Last Updated on October 8, 2021
THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
Approved by Council Members by Email
March 3, 2020
Residents’ Council Website: ccicharlestown.org
President Anne Erfle called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm on March 3, 2020. The February 4, 2020 minutes were approved as distributed. 44 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.
Anne called on the following officers and committee chairs for reports; the text of those reports appears following the formal minutes:
- 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
- Bob Caulfield, 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
- 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: None
Clara Parker 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 7:42 p.m.
Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary
ANNOUNCEMENTS/ PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Anne Erfle):
On January 24, residents were waiting in the Fireside Lounge lobby area to sign up for AARP tax preparations. Sign-ups were to begin at 9am, but many residents came early. Realizing that the crowd was getting antsy, Shirley Ripley numbered slips of paper and distributed them to residents thus assigning them a numerical order for their registration. By 8:30am, there were at least 40 residents waiting patiently as the resident sign-up started promptly at 9am. The process moved quickly and efficiently. Shirley Ripley’s assessment of the situation and quick action were greatly appreciated. Thanks to Pat Terry for recognizing the importance of being a good neighbor and submitting this Mission Moment.
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walt Howe): No report this month.
SECRETARY’S REPORT (Hope Tillman):
This report is from actions taken at the February Council Work Session. Janet Allan distributed a chart of actions Security is taking on parking enforcement for residents, for employees, and for visitors and resident hired contractors. The violations are cumulative and there is no time period after which they will be expunged. Janet shared that she was told that the majority of violations have not been residents.
Walt Howe announced that the March topic for the Channel 972 “Voices of the Council” will be Residents’ Association dues. All of the Voices videos will be kept on MyErickson as a way for residents to learn more about the Council. On MyErickson they are listed under Community Videos under Town Hall. These videos will also be on the Council Meetings page of the Residents Website, at https://ccicharlestown.org/council/council-meetings/
Hope Tillman brought forward the proposed revisions to the Bylaws and Policies and Procedures documents on behalf of the Bylaws Committee. Committee members were Ron DeAbreu, Anne Erfle, Steve Harders, Walt Howe, Bill Tilles, and Hope Tillman, Chair. These will be discussed and voted upon in future work session meetings.
TREASURER’S REPORT (Ron DeAbreu):
The closing balance of the Council account at the end of January 2020 was $3,212.82. Expenditures in February totaled $699.98. Income totaled $90. Thus, the account balance at the end of February was $2,602.84.
BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):
The meeting was held on Wednesday, February 26, with Lisa Zehring from Philanthropy attending. The BCF Strategy document with a focus on high level ways to increase fundraising efforts will be presented to the BCF Board and BOD at the March meeting and reviewed with this committee at a future meeting.
Winter Putterland: The inter-community tournament (27 teams) was held on February 26 with Charlestown winning the trophy. Other events included Erickson Corporate (15 teams) Tournament on Friday including hors d’oeuvres/wine tasting and concluding with Open Play on Saturday.
First Quarter Treasure Sale held 2/13-15 was a great success with proceeds at just under $37,000. It is the largest February sale ever.
Giving Hearts Campaign: Erickson rolled out the online giving option via MyErickson at the end of 2019. On “Giving Hearts Day” (February 13th). Members of Exec team passed out treats and postcards with the online access code to make a donation online to our BCF. It simplifies the online giving options when we receive requests.
Philanthropy will begin hosting a Coffee with Philanthropy quarterly, with the first one being in the Chesapeake Lounge on March 19 at 10:00 a.m. Each session will include updates of current activities as well as answering questions.
Tin Cup golf tournament is scheduled for July 13th at Rolling Road Country Club.
The 2020 Gala will be held September 25th from 6 to 10PM; the theme is the Roaring 20’s. New ideas will create a more social atmosphere. There is a committee this year to assist in spreading the word, increasing participation, and encouraging greater vendor support.
The BCF Goal for 2020 is 20 NEW “Treat of the Quarter” participants and 20 new planned gifts. All were encouraged to share the opportunity with friends and neighbors to promote the giving and the program.
Next meeting is March 25th, 2 pm in CTS 116.
COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Chair):
The meeting was held on February 24th. Staff in attendance were Olivia Lippy, Heather Sheridan, and Aida Blanco.
