Last Updated on October 8, 2021

(web version)

January 7, 2020
Residents’ Council Website:

President Anne Erfle called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm on January 7, 2020. The December 3, 2019 minutes were approved as distributed. 61 association members attended. Visitors included residents, Charles Denton, member 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.

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

  • Walt Howe, Vice President
  • Hope Tillman, Secretary
  • Ron DeAbreu, Assistant Secretary, read the Treasurer’s Report
  • Jean Eichenlaub, Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
  • Dick Crebs, Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
  • Bob Caulfield, Chair of the Dining Committee
  • Pat Rudolph, Co-Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Eugenia High, Chair of the Grounds Committee
  • Jim Stadter, 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

Lois Kimber, Chair of Health Services, was unable to attend. Her report included in the listing of committee reports was read by Anne Erfle, President.



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

President Erfle adjourned the formal meeting at 7:30 p.m.

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary

Ron DeAbreu, Residents’ Council Assistant Secretary



Mission Moments

Some residents never stop going the extra mile.  According to Stella and Don Brodeur, Nina Griffith is one of those people.  As a resident of St. Charles, she seems to step in whenever and wherever she is needed.  Most recently when Charlestown had no water, she checked with some neighbors and if they needed water, she went out and purchased it.  She brought water to four apartments who were not able to supply it for themselves.  “We are all better for having Nina as our neighbor and friend.  She adds to the quality of our lives.”

Mary Conover lives on the second floor of Building 7, Courtyard Crossing.  Probably in her late 80’s, she has been confined to a power wheelchair for several years.  She has Home Support mornings and evenings.  Gloria Palladi stated “When talking to her on Friday or Saturday on the phone, it sounded like she had never used the elevator in the 8-9 link before.  But Mary quickly learned that elevator was now essential for getting to the Terrace Cafe.  Mary realized that with the building 7 elevator being out, some of her neighbors, because of their age, were unable to ambulate the distance required to get to the Terrace for meals.  Many of them did not know how to order meals for delivery and worried about the added expense.  The Administration reached out to the residents and Security did assist.  None the less, Mary set up an action plan to go to the Terrace to get meals and deliver them to her neighbors.  Even though she needed assistance for her daily living, she went the extra mile to assure her neighbors received meals in a timely manner.  Now that is a perfect example of MEALS ON WHEELS!

Paul Canner was nominated by Deborah Richards for his contribution to being a good neighbor at Charlestown.  During the water main break incident, Paul realized about 6:30 pm that the water pressure in the units was very low.  Paul went to the Giant and purchased multiple gallons of water and passed them out to those needing water on his floor.  Refusing any money for his good deeds, he asked that contributions be made to Benevolent Care.  As Deborah stated, “Two good deeds in one action.  What a great neighbor and a great supporter of our future.”


President’s Announcements

Bill Tilles has resigned from the Residents’ Council for health reasons.  We thank him for his service as Conservation Committee Chair and as Treasurer.  Jane Amtmann has joined the Council.  She will continue to serve as Assistant Chair of the Housekeeping Committee.

The audit of the RC checking account for FY 9/1/2018-8/31/2019 has been completed, and no discrepancies were noted.  Thanks to Bob Socher and Janel Douglass who conducted the audit.  They commended Jack Murnane for his complete and accurate record keeping.

The RC L/P Committee and MaCCRA are co-sponsoring a Candidates Forum.  A primary special election to fill the District 7 congressional seat, which is vacant due to the death of Representative Elijah Cummings, will be held on 2/4/20.  A total of 32 Maryland residents have registered to be candidates.  To date 25 of the candidates have agreed to participate in our Forum which will take place on 1/18/20 from 2-4 pm in the Conference Center.  I urge you to attend and meet the candidates.

I have appointed Anna Marie Ciarrocchi as Chair and Hope Tillman as Assistant Chair of the Nominating and Elections Committee.  The committee will begin meeting this month to select candidates for the RC for next year.  The election will be held in August.  Charlestown residents may nominate residents for the council and may also nominate themselves.


Up until now, the monthly Voices of the Council session on Channel 972 has been a reading the minutes of the meeting for those who did not attend the meeting, but since the meeting is televised and available on demand at any time during the month, it is really duplication. We plan to revamp the telecast in 2020 to make it much more useful and informative. We are planning to announce the highlights of the monthly Council activities and group projects but go further and feature a different committee each month explaining the purpose of that committee and its current activities or promoting a current activity of that committee.  The goal is to give a much better picture to residents of the value the Residents’ Council provides.


