Last Updated on October 8, 2021

(web version)

September 1, 2020
Residents’ Council Website:

President Walt Howe called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:04 pm on September 1, 2020.  The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away. The Council approved the August 4, 2020 minutes, as distributed. In attendance were Council members and Heather Sheridan, Associate Executive Director. 

Walt called on the following officers and committee chairs for reports. The text of those reports appears following the formal minutes:

  • Pat Rudolph, Vice President
  • Hope Tillman, Secretary
  • Ron DeAbreu, Treasurer
  • Jean Eichenlaub, Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
  • David Elder, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Mimi O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary for Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
  • Bob Caulfield, Co-Chair of the Dining Committee
  • Gordon Piche, Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Mike Rose, Chair of the Grounds Committee
  • Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair of the Health Services Committee
  • Betty Elder, Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
  • Pat Payne, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
  • Jackie Graham, Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
  • Sam Cushman, Co-Chair of the Resident Life Committee
  • Ed Wallace, 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 Howe adjourned the formal meeting at 8: 03 p.m.

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary




This meeting is the first of the 2020-2021 Residents’ Council. We are holding and recording this meeting by Zoom, and will also be available on YouTube for viewing afterward. The recording will then be made available on Channel 972 and the two websites. We will continue to hold monthly meetings on first Tuesdays on the same basis until we can meet together in public. We will not have the opportunity for residents to ask questions at the end of the meeting as was the practice when we met in the auditorium, but if you have questions or comments for future meetings, please feel free to reach out to any Council member or use the Council Communication Form available on the website.

We have posted the election results and committee assignments of the new Council in multiple places. You will be hearing from the old and new members as we hear the Committee Reports. We have one recent change to announce. Charlene Passmore resigned, and Betty Elder will be taking her place as Chair of the Housekeeping Committee. 

Since Committees normally do not meet during August, the transition month for the Council, the Committees will be talking about their ongoing mission and, as appropriate, what activities and challenges they foresee for the coming year.

We are looking for a Parliamentarian for the Residents’ Council. We would welcome any resident applications. 

Walt also commented that communications between residents and the Administration are welcome. We understand that anonymous hate mail or obscene mail has been received by Charlestown senior staff, and we want to stress that that is the worst way to deal with a problem. If you have an issue, don’t hesitate to bring it up. But identify yourself and help us make Charlestown the place where we all want to live. Please present your comments with civility. Feel free to bring your issues to the Council if we can be of assistance. 

Mission Moments

Pat Kasuda shared these Mission Moments, which appear in the September Sunburst. We have five residents to acknowledge tonight. 

When Pam Stiner, Director of Finance, was faced with giving up ZOOM Bingo, residents Mimi O’Donnell and David and Betty Elder jumped right in and organized not only game details but assembled home-baked goodies for limited numbers of prizes.  Even Connie Andrews jumped in to help identify Bingo winners.

Time well spent is evident in our Archives as Janel Douglass and her intrepid volunteers have digitized 85% of paper material, making it easier for residents to search for and access club notes, organization histories, various newspapers, and flyers.  Like many residents, who have used the downtime to downsize, Janel has found digitizing made it possible to reorganize the Archives office, getting rid of file cabinets and bookcases.  Now residents have more space to use the Archives desktop computers as they research our history. 


This is an update on the process of filling the anticipated vacancy on the Charlestown Board of Directors.  As our executive director, Clara Parker, informed all residents in a letter, one of the resident positions on the Board will become vacant as of December 31st.  The process of nominating a slate of candidates to send forward to the Board has begun.  In accordance with our Policies and Procedures, Walt appointed a Special Nominating Committee consisting of Pat Rudolph (chair), Jackie Graham, Jean Eichenlaub, Charles Denton, and Phyl Lansing.  The first part of the Committee’s job is to “solicit appropriate residents as potential candidates and receive from residents the names of any potential candidates.”  

The Committee asks residents to help to identify potential candidates. You can nominate yourself or, if you are not interested, you can nominate someone else.  If you might be interested or want more information about the process and the duties and responsibilities of a board member, contact Pat Rudolph (Committee Chair) or any member of the Committee.

The deadline for submission of an application is September 18, 2020.  

Contact Information for the committee members

The Committee members are Jackie Graham, Jean Eichenlaub, Phyl Lansing, Charles Denton, and Pat Rudolph Chair. 

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Hope Tillman, Secretary and Mimi O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary):

At the August Work Session, the Council agreed to make a $100 contribution to the Benevolent Care Fund to honor 2019-2020 Council President Anne Erfle. 

Hope asked Committee chairs to submit their Committee agendas to her a week before the committee’s meeting so that she can share it with Clara’s team. 

The closing balance of the Council account at the end of July 2020 was $2,090.56. No income was received in August; expenditures for the month totaled $156.55.  Thus the account balance at the end of August and the fiscal year was $1934.01 

Ron reminded Committee chairs to email him their budget requests for the new fiscal year, or let him know if they have no request by the latest September 25, 2020. 


BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub and Eugenia High, Co-Chairs):
There will be no meeting this month. Here are some updates for September, BCF Month.

The Telethon for Benevolent Care is scheduled for Wednesday, September 16, from 10 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Channel 972.  It will include entertainment, BCF testimonials, ways to give information, prizes/giveaways, and more!!

Vendors are being solicited for sponsorship of the Telethon for “Power Hours” to match donations from residents.

A  Virtual Furniture Sale was held on Wednesday, August 19th, on the Charlestown Treasure Sale Facebook page.  Viewers could see photo albums of items for sale and mark SOLD on anything they would like to purchase. It was open to residents and the public with the proceeds to benefit Benevolent Care.

The BCF Campaign letter and pledge card have been updated for 2020 and will be delivered by Philanthropy to resident package shelves the first week of September.  Employees will receive donation information via email, and the Board will get a mailed letter signed by Rich Grove, encouraging them to donate.

Treat of the Quarter is also in September, so if you have ideas on what we can give,  please let Patti know.

Grant Request: PNC has approved a grant request for BCF for $7,500. 

Cars for Care YTD: $8,700 raised (12 cars donated/8 sold to date).

The Benevolent Care Foundation Board will meet on September 9th to review strategic plans for BCF.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs and David Elder, Co-Chairs):
The Communications Committee did not meet in August.  We welcome new co-chair David Elder. Our goals are: “What more should we do as the Communications Committee to promote MyErickson?” and “How can the Communications Committee better promote the Residents’ Council? ” We need to focus on maintaining/upgrading Wi-Fi.  As a community, we are using/depending on W-Fi more than ever.

Our September meeting is scheduled for September 28 at 2:00 p.m.  The Website committee precedes it at 1:00 p.m.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The goal of the Conservation Committee is to help our residents to be good stewards of the earth by finding ways that we can conserve by following the three “R’s”—recycle, restore, reuse.  We do that here at Charlestown by informing the community of ways to do this by publicizing it through the Sunburst, 972, and posters in the various dining rooms.  During this pandemic, our efforts have been curtailed because, with the meal delivery plan, there is so much trash that the Administration has stopped recycling.  We hope to be able to resume this worthy enterprise as we move toward a resumption of normal activity.

The Conservation Committee did not meet in August.  We will have a Zoom meeting on September 15, 2020, at 2 p.m.

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield and Carol Nesci, Co-Chairs):
Due to the COVID-19, our Committee did not meet physically as scheduled in August. During the month the chair consulted with all his members about their desire to continue service on our committee and their thoughts concerning better ways to communicate at future meetings. The Chairs talked weekly with Ken Zahn.  

The challenges facing Dining Services now and in the immediate future are significant. They are trying to improve our meal experience and get us to the new “normal.”  Our Committee must play a role in this effort.  We need to understand the problems, offer suggestions, give them feedback, and help our fellow residents cope with what is going on. 

There will be no meeting in September, but we will reconsider in October. 

FINANCE (Gordon Piche, Chair):
The Finance Committee met via Zoom on August 25, 2020, with Executive Director Clara Parker and Finance Director Pam Stiner. Twelve committee members participated.

The Occupancy Data and Financial Package were reviewed.

Pam Stiner presented the Occupancy and Financial reports for July.

Independent Living 95.9%,

Assisted Living         94.4%,

Memory Care          91.7%

Skilled Nursing        80.9%.

Independent Living occupancy improved slightly in July due to three settlements and the additional 90-day billing being turned back on due to move-out restrictions being lifted.  The occupancy levels in Skilled Nursing continue to be impacted by the need to maintain the COVID unit and the discontinuation of double-occupancy rooms.  Excluding these items, Skilled Nursing occupancy is north of 95%.

July Operating Revenue of $7,021,000 was $563,000 below budget – this was due to occupancy and revenue-generating services such as housekeeping, transportation, catering, etc. being limited due to COVID.  Operating costs were $232,000 above budget resulting in an Operating Income of $332,000, $331,000 below budget.  Higher operating costs were largely due to COVID related payroll and supply costs. 

Nonoperating income for July of $161,000 continues to be above budget largely due to unrealized gains in the investment portfolio.

Cash flow has been impacted by the reduction in Occupancy and entrance deposit cash inflow.  Ms. Stiner mentioned she has been working closely with the Board of Directors Investment Committee to manage cash appropriately during the pandemic. 

Regarding restricted funds, fourteen residents received Benevolent Care assistance.  This number is expected to rise over the next few months.

The committee discussed the list of suggestions of projects for the 2021 budget; however, with the COVID-19 situation, it is now a wish list hopefully for 2022.  Items on the list will get done as time and dollars permit.

The committee will meet next on September 29th at 9:00 a.m., most likely via Zoom.

