditorium, and the Coffees with the Managers which are as scheduled. Note that the Fireside coffee on 11/13/2018 will be held in the bar area.

There were numerous examples mentioned of people getting multiple desserts, fruit, milk, and other items to take back to their apartments, especially at buffet locations. There are incidents of people coming into the restaurants shortly before closing when the sign in desks are not in operation and helping themselves without providing a meal plan number. If anyone notices this happening, please report it to one of the managers.

Hope Tillman, the Council member who manages the CCI Charlestown website, requested Dining Committee members to offer suggestions to her for ways to improve the website.

Main items noted in the minutes of the subcommittees included the following:

Dietary Focus Group – The recipe books at the dining rooms have not yet been updated 3 weeks after new menus started. Chef Victor will follow up. People who have issues with gluten and/or lactose fillers in prescription medicine should advise their pharmacist.

Atrium – Initiated new training program for servers. Balcony seating will be available when staff is increased.

Chesapeake/Shortline – No meeting due to soft opening of Shortline.

Fireside – Chef Bailey announced that the least ordered salad, sandwich, and entrée on the menu will be replaced every three weeks with a different offering.

Refectory/Terrace – Carry out beverage now include sodas and juices. Outdoor seating will be available on Terrace until end of October. Terrace is serving an all-time high in number of meals.

General – Crab Feast was a big success serving more people than ever. A shortage of green carry out containers is due to backorder at supplier.

The next meeting will be November 19, 2018 in Brookside 1 at 2:00 pm.

FINANCE (Gil Fisher, Chair):

The Finance Committee met on October 30 with Pam Stiner, Finance Director. Clara Parker also attended.

Pam presented the September Occupancy Rates and Financial Reports. Occupancy Rates for September were excellent—over 98 percent for independent living, assisted living, and memory care. Skilled nursing occupancy was almost 95 percent, which is higher than the year-to-date average (due in part to some outside admissions and respite care placements).

The September Financial Report for operating revenue was $309, 000 over budget projections. Revenues from independent living continue to bolster the budget picture. Operating income (derived by subtracting operating expenses from operating revenue) showed $300, 000 over budget projections. So our financial health is good! Operating expenses were right on the budget projections.

For non-operating income, things were fairly normal although investment income was slightly lower than budget projections, as could be expected by market behavior.

Turning to restricted funds, 16 residents received assistance in September for benevolent care. The expenditures were around $93,000, very close to what Pam had projected.

Finally, the Committee discussed how we can help residents understand the differences in calculating monthly CCI fees and Social Security benefit cost-of-living increases. The Social Security cola for 2019 was announced at 2.8 percent. The Charlestown budget information will be announced in the next 2 weeks.

The next meeting will be on November 27 at 9 am in Brookside 2 Classroom. 

GROUNDS (Ted Durr, Chair):

The committee met on 23 October 2018 with five members, three guests and Kevin Crawford and Ryan Truitt, staff, present.

The meeting opened with a review of committee operational rules. The grounds auditing procedure was explained and the open spaces were listed on the docket. Lucy McKean volunteered to take Caton Ridge and Harborview area. Jennifer Dempsey volunteered to take the St. Charles area and also to join the committee. The committee would welcome new volunteers.

After this, Ryan Truitt gave a report on grounds staff plans for October – December.

The chair then presented information on the status of the Lake Charles study which was then in the hands of Baltimore County.  He pointed out that Lake Charles is not really a natural Lake but rather is a retainment pond and thus responds to climate and environment like a retainment body of water rather than a lake.

The Chair pointed out the need for a study of climate impact on the environment. He called for creation of a subcommittee to do this. Tim Barnum volunteered to serve on it.

John Lorenz reported that signage needed repair at the entrance to the grave memorial bricks. Louise Dempsey reported that the ID sign for the Old Stone Bridge was down. (Later that same day she observed that it had been repaired.)

The next meeting will be November 27th at 10:00 AM in the General Services Conference Room.