From now on, we will pick out one or more activities of Council committees for expanded coverage. Hope told you how we plan to change the monthly Voices of the Council TV Program on Channel 972. In January we will feature the Legislative/Political Committee and their sponsorship of the January 18th Forum at Charlestown for Candidates for the late Elijah Cummings’ House of Representatives seat. Ann MacKay will represent the Committee at the Voice of the Council TV Program.


The closing balance at the end of November 2019, was $3668.89. Payments in the amount of $456.07 were made in the month of December. The balance at the end of December 2019 was $3212.82.


Benevolent Care No meeting  


preceded by the Website Subcommittee in the same room at 1:00 PM

Jan. 27th at 2:00PM Charlestown Square 116
Conservation Jan. 21th at 2:00PM Herbert’s Run 142
Dining Jan. 20th at 2:00PM Brookside Classroom 1
Finance Jan. 28th at 9:00AM Brookside Classroom 2
Grounds Jan. 28th at 10:00 AM General Services Conf. Room
Health Services Jan. 14th at 11:00 AM Brookside Classroom 2
Housekeeping Jan. 17th at 2:00 PM Herbert’s Run 142
Legislative/Political Jan. 15th at 10:30 AM Brookside Classroom 1
Maintenance & Engineering Jan. 28th at 2:00PM General Services Conf. Room
Resident Life Jan. 15th at 2:00PM Herbert’s Run 142
Safety & Security Jan. 14th at 1:00 PM Brookside Classroom 1

BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):

We did not meet in December, and we will not meet in January.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Chair):

The Communications Committee did not meet in December.

Hope Tillman helped me get my Alexa enabled device up and running.  When we contacted Amazon customer service for help, they actually had us turn the echo dot on/off three times.

p>Three engineers are riding in a car: One is a mechanical engineer, one is an electrical engineer, and one is a computer software engineer. The car breaks down and coasts to the side of the road.

“Hang on,” says the mechanical engineer. “The problem is probably the engine, let me have a look at it and I’ll have us on the road again in no time.”

“Wait,” says the electrical engineer. “The way it just stopped. I think it’s the electrical system. Let me have a look and I’ll get us going again in a minute or two.”

“Hold on,” says the computer engineer. “Why don’t we all just get out of the car and get in again, and then see if it starts?”

There will be an ELLIC Class on Alexa on February 5.

The next website meeting is 1/27/2020 at 1pm and the Communications meeting is immediately following at 2 pm in Charlestown Square 116.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):

Our committee did not meet on December 20, 2019.   However, attached is the trash/recycling report for the month of November.


Paper, plastic, etc. 18.58 tons

Grease 1.32 tons

Total tons recyling: 29.9 tons


Independent living: 58.8 tons

Construction, old corporate furniture, etc. 22.2 tons

Next Meeting:  January 21, 2020 at 2pm, Room 142


DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair):

The Dining Services Committee did not meet in December.

The Dining Committee Chair and Assistant Chair met with new Dining Services Director Ken Zahn to offer our support and to establish a team-based working relationship.  It is our goal to discuss transparently resident concerns, committee suggestions to management and management input as to their feasibility.

Our next meeting will be held on Monday, January 20, 2020 at 2:00 pm in BR-1

FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):

The Finance Committee did not meet in December.

Our goal for the year is to continue to:

  1. Monitor and review pertinent financial matters.
  2. Keep you informed of development and promote ways to reduce waste and control expenses.

Our next meeting will be on January 28, @9 am. In Brookside 2 classroom.

GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair):

The Grounds Committee did not meet in December 2019.

However, we would like to acknowledge a few of the 2019 activities.  The Committee reviewed Brightwood’s site assessment of Charlestown’s grounds which made recommendations for property enhancements which were approved.  Solitude Lake Management has implemented additional algae control measures for Lake Charles.  The volunteer work of the Nature Trail Committee, the Charlestown Tree Working Group (TWG), and various individuals who engage in on-going activities to improve our campus grounds should be praised highly.  Our Committee is also very grateful for the cooperation of the Charlestown General Services Staff (Kevin Crawford, Ryan Truitt and Kiril Apostolov) who regularly attend our meetings.