The committee discussed what we can do to promote MyErickson. We also discussed how the committee can better promote the Residents’ Council.
We will likely schedule both a “meet and greet” similar to council chat but held during the day and a council chat sometime in April.
A form to order the Firearms Safety Report is available on ccicharlestown.org on the Council Reports page.
We talked about resident package deliveries. Residents should specify to Amazon that delivery should go to their apartment. Do this through the “add delivery instructions”.
Aida Blanco reported that getting better WI-FI is an ongoing initiative.
The next meeting will be held on March 23rd, in CTS Classroom 116 at 2:00 pm, preceded by the Website Subcommittee Meeting at 1:00 PM.
CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
Our committee met on February 18, 2020 with Michelle Fenn (Housekeeping).
- Michelle Fenn clarified that the holiday schedule for recycling noted in the last minutes applies only to Monday holidays.
- We encourage and commend the informal network that collects cans for the Arbutus Fire Department. Since we do not receive income from recycling, it does not financially impact Charlestown.
- Michelle Fenn will invite someone from Waste Management to speak near the time of the Nature Festival.
- General Comments about recycling across the country: Glass is not profitable because of its weight; compostables do not break down when packed too tightly and can produce methane. However, methane can be captured and used for power. Composting of food products is going well in many areas such as Howard County.
- The posters noting the items that are not compostable have been helpful.
Next Meeting: March 17, 2020 at 2pm, the Residents Council Room, HR 142
DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair and Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Assistant Chair):
Our Committee met on Monday, February 17, 2020 with Dining Services Director Ken Zahn attending.
Subcommittees and management reported issues and information in commonality including newly-designed comment cards and their function and updates on changes in management staffing—two Assistant General Managers and one Sous Chef have been hired and interviews for additional staffing continue, including for the position of Assistant Dining Director.
The new point of sale (POS) system to be introduced later this year was explained.
The February 13 Mediterranean Night at the Shortline was successful. The concept should be repeated.
The Shortline hood replacement will begin in late spring and a modified menu will be available during the modification period.
The Dining Services Committee at their January 2020 meeting initiated a conversation suggesting “pro-active” measures the committee could do to help management enhance the residents’ dining experience and improve consistency. Dining Director Ken Zahn shared some of his thoughts to this end.
- A reward, wherein serving staff would be recognized for a particular aspect of their training they successfully and consistently performed.
- A dining event where committee members would be joined by a server-in-training to experience and evaluate the meal event.
Mr. Zahn noted his enthusiasm for the possibilities of this effort but counseled patience due to the recent changes in management. We encourage residents’ attendance at Coffee with the Managers sessions to express other suggestions.
The Dietary Focus Group extends an invitation to all residents to attend their meeting on Friday, March 6 at 10:00 AM when Dr. Stephen Schimpff will be presenting material on the FODMAP diet, which is being used with people with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The next meeting is scheduled for March 16, 2020 at 2:00 pm BR1
FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):
Eric Schwab, Assistant Finance Director, presented the Occupancy and Financial reports for January. Overall, the occupancy for January was good: Independent Living 97.1%, Assisted Living 97.8%, Memory Care 95.5%, and Skilled Nursing 93%. A slight decrease in Independent living occupancy during January was due to residents transferring to a higher level of care. There continues to be a waiting list for Assisted Living.
The January total operating revenue exceeded budget by $52,000, and operating expenses were $36,000 lower than budget leading to a higher than projected level of operating income. The investment income for January was below projections largely due to the timing of the booking of management fees and expenses. The timing issues should resolve over the next year.
With regard to restricted funds, fifteen residents received benevolent care assistance at a cost of $94K. Payments from the Scholars fund were $39,458. Due to the generous contributions of the residents, Charlestown is now able to offer 1-year scholarship payments to employees wanting to attend programs to acquire new job skills. This helps current employees advance their careers here at Charlestown and makes this an attractive opportunity for prospective employees.
We continue to seek cost saving suggestions. We encourage all residents to make monetary contributions to the Benevolent Care and Scholarship funds.
Our next meeting will be March 31 @ 9 am. In Brookside 2 classroom.
GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair):
Our Committee met on Tuesday, February 25, 2020 at 10 AM in the General Services Conference Room, with General Services liaison staff Kiril Apostolov, Kevin Crawford, and Ryan Truitt in attendance.
A number of projects are underway. Mulching and edging have begun. Various holes in concrete have been filled. An oak tree will be taken down near Parkview and the pool walkway. The old fountains will be removed from Lake Charles. The roofs of the wishing wells along the Nature Trail will be replaced by the wood shop.
Suggestions were made regarding possible ways to use the projected $150,000 previously cited. They included erosion control in many places, improvement to the entrance at Cross Creek Station, adding soil to the ball field, removing tree stumps, and adding sod to such areas, as well as improving the pathway to the boat dock.
The next Grounds Committee meeting will be on Tuesday, March 24, 2020 at 9:30 AM in the General Services Conference Room.
HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair):
The committee met February 11, 2020. We were joined by Dean Crawford, Administrator of the Medical Center.
Dr. Palczar reported that as of 2/1/2020 there were 22 million cases of the flu, 210,000 hospitalizations, and more than 12,000 deaths, including 78 pediatric deaths. Ages 0 to 18 years hospitalizations are greater than in other years. Charlestown has had 10 cases of the flu so far. The Coronavirus has over 41,000 cases with greater than 900 deaths. 12 U.S. citizens have the virus. We know that as of today these numbers have increased.
Dean Crawford reported that confidence in Staff ratings went down in the Holleran survey this year due somewhat to the loss of Dr Bowlin.
Dean wants to emphasize that residents can change physicians, but they first have to talk to him. This is to ensure that the flow of patients to each physician will remain equal and to find
out why the resident is requesting a change in case there is a reason that needs to be addressed.
The next meeting is March 10, 2020 at 11:00am in Brookside 2.
HOUSEKEEPING (James Stadter, Chair, and Jane Amtmann, Assistant Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee met on February 21, 2020, with Michelle Fenn in attendance. We discussed the difference between housekeeping and maintenance. Housekeeping is cleaning of the common areas such as hallways, elevators, laundry rooms, and storage locker areas. Maintenance is making repairs in the common areas, such as chipped or peeling paint, missing or damaged ceiling tiles and baseboards or burned out lights. It was decided that the committee members would continue to note the needs of both housekeeping and maintenance in the common areas but separate them in their reporting. We will pass the maintenance information on to the Maintenance & Engineering Committee which agreed to reciprocate and pass on to the Housekeeping Committee any issues that they find in their inspections. If there is anything that needs immediate attention, such as a burn-out light, then that should be called in and reported immediately.
We also discussed the ongoing issue of trash being left around the buildings, near elevators and in alcoves. We have not come up with a solution to this problem but will continue to work on it.
Housekeeping in most of the common areas is doing a good job. There are some issues, but for the most part, everything reported is usually dealt with by the next meeting.
Our next Housekeeping Committee meeting will be on Friday, March 20 at 2pm in HR 142
LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Seldra Funk, Chair):
Results of the February 4th Special Primary Election were reviewed. The Republican winner was Kim Klacik with 40% of her party’s votes, and Kweisi Mfume, the Democratic winner, with 43% of his party’s votes. The election on April 28 will determine which one of these two candidates will fill the seat which is vacant due to the death of Congressman Cummings. Of the 51,000 registered voters in our 7th Congressional District, 17% voted in this primary election.
Hope Tillman explained how the Track Maryland Legislation icon on the ccicharlestown website allows Charlestown residents to easily track selected 2020 legislation. This website provides residents access to the titles for selected bills, short summaries, current status, schedules for committee hearings, and videos of these hearings.
Hope also demonstrated the Maryland General Assembly’s upgraded website. Hope showed committee members how to locate essential legislative information by using this website.
Ann MacKay and Seldra Funk reviewed current legislation that would be of interest to Charlestown residents. Committee members have volunteered to track 25 bills during the session.
The next meeting of the Legislative/Political Committee will be held on Wednesday, March 11 at 10:00, Brookside Classroom 1.
MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair):
The committee met on February 25th, with Kevin Crawford in attendance.
General Services Updates:
Carpeting in vestibule, of Building 1, has been replaced.
