Last Updated on September 2, 2020

THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
(web version)

August 4, 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 August 4, 2020, via Zoom. Visitors included candidates.  The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away. The July 7, 2020 minutes were approved as distributed.

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
  • Joan Green, Co-Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Hope Tillman for 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
  • Jackie Graham, Chair of the 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

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None

OLD BUSINESS: Election of Officers

The slate of officers proposed for 2020-2021 was approved unanimously. President – Walt Howe, Vice-President – Pat Rudolph, Secretary – Hope Tillman, Treasurer – Ron DeAbreu.

President Erfle adjourned the formal meeting at 7:40 p.m.

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary

REPORTS—EXECUTIVE TEAM

ANNOUNCEMENTS/PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Anne Erfle): No report
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walt Howe):
In previous years, the voting for the Residents’ Council members would not have taken place yet. It was normally held in one day on the first Wednesday of August. This year, due to the coronavirus and the need to keep safe distances, we distributed ballots to each resident and asked them to return them during the month of July. The voting has now been completed, but the final tally is still in progress, and the Nominating and Elections Committee will make results public in the very near future. Watch for the results on lobby posters, Channel 972, and at the Annual Residents’ Association meeting next Monday evening. I want to thank all the residents who voted.

The new council members and reconfigured committees will be presented at the Annual Residents’ Association meeting to be held virtually next Monday evening by Zoom and if all goes well, be viewable on YouTube during or after the event. More details will be forthcoming during the week.

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Hope Tillman):
At the Work Session, there was a discussion of the August 10 Association Annual Meeting and the Council August 12 Orientation Session. Since we have received notice of Charles Denton’s intention to resign from the Board of Directors December 2020, the Council will convene a special committee to review resident applications and recommend resident candidates to fill that position. The process is outlined in the Policies & Procedures Manual. 

TREASURER’S REPORT (Ron DeAbreu):
The closing balance of the Council account at the end of June 2020 was $2,090.26. At last month’s meeting, I erroneously reported the balance as $2,096.56. Since no income was received in July, and there were no expenditures, the account balance at the end of July was $2,090.26.

REPORTS—COMMITTEES

BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub, Chair):
The Committee met via WebEx, and Patti Santoni gave us an update on the plans in the works for the September BCF campaign. There will be a virtual treasure sale on Facebook of furniture on August 5 at 10 AM. Philanthropy is working on ideas for a telethon on 972. We discussed virtual auctions, lottery ideas, and ads. It will be a challenge with all the regular events canceled. There was a discussion of a virtual Gala. We will probably meet virtually August 26, at 2:00 PM.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs, Chair):
Thirteen residents and one staff met via Zoom. Minutes from the previous meeting were approved as distributed.

Charlie Eichenlaub provided the Evergreen Topics update.

Ann MacKay agreed to facilitate a sendoff Zoom meeting for Sherry Parrish on Friday at 2, 2:30 and 3 PM sessions.  

Dick asked committee members to report on resident reaction to lockdown: Some residents are busier than ever teaching other people how to use technology, Zooming with friends and families, and writing. They miss working outside, miss time with activities, cannot get to family to help them. They are walking outside to keep their bodies stretched and active, traveling to help family members, enjoying entertainment via YouTube, ordering food supplies to bake and cook, binge-watching when HBO was free, being physically active within the apartment walls, learning how to order on-line, and gaining weight! We appreciate the staff taking care of us.

One committee member asked why MyErickson doesn’t use the messaging feature in the application.  Could it be a workflow issue with too few people doing that specific work? It was noted that the meal balance is back and will be right by 8/1!

Dick shared a graphic on the new greeting possibilities replacing hugs and handshakes.  The group agreed to put the graphic on channel 972 bulletin board after adding masks.  Members offered poses to replicate those on the poster!

The Committee will meet in August if something comes up to cover. 

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
Our Committee met on 07/21/2020 via Zoom. 

Previous business:  Marty reported that the balloon bill passed in both the Maryland house and senate. However, it has not yet been signed by the governor.  When passed, the fines would be $250 for the first offense, up to $1000 for further offenses.

Updates: Anna Marie shared that the Administration said that there is no plan to return to recycling at Charlestown at this time.  Marty had contacted Aida, who said they would be combining trash and recycling as long as they are delivering meals.  There was a discussion of how residents could handle articles capable of being recycled creatively.  A resident continues to collect aluminum cans to deliver to the Arbutus Fire Department.  Unwanted snacks can be placed in the food donation containers in the various mail lobbies. 

Batteries are still being collected in the laundries.   

Plastic bags are no longer collected in the laundries.  Residents are encouraged to bring their own to the Giant or other stores.

Sharps, such as syringes, should not be put in the trash. Call General Service to request a sharps container and to request that they pick the filled container up so that they can be disposed of properly. 

Our next meeting will be via Zoom on August 18, 2020.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield, Chair):
Due to the COVID-19, our Committee did not meet physically as scheduled in July 2020. The Chair and Assistant Chair have been communicating with committee members via phone and email ongoingly. Issues and concerns are shared with Dining Services Director Ken Zahn. The ability to order hot meals for pick up at the restaurants in addition to the delivery of meals to apartments has been well received.  The next meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 21 at 2:00 PM at Brookside Room 1. 