Our 2020 goal with the help of all of you is to ensure that Charlestown’s grounds remain the best of Erickson’s properties and that its beauty will continue to bring us joy.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 10 am in the General Services Conference Room.

HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair):

The Health Services Committee did not meet in December.

Announcement: the next medication collection will be January 27, 2020 at the Fireside, Cross Creek and the Terrace.

The next meeting will be January 14, 2020 at 11:00am in Brookside 2.

HOUSEKEEPING (Jim Stadter, Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee did not meet in December. The next meeting will be on January 17, 2020, at 2 pm in HR-142.

Nineteen attended the committee meeting on December 11, 2019.

The first topic addressed was our January 18 Candidates Forum for the Special Election to fill the congressional seat vacated by the death of Elijah Cummings.  The process for this forum was reviewed and assignments were given to committee members.  All 32 of the candidates registered for the Special Election have been sent invitations to our Candidates Forum which will be in the Erickson Conference Center. 25 have responded that they will attend.

The committee also heard about several major upgrades for our tracking of legislation.  These improvements will make it easier for residents to learn about legislation of interest during the 2020 session, through the website.

Karline Tierney, who was an Equal Rights Amendment activist throughout the 1970s, spoke about the past struggles to achieve passage of the ERA.  Karline also updated us on the current status of the ERA.

Please note that there is a change to our regular date and time for our January meeting.  Our next committee meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 15 at 10:30 a.m. in Brookside Classroom 1.

Though our committee did not meet in the month of December, here are a couple of updates.

Because of flooding issues at the entrance to Building 1, additional exterior drainage was recently installed. Once assured that the waterproofing issue has been resolved, the entrance carpeting will be replaced.

Two new stop signs at mobility crossings should be installed by the end of the week.

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, January 28tth at 2pm in the GS Conf. Rm located on “T” level in Herbert’s Run.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):

The Resident Life Committee of the Residents’ Council did not meet in December 2019.  The next meeting will convene at 2:00 pm on Wednesday, January 15, 2020 in HR 142.

As requested by the Residents’ Council for committee reports for December 2019, here is a brief summary of highlights of the Resident Life Committee for 2019.

1)  The “bread and butter” functions of the Resident Life Committee are Birthday Angels, and Resident Welcome and Condolence Cards.  A good year was experienced by all, including some important personnel changes in the Birthday Angels.

2)  Harmonious Living comprises Mission Moments and Eating Together; both flourished.

3)  The Charlestown Pet Group continues robustly with a change in name, leadership, and meeting time and location (4th Tuesday, 11:00 am, BRCL2).   Bob Pelott, the new head of the Pet Group, is now also a new member of the Residents’ Council and co-chair of the Resident Life Committee.

4)  In collaboration with the Safety and Security Committee, the report of the Firearms Study Group on the issue of gun control has been compiled, sent to Clara Parker, and forwarded to the Board of Directors.  Two members of the BOD are scheduled to meet directly with the Firearms Study Group to discuss the report, a first in the relationship between the Residents’ Council and BOD!

5)  Discussions are ongoing about a new collaboration between residents and management under the banner of the Charlestown Diversity and Inclusion Council.

6)  A residents’ Employee Mentoring program is also under development thanks to Charlie Eichenlaub.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):

The Safety and Security Committee did not meet in December. The next meeting is January 14, 2020 at 1PM in Brookside Classroom 1. In response to a resident question about parking violation at the December Resident Council meeting, Security was contacted and stated that the new parking and speeding violation plan that involved fines was in effect.

I would like to make an announcement on behalf of the Safety & Security and Health Services Committee.

In 2020, the Safety & Security and Health Services Committees in addition to the Parkinson’s Support Group will be working with Sherry Parrish, Director of Resident Life on a Falls Prevention program. This effort will involve the Outpatient Rehabilitation Unit, the Fitness Center, and the Medical Center.  A variety of activities, such as Sunburst articles, 972 programs and a major informational panel will be implemented throughout the year.


The Medical Center reports that 1600 residents have received flu shots this year.

Dining Services has had a number of staff moves in the last month giving opportunities and more experience for staff.  David Olson is the new Executive Chef for the Atrium Restaurant

Wilton Overlook phase 2 construction is underway.  The First Look will be taped tomorrow Wednesday, January 8th.

Projects recently completed include the handrails added to the Edgewood bridge and the wood-toned floor at the Terrace Grill.