Last Updated on June 26, 2021

(web version)

February 4, 2020
Residents’ Council Website:

President Anne Erfle called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm on February 4, 2020. The January 7, 2019 minutes were approved as distributed. 63 association members attended. Visitors included residents, Naomi McAfee, Charles Denton and Karline Tierney, members of the Board of Directors, and Heather Sheridan, 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, Treasurer
  • Jean Eichenlaub, Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
  • Dick Crebs, Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
  • Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair of the Dining Committee
  • Pat Rudolph, Co-Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Eugenia High, Chair of the Grounds Committee
  • Lois Kimber, Chair of the Health Services Committee
  • Jane Amtmann, Assistant Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
  • Seldra Funk, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
  • Hope Tillman, Secretary for Maintenance & Engineering Committee
  • Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Nominating & Elections Committee
  • Sam Cushman, Chair of the Resident Life Committee
  • Janet Allan, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee



Heather Sheridan 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 7:45 p.m.

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary



Mission Moments:
A Chrismon tree differs from the traditional Christmas tree in that it is decorated only with clear lights and Chrismons, which are ancient symbols of Christ or his ministry and are made from white and gold material.  Knowing our community was in need of new symbols, Eleanor Grieb got her friends who could do cross stitch needlework to make dozens of new ones for our Chrismon service.  Eleanor also works in the Arts and Crafts room creating and instructing others in the art of stained glass.

Al Schlueter is like an Ever-Ready battery who keeps on ticking from one good deed to another.  During roof reconstruction at Brookside, some parking spaces were changed to accommodate construction equipment, and Al offered his nearby space to a resident who was mobility challenged.  For years he has assisted with the construction and design of Winter Putterland.  His woodworking and engineering skills have been instrumental in creating many obstacles for the miniature golf course.  Weekly, Al goes to Linthicum to assist in odds and ends repairs for his church

Nan Amann notes that Doris Cooney embodies the Charlestown Way by being involved in so many activities.  She shepherded a book club for 20 years and started and sustained the monthly “Around Town” bus tour, helping to introduce people to the Catonsville area.  Doris has also been a friendly visitor, helping newcomers get acquainted with our community.  She also assists Sales and Marketing with their events.       

President’s Announcements

I want to tell you about the results of the Council’s meeting with the Board of Directors on the Firearms Safety Report.  First, I want to give a little history.  After a murder/suicide at Charlestown in Fall 2018, and based on concerns from residents, the Council appointed a Firearms Safety Work Group to explore issues and make recommendations. 

The Work Group recommended initiatives to improve firearms safety and also recommended a survey of residents. The report was submitted to management and our BOD.  At our meeting with the Board on 1/8/20, it announced its decision of no change in current policy and no survey. Clara Parker agreed that the Council would be briefed on how the Health and Wellness Program addresses issues, including home safety for residents with cognitive impairments. 

The summary of the Firearms Safety Report will be made available to residents upon request. In her report Hope Tillman will explain how residents can request the report. I will also send the final version of the summary to Committee Chairs so that they can share them with interested Committee members.

Finally, on Thursday, March 12th at 10am, I will be presenting an ELLIC class called “Charlestown 101: Understanding the Residents’ Council.”  You might want to sign up for it to learn more about what the Council does, especially if you are a new resident or are considering running for the Council.  Other Council members will also be at the class to answer questions.


 Voices of Council Channel 972 feature this month will describe the ongoing process by the Nominating Committee to recruit new Council members to run for election. Look for it on Friday this week on 972 or On Demand from My Erickson.


Announcement:  Ron DeAbreu will fill the position of Treasurer.

Anne reported on the meeting of two Council members with members of the Board of Directors on firearms safety.

Walt Howe reported that the Voices of the Council for January production is complete. It is an interview with the Legislative/Political Committee where they highlight the upcoming Candidates Forum.

Wendell Thompson provided an update on a meeting concerning the art thefts from the Gallery that he attended for the Council. The Gallery is now locked from 7 P.M. to 6:00 AM. The recommendation for a camera in the Gallery was discussed.

