Last Updated on July 16, 2020

(web version)

July 7, 2020
Residents’ Council Website:

DRAFT document. These minutes will be presented for approval at the August Council meeting.

President Anne Erfle called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm on July 7, 2020. Visitors included Clara Parker, Executive Director, and the 2020-2021 Residents’ Council candidates. 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
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
Jim Stadter, 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


The Officers’ Nominating Committee announced the slate for officers for next year:
President: Walt Howe
Vice President: Pat Rudolph
Secretary: Hope Tillman
Treasurer: Ron DeAbreu

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 8:00 p.m.

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary



August is the transition month for the Council. Committee meetings are not normally held in August, so this is the last chance to wrap up Committee activities for the year with your members. Make sure you are ready for the transition and are well prepared if you may be handing off the reins to a new Chair. For those committees that have not been meeting for several months, does the recent relaxation of quarantine now give you a chance to resume some activities? Are there new issues you should be looking at? Contact your members, by Zoom or by telephone so you know your member list is up to date.

At the June Work Session, Anne Erfle announced the Nominating Committee for Council Officers for 2020-2021. The committee is Janet Allan (Chair), Sam Cushman, and Joan Green.
At the Work Session, Anne Erfle announced that, in general, we will follow the calendar in the Council binder. The July and August Residents’ Council Tuesday evening meetings on July 7 and August 4 will be held via Zoom and recorded. The election of the Council officers will be held during the August 4 Council meeting. The July and August Work Sessions will also be conducted on Zoom. The Residents’ Association Annual Meeting on August 10 will be held with Zoom and recorded.
Ron DeAbreu shared his dues collection report. The group agreed to hold off on dues collection for the rest of this Council year.
Council minutes are distributed monthly on the Residents’ Council website and to those who have signed up to receive them by email. There has been an increase in the number of residents requesting minutes by email.

The closing balance of the Council account at the end of May 2020 was $2,316.78. No income was received in June. Expenditures for the month totaled $226.22. Thus the account balance at the end of June was $2,096.56.


BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):
There will not be a meeting this month. Patti Santoni gave me some updates in lieu of the meeting.

Treat of the Quarter was distributed this week to donors. There has been lots of good feedback about EC POPS as the local provider of the treat.
The Tin Cup Golf event has been moved from mid-July to August 31st. It is still not certain it will happen, but we will decide in July.
Treasure Sales are on hold, possibly for the remainder of the year. Pick-ups are not occurring until further notice.
Gala plans are tentative at this point. We are exploring other options such as a Virtual Gala or BCF Telethon on 972.
Emily Fowler was deployed to the Concierge program in March and will remain in that area for the next several weeks.

Due to the above changes, the campaign this year for monetary donations and planned gifts is even more critical. Patti is working with 972 on ideas for getting the message out through a variety of testimonials, commercials, Philanthropy Fridays, etc. Any ideas please send them to Patti.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Chair):
At our June 22 meeting, we had 13 residents and 1 staff member participate. The minutes were approved as distributed.
We discussed which of several databases are aligned with the printed Residents’ Directory.
We expressed our appreciation towards the staff for their hard work during the COVID-19 crisis. Resident Services now has some staff on-site in Brookside.
We encourage residents to use MyErickson, as well as the Residents’ website.
Charlie Eichenlaub provided an update on Evergreen topics (topics of recurring interest to residents).

An email was sent to Nathan Bloomberg asking questions about the gradual opening. He responded as follows. How many visitors did we have on Father’s Day? Answer: minimal.
How many people at the gatehouse report themselves as positive? Answer: not available. Are we still discouraged from visiting each other in our apartments? Answer: Residents are strongly encouraged to maintain social distancing and wear a mask at all times. Residents may visit each other’s apartments as long as safety is observed.

The ballots for Residents’ Council 2020 Candidates will be distributed in early July as part of the Candidate Information Packets. They will need to be submitted to residents’ lobby desks during the month of July.

Ann MacKay noted that she had a Wi-Fi issue and wanted to know if MAC addresses were recorded for the access points installed in our apartments. Hope Tillman noted that the MAC address was on a label on the access point in her apartment.

There was a discussion about media bias, and the following websites were recommended.
Media Bias Fact Check
All Sides
Five Thirty Eight

Our next meeting will be on July 27 at 2 pm via Zoom. It will be preceded by the Website committee meeting at 1 pm.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
There was no meeting in June. There will be a meeting in July using Zoom.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair and Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Assistant Chair):
Due to the COVID-19, our Committee did not meet physically as scheduled in JUNE 2020.

The Chair and Assistant Chair have been communicating with all committee members via phone and email ongoingly. The Chair continues to appraise Dining Services Director Ken Zahn weekly about the issues reported by committee members.

The meeting scheduled for 20 JUL at 2:00 pm will not be held.
FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):
The Finance Committee met on June 30, 2020, with Eric Schwab, Assistant Finance Director. The occupancy and financial reports were reviewed. Eric presented the Occupancy and Financial reports for May.
Independent Living 94.2%,
Assisted Living 95.3%,
Memory Care 85.6%
Skilled Nursing 81.5%.