Awaiting evaluation report, from Otis, concerning elevators #2 in Building. 7 and the
elevator near the Fireside.
Installation of automatic doors, throughout campus, has been completed. There are various functioning issues to be addressed.
Removal of the tree at pool area and one near Brookside has been scheduled.
Pricing for roof replacements for Chapel Court, Parkview, Caton Ridge and the bridge to Buildings 8 and 9 are in process.
Pricing for the guardrail, at the Pond, is also in process.
Resident Question concerning the Auditorium Renovations.
Answer: This year the auditorium stage will get new epoxy floor coating, lighting on the stairs, and dressing of the area.
Next meeting Tuesday, March 24th, 2pm in General Services Conference Room.
NOMINATING & ELECTIONS (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair, and Hope Tillman, Asst. Chair):
The committee met on February 6 and February 20 to discuss advertising that we are looking for candidates and to begin brainstorming and determining ways of identifying members of the resident community who might become members of the Council. Committee members were encouraged to share the value of being members of the Residents’ Council with residents with whom they interact.
A call for nominations article will appear in the March Sunburst and on the Residents’ Council Website.
RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair, and Bob Pelott, Assistant Chair):
The committee did not meet in February due to technical difficulties accessing our meeting room, HR142, or readily finding an alternative room.
The next committee meeting will be March 18th at 2:00 PM in HR142.
SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair, and Ken Jarboe, Assistant Chair):
The committee met on February 11th with Craig Nelson and Reyn Giese in attendance.
In December 2019, the Traced Act became law. The Act will require telephone phone providers to adopt the STIR/SHAKEN system for preventing call spoofing without cost to consumer.
In answer to a question asked at the last Council meeting about package deliveries at front desks versus apartment, Charlestown does not accept packages at Front Desks when closed and expects all non-USPS deliveries such as those from FedEx and UPS to be delivered to the resident’s door. They are currently working with Amazon to do the same. There have been no reports of thefts from closed Front Desks.
- If a resident is transported to the hospital, Medical records from Med Center are taken rather than the Vial of Life because it is often not updated. Residents need to update their health material yearly.
- There a list of residents at risk who would need help in an evacuation. Security has access to the list but does not know how residents who do not have EMVs get on the list. They will check and bring to next meeting.
- The Fire Department has a detailed map of interior Charlestown. Evacuation routes were recently updated at all elevators.
- A security event was held 2/21 from 10-11 in the Gallery with Fire dept. officials invited. Tom Warehime, BCP Liaison to Charlestown will be at a coffee in the Refectory on 2/19 from 10;30-11:30).
- There is a plan for a brief article in the Sunburst explaining the rules and liabilities to the resident of a visitor parking illegally.
The next committee meeting will be on March 10 at 1pm in Brookside Classroom 1.
WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Clara Parker):
Clara Parker spoke about what Charlestown and Erickson Living are doing about the coronavirus. Erickson Living is responsible for all planning and communication to ensure messaging is consistent. Erickson Living has instituted its emergency continuity plan; there are now daily conference calls with all Erickson Living community leaders participating. Charlestown will be implementing its pandemic emergency plan in alignment with Erickson Living and also the CDC, our authority on health matters. We have already reached out to St. Agnes and other local hospitals and Maryland Department of Health.
This week residents have been sent two letters from Dr. Matt Narrett, Erickson Living Chief Medical Officer, with current recommendations for residents to follow (both by email and cubby stuffed). Letters have also been set to staff.
Nathan Blumberg is our Incident Commander, responsible that communication is sent out in a timely fashion. The plan is to communicate proactively, at least weekly.
Additional signage will be posted beginning as early as tomorrow morning to raise awareness on protocols in place. At this point, recommendations are similar to flu guidelines: wash your hands. These guidelines are documented in the letters.
Residents who are planning to travel will be requested to talk with their health provider. Charlestown will maintain lists of residents and staff who are traveling. Rules set by the CDC will be followed.
Charlestown has a Mr. Mister machine and is following protocols for high touch cleaning.
Clara Parker urged residents to continue doing what you do. If you have questions, there will be a channel through the Charlestown administration.
Nathan Blumberg agreed to attend the Residents’ Council Work Session meeting next Monday, March 9th.