FINANCE (Joan Green and Pat Rudolph, Co-Chairs):
The Finance Committee met on July 28, 2020, with Pam Stiner, Finance Director, and Eric Schwab, Assistant Finance Director.  Eric presented the occupancy numbers and financial statements.

Independent Living 94.9%,
Assisted Living 93.8%,
Memory Care 86.2%
Skilled Nursing 79.1%.

All of the occupancy numbers are below the projected levels due to the continued restrictions related to the pandemic.  The positive effects on occupancy and income were felt for half of June and will have a greater impact for the full month of July. The occupancy levels in Skilled Nursing are affected by the need to maintain the COVID unit and by the decision to discontinue double occupancy in some of the rooms.  The Administration is studying the appropriate size of the COVID unit.

With Total Operating Revenues $717,000 below budget and Operating Costs $187,000 above budget, Operating Income was $903,000 below projected.  The lower than projected occupancy is reflected in the lower than budget Operating Revenues.  Higher Operating costs largely reflect increased labor costs.  The higher labor costs were largely driven by “stay” bonuses paid to caregivers in Continuing Care and health insurance adjustments.  

We have received approximately $1 million through provisions of the Cares Act, and the Administration is pursuing any additional help that is available.  Baltimore County continues to provide PPE that meets a part of our needs.

Nonoperating income was above budget largely due to unrealized gains in the investment portfolio.   

Turning to restricted funds, 11 residents received benevolent care assistance.  This is a drop from 14 in May; however, this number is expected to rise over the next few months.    

Pam was asked to discuss the efforts to increase occupancy.  Efforts to ready vacant units for re-occupancy are moving forward in a way that balances our need to move in new residents with our cash flow.  Units that are most attractive to prospective residents are being renovated first.  The higher than usual number of vacant units has created the possibility of creating combo units.  In June, we had 22 reservations (commitment to occupy a specific unit), and eight units have settled (resident has paid the deposit).

When asked about Charlestown’s ability to meet the financial challenges of these uncertain times, Pam pointed to our balance sheet and the $74 million in securities that are available in the case of need.

 The Committee will not meet in August. 

GROUNDS (Eugenia High, Chair): 
The Grounds Committee did not meet in July.  Plans should be explored to decide the most appropriate way to enable members to work together as a committee. While many people have chosen to shelter at home safely, some have maintained watchful eyes over our campus grounds.  They have continued to work diligently via suggestions and physical input to foster and encourage improvements on our grounds.  In addition, the staff has remained responsive to residents’ input.  There will be no Grounds Committee meeting in August. 

HEALTH SERVICES (Lois Kimber, Chair):
The meeting was held via Zoom.  Per Dr. Pelczar, flu activity thus far is minimal countrywide.  The CDC says four vaccines will be available, two of which will be high dose.  One will have an adjuvant added boost immune reaction.

Pat Kasuda made the following announcements:

  •  Collecting radiology films could help raise money for Benevolent Care.
  • Pat is working with five senators on Memory Care Standards in order to get reimbursement.
  • Md. State Ombudsman program has not been allowed to visit nursing homes.
  • Pat suggested the Council take a more active role in helping to suppress Covid-19 by using bulletin boards.
  • Pat suggested we invite a resident who worked with Dr. Fauci to the HS meeting.

Lois announced her term is up, and there will be a new committee chair in September. 

HOUSEKEEPING (Jim Stadter, Chair): 
The Housekeeping Committee did not meet in July due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We spoke with the Charlestown Housekeeping Manager about the possibility of resuming the hallway and common area inspections conducted by members of our Residents’ Council Housekeeping Committee. She asked that, since many of her workers are doing tasks that differ from their usual housekeeping duties, we not resume our inspections at this time. Therefore, our committee members’ inspections have not yet resumed.

LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Seldra Funk, Chair):
There was no meeting of the Legislative/Political Committee in July.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair): 
The Committee did not meet for the month of July. The General Services staff is in the process of addressing all issues. I have asked Kevin Crawford to bring the Bocce Ball Court issue to GS’s August budget meeting. I’m hoping we can get information concerning the plans for the court.

NOMINATING & ELECTIONS (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The ballots were distributed at the end of June and ballots have been turned in to the front desks during the month of July.  Hope Tillman and Anna Marie Ciarrocchi are in the process of tallying the votes.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman, Chair):
The July meeting of the Resident Life Committee was held on the 22nd, a week later than usual, using Zoom.  Eleven attendees participated, including three Residents’ Council candidates and Mary Evans representing the Administration.

Mission moments:  We are encouraged to continue writing mission moments for both staff and other residents; this is a time when people have gone out of their way to help one another, and they should be honored for that.

Birthday angels:  instead of balloons and cards, the birthday angels are making phone calls to congratulate those celebrating a birthday.

Resident welcome and condolence cards:  it was suggested to get the names of new residents from marketing.

Transportation:  everything is by appointment.

Pet Owners:  the leader of this subcommittee has some medical issues and is currently recovering.

Diversity and inclusion:  it was reported that Heather Sheridan has all manner of expertise in this area, including such things as institutional racism.  She was the person who organized the remembrance of George Floyd.

At the August 4 Residents’ Council meeting, the newly elected members of the Council will be introduced, and the Council officers for the next year will be elected.

The Resident Life Committee will not meet in August.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Janet Allan, Chair):
The Safety & Security Committee did not meet in July. The next meeting will be on September 8.