Anna Marie Ciarrocchi announced the members of this year’s Nominating & Elections Committee to the Residents’ Council members.

The summary of the Firearms Safety Report can be requested via the form on on the Council Reports page, by email to, and by phone at 781-424-6358.


The closing balance of the Council account at the end of December was $3212.82. Since there was no income received nor expenditures in January, the balance at the end of January was unchanged, i.e. $3212.82.


Benevolent Care

Feb. 26th at 2:00 PM

Charlestown Square 116


Feb. 24th at 2:00PM

Charlestown Square 116


Feb. 18th at 2:00PM

Herbert’s Run 142


Feb. 17th at 2:00PM

Brookside Classroom 1


Feb. 25th at 9:00AM

Brookside Classroom 2


Feb. 25th at 10:00 AM

General Services Conf. Room

Health Services

Feb. 11th at 11:00 AM

Brookside Classroom 2


Feb. 21th at 2:00 PM

Herbert’s Run 142


Feb. 12th at 10:00 AM

Brookside Classroom 1

Maintenance & Engineering

Feb. 25th at 2:00PM

General Services Conf. Room

Resident Life

Feb. 19th at 2:00PM

Herbert’s Run 142

Safety & Security

Feb. 11th at 1:00 PM

Brookside Classroom 1


BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):
There was no meeting in January.

2020 Benevolent Care Strategy

  1. 20 new planned gifts
  2. 20 new monthly donors

(These 40 new gifts can be at any level/ possible matching gift donor, raffle prizes to entice people to sign up).

Some thought will be given to changing up the Treat of the Quarter program, to do something that may encourage new residents to sign on as monthly donors. 

Next meeting will be Wednesday, Feb. 26th at 2:00PM in Charlestown Square 116.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Co-Chair):
A question about communication on fire protection alerts during water outage will be forwarded to the Safety & Security Committee. 

A discussion about free movies on Comcast was prompted by the removal of Turner Classic Movies.  Movies are available on Hallmark, Lifetime, among other channels. Channel 298 was a considered alternative, but apparently while some residents have access, others do not.  Indeed, even for those with access, some have free movies, while other must rent.  An email was sent to IT requesting clarification.  Precious Hardcastle forwarded same to General Services.

Wayne Smith presented suggested changes to the Visitor Passes. These will be shared with Safety and Security for a joint presentation to the Residents’ Council.

Website Subcommittee:
Hope Tillman presented upcoming enhancements to MyErickson, as reported at a meeting she attended held by the Erickson team at Corporate in December.   Q1 focus will be on Health care, Dining, Department Directory, Resident Directory, and a RAC (Residents’ Council) icon.  
Site review of Residents’ Council pages was completed during the website subcommittee meeting. 
The TV schedule from Comcast has been updated on
We were impressed with the demo of search improvements.

Next Communications Committee Meeting:  February 24, 2020 at 2pm, in CTS 116.

At last month’s meeting, a resident pointed out that the hospitalization info on the scroll was out of date.  This has been addressed and the resident expressed her satisfaction. Now the hospital information shows the date the information was updated.  Please bring such issues to our attention.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
Our committee met on January 21, 2020 with Michelle Fenn (Housekeeping) present.

Questions for Michelle Fenn regarding what happens when a resident vacates an apartment led to a recommendation that we consult Jessie Morgan in Custom Interiors and Kevin Crawford in Maintenance.

The annual Recycling and Trash Statistics show that we recycled 317.31 tons of recycling and 992.88 tons of trash.

Outside the auditorium at tonight’s meeting is a display of non-recyclable materials that have been in use at Charlestown Dining Rooms. It was noted that some residents had questions about the Holiday schedule.  There are no longer cubby stuffers notifying about the schedule.  

The Holiday schedule is as follows:  all buildings have trash pick-up on Tuesday and Friday.  The recycling for Caton Ridge, Harborview, Herbert’s Run, and Saint Charles is on Wednesday and for Chapel Court, Brookside, Fountain Hill, Maple Terrace and Parkview is on Thursday.