HEALTH SERVICES (Louise Dempsey, Chair):

The Health Committee met on 10/9/2018 with 9 members and 1 guest present.

The Medical Center held two flu clinics in September. Over 1,000 Independent Living residents were vaccinated. Those numbers do not include residents of RG/Caton Woods or those who received their flu shots in the doctors’ office.

The Hand Washing video made last flu season by Dr. Stephen Schimpff will be re-run on 972.

Hand Washing posters will be put on bulletin boards and on channel 972.

Dr. Pelczar shared the CDC statistics on last year’s flu season. From October through March, there were 31,000 hospitalizations from flu-like symptoms. Ten percent of the adults who developed pneumonia related to the flu died. The predominate strain last year was the H3N2. The FDA-approved flu vaccine for people 65+ is the high dose formula of fluzone and is 4 times the regular dose.

The 3rd dedicated collection of old/unused prescription and over the counter drugs again resulted in large amounts of medications turned in. This project will continue on a quarterly basis. The next collection is planned for January 14th.

The manufacturing shortage of the Shingrix shingles vaccine continues. However, it is anticipated that the manufacturer will be able to fulfill all orders starting in January.

In a meeting with Dean Crawford, Medical Center Administrator, he listed the following resources available to residents:

Physician on Call 24/7
Social Worker
Clinical Nurse Specialist
Psychiatric Nurse
Alcohol and depression screening are routinely done.
Annual wellness visits will be scheduled for Medical Center patients and are covered by Medicare.

RG/Caton Woods
Flu shots were administered to Caton Woods residents.

The Ladies Boutique plans another sale in Caton Woods in late November.

The next Health meeting is scheduled for November 13th at 11am in HR142.

HOUSEKEEPING (Diane Lyons, Chair):

The meeting was held on Friday, October 19th.

Reports from committee members noted areas, particularly carpeting, that need attention.  Copies of the detailed minutes were sent to the Housekeeping Dept.

The concern about the appearance of the Parkview 3rd floor public area has been alleviated by removal of the stacks of jigsaw puzzles.  Also a note requesting residents not to leave open bags of cat litter or ripening bananas was placed on the chest in that area.

TV SKIT:   The TV skit proposed by Communications Committee was reviewed.  No objections to the format.

An article on Mice and Mess has been submitted to the Sunburst, recommending residents place the plastic trash bags in a container to prevent mice from chewing into the bags.

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

LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Seldra Funk, Chair):

Our Committee met on Wednesday, September 12.

CANDIDATE EVENTS: There was a wrap-up on the events with the four Congressional candidates sponsored by the committee. The Elijah Cummings and Richmond Davis forum was held on October 8 and 118 residents were present.

ELECTION INFORMATION: A hand-out was reviewed concerning the November 6th elections. This information was put on the ccicharlestown website for use by residents.

STATE BALLOT QUESTIONS: Phyllis Lansing reviewed the two state-wide ballot questions.

MaCCRA: Ann MacKay spoke about her meeting with Rona Kramer, Secretary of Aging, and about potential MaCCRA legislation for 2019.

Our next meeting will be held on November 14 at 10:00 in BR-1.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair):

The Committee met October 23, 2018 with Kevin Crawford and Jesse Morgan from General Services.

General Services Update:

  • Elevator #2 in St. Charles is completed. Left elevator installation has begun. Estimated completion date is 11/25/18.
  • Repair of St. Charles roof is in progress.
  • Fire alarm testing started throughout the campus.
  • Yearly inspection of elevators has been completed and certificates are forthcoming.

Issues discussed:

  • Shuffle Board Court–various repairs needed.
  • Replacing light bulbs in several buildings.

Next meeting Tuesday, November 27, 2018 at 2 PM in General Services Meeting Room.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):

Our committee met on October 17, 2018, back on our advertised schedule, from 2:05 to 3:00 pm.  Ten members were present.  One guest and Mary Evans, from Community Services, also attended.