GROUNDS (Mike Rose, Chair):
The Grounds Committee did not meet in August. The Committee Chair has asked past members to confirm their intent to remain on the Committee and is in the process of developing an agenda for a Zoom meeting scheduled for Tuesday, September 22, at 10:00 a.m. It is expected that a Charlestown Staff member will discuss the algae problem at the lake, their response, and its effects. 

HEALTH SERVICES (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair):
Our Committee did not meet in August 2020. The Chair communicated with continuing committee members and recruited two new ones and has been in contact with the Director of the Medical Center to offer our continued support and collaboration to promote the health and wellbeing of our residents. 

Throughout the month of September, the emphasis will be promoting the importance of flu shots and the containment of COVID-19 by following CDC guidelines.  The established liaison activities between Continuing Care and Independent living will continue as well as the eventual pick-up of unused/unwanted medications. Cooperation between the Safety and Security Committee with their Fall Prevention Program is a priority. 

The next meeting is scheduled for September 8 at 11 a.m. via Zoom.

HOUSEKEEPING (Betty Elder, Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee did not meet in August. The focus of the Housekeeping Committee is to help housekeeping keep Charlestown clean. The Housekeeping Committee has 14 members who are ready to inspect the public areas. Our next Zoom meeting will be on September 18, 2020, at 2:00 p.m.


The Committee did not meet during the month of August. The new Chair met with the former Chair, Seldra Funk, in order to discuss past activities and any remaining issues. Two concerns require immediate attention. (1) Publicity on the voting arrangements in Baltimore County for the November Presidential election and (2) Follow-up on the letter sent to Councilman Tom Quirk regarding Maiden Choice Lane water line replacement. We just received the good news that the water line project is now being advertised. Construction should begin this coming winter and be substantially complete by the end of 2021. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. on Zoom.

Pat announced that a representative from Baltimore County’s Board of Elections will be featured on Channel 972 next week.  The Committee is also preparing for the 2021 Maryland legislative session, especially with many issues left hanging due to the pandemic.  The committee is also looking into relevant national issues, such as immunity for nursing homes and Medicare/Medicaid coverage for COVID-19.

The committee did not meet during August. A detailed list of various issues has been sent to the General Services Department. As General Services begins to regroup, these issues are being addressed. We should receive an update at the next meeting. Our next meeting will be held, by Zoom, on September 22nd at 2:00 p.m.

RESIDENT LIFE (Sam Cushman and Ron Fayer, Co-Chairs):
The Resident Life Committee did not meet in August. During the year, our committee has focused on our regular committee work comprising the Pet Owners group, Birthday Angels, Welcoming and Condolence cards, Mission Moments, and Eating Together.  We are regularly frustrated with our efforts to discuss EMV’s and Transportation due to lack of communication with the Administration about these topics.  An area of particular interest for the future will be a reexamination of racism and social justice within our community.  Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 16, at 2:00 pm, by Zoom.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Ed Wallace, Chair): 

The Safety and Security Committee did not meet in August due to sequestration to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The newly elected chair, Ed Wallace, and the previous chair, Janet Allan, met, and all Committee records and material were transferred to the new chair. Ed contacted all current members of the committee by phone or email about the September meeting. 

The next meeting of the Safety and Security Committee will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, September 8, 2020, using Zoom.

WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Heather Sheridan): 

Heather extended greetings from Clara Parker.  She mentioned that, with Sherry Parrish’s retirement, she is acting as the Director of Resident Life.

Heather began with the current COVID-19 numbers. 

41 residents have tested positive since the beginning of testing.

36 residents from Continuing Care (25 symptom-free/recovered and 11 passed away)

5 residents from Independent Living (4 symptom-free/recovered and 1 passed away)

70 employees have tested positive since the beginning of testing. 

3 employees have active cases, and 67 are symptom-free/recovered.

The administration is moving ahead with reopening more activities, and details will be announced by Clara and Heather on Wednesday, September 9, on Channel 972.  Information will be forthcoming about a number of activities, including the Intermissions Program, expanded offerings in the Fitness and Aquatic Centers, and how/when religious services can return in person.  The administration is grappling with how to reinstitute dining services in restaurants with a maximum of 50% capacity.  Also, the Medical Center is moving ahead with plans to administer the 2020 Flu vaccine. The appointments for the flu shot will be made once the supplies are received, which has not happened yet.

Mary Evans is taking a lead in canvassing all clubs and activities about their desires to get back to meeting including the rooms that would be needed to ensure proper social distancing.  Mary will present an update on 972 on September 8.

Heather reported that the Board of Elections will not allow Charlestown to have a ballot drop box because such a box must have a guard on duty 24/7.

Heather reminded us that BCF month is September. Donation letters have been distributed to packet shelves. Please donate as you are able. 

Don Groves of Sales has announced that there will be 13 move-ins in September. Please welcome your new neighbors.

The Charlestown Board of Directors meeting will be held on September 10th.  Residents Council questions have been submitted, and Council members have been invited to participate from 11-11:30 a.m. 

Heather concluded her remarks thanking the Residents’ Council and all residents for their support during this crisis.