There was a review of the current status of the posters that are being developed for recycling awareness.  We hope to have them ready by late March or April, hopefully in time for Earth Day.

Next Meeting:  February 18th, 2020 at 2pm, the Residents Council Room, HR 142

DINING SERVICES (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Assistant Chair):
Significant recent changes in management staffing in the dining venues were necessitated by people leaving and an attempt to place the right people with the right experience at each venue. The goal is to benefit residents and to allow for employee development and satisfaction. Changes are anticipated to be completed by the end of February.

Point of Sale system is changing in 2020. Charlestown Gift cards may be used until 31 OCT 2020 at restaurants and stores and until March 2021 in the stores. Refectory renovation is on hold until the vent hood is replaced at the Shortline.

Subcommittees meeting in December and January noted issues in commonality, including appropriate and disposable containers in carryout service; consistency in food preparation; too much salt; food items need to be cut in smaller pieces; need of additional icons noting dairy, tree nuts, shellfish, egg and gluten friendly products, including pasta and unseasoned rice.

Committee members discussed “pro-active” measures we can take to help management enhance residents’ dining experience and improve its consistency. Using comment cards, soon to be enhanced; informing management in a timely manner of specific problems and positive and negative experiences; reinforcing the servers’ positive training procedures, such as, reviewing the completed order and checking back after the course is served to assure everything is okay; engaging servers, put them at ease, be pleasant, don’t confront.

Question to discuss: Would it be appropriate (helpful) for residents to participate in staff training sessions acting as surrogate diners in mock dining experiences?

The next meeting is scheduled for February 17th at 2:00 pm Brookside Classroom 1

FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):
The Finance Committee met on January 28, with Pamela Stiner, Finance Director and Eric Schwab, Assistant Finance Director.

 Eric presented the Occupancy and Financial reports for December.  Independent Living 98.2%, Assisted Living 97.7%, Memory Care 100%, Skilled Nursing 92.4% and Memory Care/Skilled Nursing 93.5%.  All areas exceeded budget projections for the year. 

The December total operating income of $724,000 was better than the budgeted amount.  For the year, operating income of $9.6 million was $1.9 million favorable to budget.  Nonoperating income was expected to be negative; however, better than expected investment income caused the loss to be less than budgeted.

Turning to restricted funds in December, 15 residents received benevolent care assistance and these expenditures totaled $80,941. This represents a decrease from prior months in residents needing benevolent assistance. We received several entrance deposit gifts from former residents in the 4th quarter – this helped cover benevolent care expenses without a transfer of funds from the Foundation. To maintain the long-term health of the benevolent care fund, residents are encouraged to consider making donations and to participate in fund raising activities.

We continue to seek cost saving suggestions and all residents are encouraged to reduce cost.  One suggestion is to reduce the need for hard copies by signing up for and using MyErickson.   

Our next meeting will be on February 25, @9 am. In Brookside 2 classroom.

GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair):
The Grounds Committee met on Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 9:30 am with General Services Liaison staff (Kiril Apostolov, Kevin Crawford, and Ryan Truitt).

Kevin Crawford reported that General Services has been allocated $150,000 for land improvements.  Formal plans need to be developed for its use.

Ryan Truitt updated us on weather related equipment and its use.  Shovels have been placed in lobbies for resident’s use.  At a cost of about $20, General Services or Security will help individuals who request snow removal assistance

Staff was thanked for the lake improvements and the Christmas lights. 

Our next meeting will be on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 10 am in the General Services Conference Room.

Below is the answer I received from Kevin Crawford about a path around the lake in response to the question about a path around Lake Charles:  “A fully-compliant ADA path around the entire lake has been designed.  However, cost must be established, and the construction will not be anytime soon.

HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair):

Our committee met January 14, 2020 with David Gearing and Lisa Roeder joining us. The latest information from the CDC regarding the flu as of 1/4/2020 is most states (37) are reporting high activity including Maryland. 

