Last Updated on October 8, 2021

(web version)

May 5, 2020
Residents’ Council Website:

The May 5, 2020 Residents’ Council meeting was canceled because of COVID-19. We are issuing the written materials prepared by the Residents’ Council to inform residents of council activities in April 2020.


No report

I submitted an article for the May Sunburst explaining how the Council is holding virtual committee meetings, engaging resident committee members, and making information available to residents during the COVID-19 lockdown. Meetings are being held using Zoom software, which can be used on computers, tablets, and smartphones. We have been coaching a lot of residents on how to participate. We are also posting timely information on the Residents’ Council website at Look for the “Life at Charlestown, Coping with COVID-19” icon at the top of the home page. There are new additions almost every day.

One addition to the Policies & Procedures Manual was approved and is to be placed at the end of the Health Services text:
A member of the Health Services Committee acts as the Liaison to Wilton Overlook, Renaissance Gardens, and Caton Woods. The Liaison attends these meetings to report to the Health Services Committee any pertinent issues.

The Nominating and Elections Committee shared its planning document to carry out the 2020 election if we are still self-quarantined this summer. Feedback was gathered and will be taken back to the Nominating and Elections Committee

The closing balance of the Council account at the end of March 2020 was $2,316.78. There were no expenditures and no income received in April.  Thus, the account balance at the end of April was unchanged, i.e.  $2,316.78.


BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair): 

The Benevolent Care Committee did not meet in April, will not meet in May. No activity, news, etc. Philanthropy is in the middle of the Scholarship season and is working in areas other than Philanthropy.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Chair):
A Virtual Communications Committee meeting was held on Zoom on 27 April with 12 members attending. Staff was not represented. The Committee did a shout out to Tom Moore and his team at Channel 972, Clara Parker, etc., for the fabulous job they are doing. We discussed how the Residents’ Council and its committees could best communicate with residents to publicize ongoing activities during the pandemic, including campus mail, email, Zoom meetings, Channel 972, the Council website, and Sunburst.

Ongoing changes to the website were reviewed, highlighting the daily movies, a list of all groups holding virtual meetings, the monthly Photo Interest Group photographs, and the recent addition of the weekly Connector newsletter.

Residents having wi-fi problems should report them as they have them to make sure they receive attention in the future.

Charlie Eichenlaub submitted the Evergreen topics that he is keeping up to date, and it was reviewed.

The next meeting will be held on May 25, 2020, at 2:00 PM, following the Website Subcommittee meeting, probably by Zoom.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair): 

Due to the coronavirus, the Conservation Committee did not meet. We are exploring if there is any benefit to meeting by Zoom and whether members have the ability to do so. Feedback on how Charlestown is handling the Coronavirus was sent to Anne Erfle to be shared with Clara Parker.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair): 

Due to the COVID-19, our Committee did not meet physically as scheduled in April 2020. However, the Chair and Assistant Chair have been communicating with all committee members via phone and e-mail ongoing.  Committee members were charged by the Chair to report any issues they and their neighbors have had during the month regarding the dining service during the month.  The Chair has spoken with Dining Services Director Ken Zahn each week and conveyed those messages to him. Improvements continue to be made based on those comments. Most have been pleased with how Dining Services has coped with the situation understanding the constraints. Issues not resolved are due to the increased demand for needed supplies on the marketplace.

Committee members decided to continue the conversations and that there is no need to meet in person.  The meeting scheduled for May 18 at 2:00 PM in Brookside Classroom 1 is canceled.

FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):
The Finance Committee met via Zoom on April 28, 2020 with Finance Director Pam Stiner and Assistant Finance Director Eric Schwab. Twelve committee members participated.

Eric presented the Occupancy and Financial reports for March: Independent Living 96.5%, Assisted Living 97.7%, Memory Care 97.8%, and Skilled Nursing 92.1%. There was a slight decrease in Independent living related to the “stay in place” restrictions. The expected new residents were given the option to move in as planned or wait until restrictions were lifted. There were a few who elected to move in as planned. Additionally, the restrictions caused a hold on rehabbing the vacant apartments. It is projected that the independent living occupancy numbers will decrease over the next months.