Pet Lovers:  reported that their last two meetings had been well attended; we currently have 194 pets belonging to 155 owners at Charlestown.  They discussed a variety of issues, and began forming a small committee to review policies for pet owners so that both pet owners and non-owners would feel equally welcome at Charlestown; the committee will comprise both owners and non-owners.  Formation of a “complaints” committee was also proposed.    People without pets are welcome to attend the Pet Lovers monthly meetings.

Mission Moments:  will begin using promos in Sunburst and on TV to promote this program.  A “Walk the Talk” presentation will be undertaken in the spring.

Resident Values and Harmonious Living:  concern was expressed about the issue of guns; Sam, Wendel, and Janet Allan and Ken Jarboe (Security and Safety) will meet with the Administration to discuss this.  Regarding harmonious living, Greg Mazzeo (Diversity and Inclusion Committee) and Sam will discuss some coordinated projects to focus on continuing issues in this area.

Eating Together:  Bernice de Bels and Phyl Lansing have been inviting small groups of diverse people to eat together. This is a chance to converse and get to know each other.  They will continue to coordinate this effort.

Birthday Angels:  doing well!  Money was allocated in the budget for Birthday Angels’ expenses.

Resident Welcome Cards:  duplication of this effort was discussed.  Mary Evans will help to consolidate this effort and revise the card sent.  Jackie Graham is currently sending sympathy cards to families and would like to continue this activity.

Transportation:  the scheduled second meeting of the Administration focus group was cancelled without notice due to a campus emergency.  The Resident Life subcommittee met to organize; it will meet on the first Friday of the month (except August and December) from 10:30 to 11:30 am in Rm HR142.  A scheduled EMV meeting was cancelled due to the campus emergency.  Mary Jo Warthen will meet with David Schuch to discuss questions raised.

The next meeting of the Resident Life Committee will be held on November 21 at 2:00 pm in HR142.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):

The Committee met on Tuesday October 9 with 7members, three guests, and security staff, Reyn Giese and Alex Kareem present.

Committee voted unanimously to expand the description of the Committee and seek Resident Council approval. The wording change was presented in the form of a motion during New Business.

Alex Kareem reviewed Charlestown regulations for EMV users. All EMVs should be registered and forms can be obtained from Alex. Users have to learn how to drive the vehicle on their own. Committee recommended staff explore contracting with an outside company to offer voluntary training.

Reyn Giese discussed some of the legal issues surrounding residential gun ownership. This is a complex issue and the Committee continues to work with security to support a Take Back Your Gun Day.

Staff responded to several issues. Security staff are very involved in directing and controlling visitor access during large campus events like EXPOs. Traffic cones to prevent parking were placed along the loop road wall in front of Caton Woods to enable safe exit and turning of vehicles and buses. Tailgating at the automatic gate entrance to campus will be looked into by security.

The next meeting is November 13 at 1pm in Brookside Classroom 1.

WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Sherry Parrish):

Sherry began by applauding residents for their attitude toward flu shots.
She gave a General Services update:

There are a number of projects in process:  Brookside, Herbert’s Run, Cross Creek refreshes are on schedule, as is the St. Charles elevator project. Parking lot restriping will start tomorrow in Herbert’s Run and Brookside. Sidewalk leveling is underway. The cooling tower update has begun. The Charlestown Square parking lot will be started soon.

There will be a Town Hall on November 20.

Residents have recently received their annual contact information review document and are urged to return this if any changes are desired. There is a major change this year in the policy regarding allowing an authorized party to enter a resident’s apartment and take possession of personal property after the resident vacates the apartment or passes away. Residents can authorize up to two authorized persons to enter your apartment. If this is not signed, the current policy requiring a “Letter of Administration” or similar document from the state probate court before allowing entry to your apartment will continue.

Sherry ended by announcing that there would be events celebrating those that stepped up during the recent crisis.