David Gearing spoke about the incentive package for residents who need Assisted Living (AL) can go to Skilled care (providing bed availability) at AL rates while waiting for an opening in AL. A question was asked about the Bridge Services Program in Continuing Care. Staff is trained to work in two areas with a permanent schedule in each area. Presently there are seven employees in this program.

Lisa Roeder, manager of Resident Services Coordinators spoke briefly about dementia. One important aspect is that dementia manifests differently in each individual.  All resident service staff are licensed.

A question was raised about the new Medicare Payment Model in relation to physical therapy.  David Gearing shared there has been no change in physical therapy services here at Charlestown.

The next meeting will be February 11, 2020 at 11:00 AM in Brookside Classroom 2.

HOUSEKEEPING (Jane Amtmann, Assistant Chair):
The housekeeping committee met on January 17 with Michelle Fenn in attendance.  The following buildings were inspected, and their condition was reported: Building 2, & 9, Parkview, Chapel Court, Harbor View, Edgewood, St Charles, and Herbert’s Run. Minor problems with the hallways, elevators, laundry rooms and stairwells were reported and noted. Michelle Fenn informed us that missing or damaged ceiling tiles are not part of housekeeping. Maintenance handles missing or damaged ceiling tiles. Michelle said she will pass on the reported missing and damaged ceiling tiles information to maintenance. For the most part, the committee members are seeing improvements in the overall housekeeping in their inspection areas, especially in the stairwells, hallways and elevators.  Improvement is needed in some laundry and storage areas. Michelle said those areas will be addressed.

Our next meeting will be held on February 21 at 2pm in HR 142.

The Legislative/Political Committee met on Wednesday, January 15.  Preparations were discussed for the Candidates Forum, co-sponsored by MaCCRA, to be held on Saturday, January 18.  Procedures, details for volunteers, and arrival times were finalized.

The legislative tracking system is now active on  An icon on, labeled “Track Maryland Legislation,” will take users directly to the site. The committee selected four bills to be included in the 2020 tracking system.  As additional bills of interest to Charlestown residents are introduced in the Maryland legislature, the committee will add these bills to the tracking system.

The following is a special Legislative/Political Committee report on the Candidates Forum which was held in the John Erickson Conference Center on January 18.  Twenty-two candidates for the congressional seat vacated by Elijah Cummings participated in this event.  Each of the candidates was limited to a 3-minute speech.  After the speeches, there were informal interactions among the candidates and the residents.  The result was an event enjoyed by both the candidates and the residents.

However, during this event, the staff of one of the candidates distributed flyers on many of the residents’ cars.  A cold, hard rain on Saturday afternoon and evening caused the flyers to partially decompose and the subsequent overnight freezing temperature made the materials affix themselves to car windshields.  

Candidate Saafir Rabb and his team came out to clean off the sticky residue from over 100 cars.  Members of the committee later found over two dozen cars that had been overlooked and these windshields have also been cleaned.  Although no candidates at events over the past years have ever put materials on residents’ cars, the committee from now will be explicit with all candidates that no campaign literature is to be put on any vehicles throughout the Charlestown campus. 

Today (February 4), voting for the Special Primary Election has been taking place at the Conference Center.  Within a few days or so, one Republican and one Democratic congressional candidate, who appeared at Charlestown on January 18th, will be announced as the winners of this Special Primary Election.  One of these two winners will be elected to the vacant congressional seat at the Special General Election to be held on April 28.

Our next meeting will be held on February 12 at 10am in HR 142.


  1. General Services Report

Work on the Pond is near completion. Necessary coloring of the water, to help offset the development of algae, will begin in the spring. Dock and pathways will be maintained as needed. Guardrails will be replaced.

Elevator #2 in Bldg.7 and the elevator near the Fireside are to be evaluated for necessary repair or replacement.

Building 1 waterproofing issues have been resolved. Entrance carpeting is scheduled to be replaced.