The Financial report showed the operating revenue was $292,000 less than planned and the operating expenses were $447,000 greater than budgeted.  Therefore, although operating income was a positive $98,000, it was $739,000 less than planned.  The variances from budget can be explained by the response to the pandemic.  Lower revenues were related primarily to the decrease in departmental revenues, such as housekeeping, dining, and catering.  Higher costs were related to the additional medical supplies required for maintaining the safety of residents and employees from COVID 19 as well as the need for additional housekeeping and dining supplies. A preliminary purchase for the Concierge food service was also required. All contributed to the larger operating expenses for the month. Wages came in over budget, primarily due to the pandemic response and the impact of quarantining employees.  Employees have been separated into separate teams to minimize the impact of quarantines from a cost and operational efficiency standpoint; however, it is anticipated to continue to be an area where cost could surpass budget.

The decrease in non-operating income was due to unrealized capital losses due to the downturn of the market. Management and the Board are strategizing to minimize the amount of those losses that become realized.  Our reserve is adequate for now. There are lots of unknowns and many challenges.

With regard to restricted funds, 11 residents received benevolent care assistance and their expenditures totaled $57,199. This represents a decrease from prior months. The Scholarship Campaign is going well. It is scheduled to end on Thursday, April 30.

There were no further 2021 budget suggestions. They will be forwarded to the Executive Council members for their review and will be presented at the Council’s work session on May 11.

The Finance Committee will meet next on May 26 at 9:00 AM via Zoom if necessary, but hopefully in Brookside Classroom 2.

GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair):

The Grounds Committee did not meet in April and has no activity to report for the month of April.

HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair): 

The Health Services Committee did not meet in April.

HOUSEKEEPING (James Stadter, Chair): 

The Housekeeping Committee did not meet in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Nonetheless, I want to thank the committee members for all of their efforts to make and keep Charlestown’s buildings neat and clean.


The Legislative/Political Committee did not meet in April.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair): 

The Maintenance & Engineering Committee did not meet in April.

General Services Update: Due to the current situation, most common area painting and aesthetic issues have been postponed. The addendum to the contract for the pond dye has been returned to the vendor. General Services is currently working with the vendor to secure a completion date.

NOMINATING AND ELECTIONS (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair)

The committee met on April 2, 16, and 30 to review possible candidates.  We now have 13 candidates for the upcoming August election.  We also discussed how we would handle the election should we still be in quarantine. We have two possible scenarios and will wait until early June to make a decision.   We gave Clara a copy of our provisional plans if we need to have the election by mail.  No decision was made.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair): 

The Resident Life Committee of the Residents’ Council met for approximately 30 minutes by Zoom on April 8, 2020, one week earlier than the scheduled meeting time due to the coronavirus epidemic/pandemic and the likelihood of a continuing lockdown as we all have made a serious effort to prevent the coronavirus from entering the Charlestown community.   Four members attended along with Walt Howe and Hope Tillman.  We discussed encouraging residents to submit videos and photos for display on related to their experiences with the virus, the request by Management that the Birthday Angels make phone calls rather than posting balloons, and a proposal from Paradise Animal Hospital to sponsor a dog clinic at Charlestown.  The May meeting of the Resident Life Committee will be held on Wednesday, the 20th, at 2:00 pm, probably by Zoom.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):
The Safety and Security Committee did not meet in April due to sequestration to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

The Chair communicated several times by email with the Committee. The March 10 Minutes were circulated and revised. I sent the Committee a link to a video that clearly defined all of the epidemiological terms being used in the media to discuss the COVID-119 virus. An email discussed a plan to focus on Falls Prevention and Scams during June which is National Safety Month.  In April, an email was sent canceling the June event and rescheduling it to the fall. The 2019 Annual Report was submitted in March and Committee feedback on Charlestown’s handling of the COVID-19 virus was submitted to Anne Erfle in April.

The next meeting of the Safety and Security meeting is still to be determined.