All of the occupancy numbers are below the projected levels due to the continued restrictions related to the pandemic. As of June 12th, the 90-day billing after a unit is vacated has been reinstated. The work to ready apartments for new tenants has begun with the most desirable getting top priority. Independent living and assisted living occupancy will be closer to budget in July, due to reinstatement of the 90-day billing. The need to maintain a COVID wing in skilled nursing makes meeting occupancy targets in skilled nursing more difficult.

The financial report showed lower than budgeted operating revenue and higher operating expenses led to operating income a positive $320,000 for May which was $581,000 less than budget. For the year to date, operating income is a positive $3.1 million which is $937,000 less than budget.
The operating revenue was $176,000 less than projected. This would have been larger without the approximately $500,000 Charlestown received from the government in Cares Act payments. Higher than projected operating expenses were largely driven by higher than budgeted wages and cost of supplies. The higher wages reflect both over time and “nonproductive” time. Unproductive time payments are the wages that Charlestown continues to pay employees who are quarantined.
Nonoperating income was above budget largely due to unrealized gains in the investment portfolio.
Turning to restricted funds, 14 residents received benevolent care assistance – up from 12 in April. Their expenditures totaled $81,138.
The next committee meeting will be July 28th @ 9:00 am Brookside Classroom 2 or via Zoom.

GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair):
The Grounds Committee did not meet in June. In a June telephone conversation with me, Kevin Crawford related that the Grounds Services staff has resumed its prior to COVID-19 crisis duties. In mid-May, he reported that Brightwood is performing its contractual duties which include cutting grass. Regarding Lake Charles, the two newly installed fountain aerators are performing well. Algae control chemicals are being utilized. Resident volunteers continue conscientiously to look after the grounds of Charlestown.

HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair):
The Health Services Committee did not meet in June. There will be a meeting on July 14.

HOUSEKEEPING (Jim Stadter, Chair, and Jane Amtmann, Assistant Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee did not meet in June due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An article about the Housekeeping Committee was published in the June issue of The Sunburst and, as a result, we had several people volunteer to serve on the committee.

Because of restrictions due to the pandemic, the Housekeeping Committee members could not inspect the hallways and common areas.


Our committee meeting was held on June 17 by way of Zoom. 18 people attended.

A letter from our committee requesting replacement of aging water lines on Maiden Choice Lane will be sent to Baltimore County Councilman Tom Quirk.

June 2, 2020 election results were reviewed.

Ann MacKay reported on the implications of pending national legislation. If enacted, this could include immunity to nursing homes for even gross negligence at facilities during the pandemic.

Phyllis Lansing reported on the various ways that the League of Women Voters will be encouraging residents and staff to vote in November and will be assisting in the use of mail-in ballots.

Committee members discussed activities at Charlestown in response to the national protest marches.

There will be no meeting of the Legislative/Political Committee in July.

Floorboards at the Parkview elevator leading to the parking lot are damaged. General Services has been informed of this and other issues still pending. Aesthetic Issues will be addressed when the GS staff returns to normal functions. There was no meeting of the committee in June.

NOMINATING & ELECTIONS (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The Nominating Committee completed its work of gathering a slate of thirteen candidates for the Residents’ Council election. Posters of the candidates are on display at 5 lobbies. The election directions and ballots were distributed on July 1st.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):
The Resident Life Committee of the Residents’ Council met for approximately 30 minutes by Zoom on June 17, 2020. Three members attended with two representatives from the Council’s Executive Team, but none from Management. We briefly discussed Mission Moments and Pet Owners’ concerns. The main topic of the meeting focused on the overall effort by Charlestown residents to grapple with the pandemic on the one hand and the concept of racial justice on the other. After acknowledging the outstanding work by Management of keeping the virus under the best control possible, we talked about the work that the Resident life Committee will support in improving racial and other bigotry issues that continue to exist in the Charlestown Community. The July meeting of the Resident Life Committee will be held on Wednesday, the 15th, at 2:00 pm, probably by Zoom.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):
The Committee did not meet in June. The Chair communicated with the members to ascertain any concerns. There were none. The Chair sent members material of interest. The Committee will not meet in July.

The six Council Committees that will meet in July are:
Health Services meeting will be July 14th at 11:00 am via Zoom
Resident Life meeting (date change) will be July 22 @ 2:00 pm via Zoom
Conservation meeting will be July 21 at 2:00 pm via Zoom
Communications meeting will be on July 27 at 2 pm via Zoom. It will be preceded by the Website committee meeting at 1 pm
Finance meeting will be July 28th @ 9:00 am via Zoom
Benevolent Care meeting (date change) will be Thursday, July 30th at 2:00 pm via Webex

Contact the committee chairs if you are interested in being invited to the meeting.

Clara began her report expressing how pleased she was to see the Council in action again. She did not have much news to report to us, as all news was being reported during the Administration Updates on Channel 972. She confirmed that one resident in Independent Living has tested positive for COVID-19. Clara asked Council members to help encourage their fellow residents to comply with wearing their masks and wearing them properly, as well as complying with social distancing and hand washing.

In response to a question, Clara noted that Charlestown does not have sufficient test kits to test asymptomatic residents living in Independent Living at this point. There are tests available at CVS Pharmacy among other places. Charlestown has tested all residents in Skilled Nursing and the rest of Continuing Care.

In response to another question, Clara agreed to share the number of Independent Living staff who have tested positive for COVID-19 at the next Administration Update on Channel 972.