Installation of automatic doors continues throughout the campus.

The pool area has been refreshed. LED lighting has been installed throughout.

  1. New Issues

Maple Tree, north corner of pool court, to be removed.

Various repair issues Brookside, Edgewood and Buildings 1 & 2.


Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, February 25th at 2pm in the GS Conf. Rm.

NOMINATING & ELECTIONS (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The committee for the 2020 election held its first meeting. Members are Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair, Hope Tillman, Assistant Chair, Bob Caulfield, Bernice DeBels, Louise Dempsey, Pat Kasuda, Anthony Kowalski, and Wendel Thompson.  The Committee is actively seeking candidates and encourages interested residents to nominate themselves or nominate others they recommend. For those who wish to learn more, the ELLIC class on the Residents’ Council which Anne Erfle mentioned in her announcements is a great way to learn more about the work of the Residents’ Council.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):

The January meeting was held on the 15th. 

Harmonious Living:  Pat Kasuda reported that 3 to 5 cards for Mission Moments are submitted every month, thus speaking highly of the program.

Pet Owners:  Ann Erfle and Sam Cushman met with Sherry Parrish regarding dog owners who do not or can no longer follow Resident Guidelines. The question was also raised about consideration for financial contributions of pet owners to cover their community costs.

EMV’s:  The EMV group met recently, with between 15 and 20 people attending.  It was decided that this group would meet four times a year, once per quarter.  Suggestions were made for speakers.  The next Town Hall meeting will address the issue of EMVs.  Eventually a meeting will be called that includes EMV users and residents who do not use EMVs

Governance:  Sam led a discussion about communication between Residents and the Board of Directors. Pat Kasuda gave a detailed explanation of the structure of the Board, after which most of the discussion focused on the role of the two Resident members of the Board. 

The next meeting will be held in HR142 on Wednesday, February 19th at 2:00 PM.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):

The Safety & Security Committee met on January 14 with 13 members, I resident guest, Reyn Giese, Security Manager and the President and Vice President of the Council.

The Report from Security:

  • The majority of residents have registered their cars
  • Warning notices and ticketing for parking/speeding violations are in place. One employee has been disciplined for multiple violations. In response to a question asked at the January Resident Council meeting, violations are cumulative.
  • There was a robust discussion about fire safety including awareness of residents needing assistance in evacuating, and whether dining room staff are trained in evacuation procedures. The Committee suggested that we invite the Fire Department to do a Town Hall on fire safety.

New Business:

  • A member stated that there were no loading/unloading spaces at St Charles and Edgewood
  • Another member raised a concern about packages left unlocked at receptions desks over the weekend
  • A member raised concerns about how residents with cognitive difficulties are being helped. The Chair stated that staff from Resident Life, Security and the Medical Center meet weekly to discuss the needs of such residents and make plans to address these needs.
  • EMV Users Group will meet on February 3.

The next meeting of the Security & Safety Committee will be February 11 at 1PM in Brookside Classroom 1.



Heather has now been at Charlestown for six months. 

This month the spotlight is on the Resident Satisfaction Survey Results. It began with the Town Hall meeting on February 1st. For those who were unable to attend, they can still watch the meeting on MyErickson Community Videos.

The five areas for focus are:

  1. Responsiveness of inquiries and concerns
  2. Timeliness of communications
  3. Appearance of internal and external common areas
  4. The overall dining experience
  5. Confidence in mental health providers

The plan will be developed by February 28th.

Wilton Overlook construction is underway. We have been fortunate with the good weather.

Charlestown is partnering with Sage Care to provide LGBTQ training. Forty leaders have been trained so far, and more training will be happening.

February Balance classes at the Fitness Center. The first six-week class is finishing, and the next class will be starting next Tuesday.

Giving Hearts Day is February 13. Use the opportunity to donate to Benevolent Care.

The next Treasure Sale: February 13 – 15.

Sign up for MyErickson.

Sign up for Swift 911 (Send YES to 443-947-3473 on your cell phone.)

Sign up for online billing.