Last Updated on October 8, 2021

(web version)

April 6, 2021
Residents’ Council Website:

President Walt Howe called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:04 pm on April 6, 2021. Walt welcomed everyone back to the Auditorium and presented mask protocols for the meeting.


The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away.


The minutes of the March 2, 2021, meeting of the Residents’ Council were approved as distributed.

23 association members attended. Visitors included residents, Charles Denton, and Nathan Blumberg, Associate Executive Director.

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

  • Ron DeAbreu, Treasurer
  • Jean Eichenlaub, Co-Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
  • David Elder, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
  • Ron MacNab, 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
  • Hope Tillman, Secretary, for Jackie Graham, Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
  • Ron Fayer, Co-Chair of the Resident Life Committee
  • Ed Wallace, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee
  • Pat Payne, Chair of the Nominating & Elections Committee
  • Hope Tillman, Chair of the Bylaws, and Policies and Procedures Committee



Clara Parker 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 8:12 p.m.

Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary



Mission Moments

Often we think of physical needs for Mission Moments, but consider spiritual needs, too.  Neighbors pray for others or help get us to church services. Rosemary and Larry Taylor are Eucharistic Ministers for Our Lady of the Angels to assist residents on the second floor of Brookside. They go to the Chapel weekly and obtain Eucharistic Hosts for distribution to numerous residents who are unable to attend mass in person. Recently they went even further. On Ash Wednesday, they distributed ashes. Rosemary and Larry demonstrate the Erickson Living Values and are really appreciated by those they serve.

Nancy Amann tried the shot into the ever-painful knee, but the X-rays showed a knee replacement was the only solution for that pain. Nan says she was in luck since Barbara Grondahl  is a neighbor and friend. Barb has many talents as an artist, a chef, a researcher, a renowned dumpster diver, and a cheerful worker, but Barb made herself into a chauffeur for the to and fro hospital and doctor visits. Food, oh my, FOOD appeared at the door. Barb anticipated needs before Nan could think of them. Barb was so helpful in the postop period, that Nan’s daughter sent her flowers. She shows responsibility, caring, friendliness and enthusiasm all of which are Erickson values.

Jo Ann Wer nominated Hope Tillman for Mission Moment recognition. When the pandemic hit, JoAnn said she didn’t even know how to ask about Zoom so over-the-phone instructions would not work. Hope came to Jo’s apartment to set up Jo’s Ipad for Zoom meetings and she was a “dear pleasant easy-going teacher who was so willing to help.” Now Jo can attend Zoom meetings and an added benefit is that Jo can use Zoom to enjoy frequent calls with her siblings. That has really helped bridge the distance between them.

Lois Schmidt agrees. “The Multiracial Awareness Discussion Group (MADG) is most grateful to Hope for all the support, teaching, mentoring and time she has given us.  Awesome doesn’t begin to describe her organizational skills, her ever-present smile and good natured approach to life. Hope’s help has allowed our group to meet successfully through this past year.”

Hope has been in the right place at a challenging time for the Residents’ Council.  As Secretary she helped make virtual Residents’ Council meetings happen and many of the committees continue to Zoom their work. Many of us Charlestown residents have been able to keep in touch due to Hope’s ability to solve computer and Zoom problems. Vision, caring, friendliness, and excellence are among the values she  shows to Charlestown individuals and groups.

If you see or hear of a Mission Moment that should be shared with other Charlestown residents, please send them to Phyl Lansing, Chair, at or Caton Ridge 403.

Announcements/President’s Report

April committee meetings and beyond will be a mix of in-person and Zoom. Currently, Conservation, Dining, Finance, Leg/Pol, and Safety & Security plan to meet in a classroom this month. They will confirm meeting places and times in their reports that follow. If in doubt, check before attending a meeting.

Next week’s Council work session is by Zoom, meeting at 3:00 pm instead of the usual 2:00 pm.

Mimi O’Donnell, with the help of many of our Council members, has been doing outstanding work creating televised promotions for the Council for showing on 972. Look for them.

Help is available for anyone who needs an assist completing the online COVID-19 survey. In particular, help is scheduled at the Fireside Lounge area on Thursday, April 8th from 11 am to noon. Anyone can walk up and complete the survey there on our devices. It only takes a couple of minutes.


SECRETARY’S REPORT (Hope Tillman, Secretary, and Mimi O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary): None

The Council’s account balance at the end of February was $5,554.50.  The Council did not receive any income in March, nor were there any expenditures.  Thus, the account balance at the end of March was unchanged from the end of February, i.e.  $5,554.50.


BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub and Eugenia High, Co-Chairs):
Due to this being Scholarship season the meeting for Wed, 24th was cancelled. Our next meeting is April 28th.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs and David Elder, Co-Chairs):

There were 18 attendees with staff Rose Sands and Gregory Johnson attending.

Resident Directory:  Gregory Johnson hopes to have the continuing care phone number updates by the next Resident Directory.Charlie Eichenlaub gave an update on 03-25-2021 saying this has been accomplished.  Rose Sands pointed out that residents have to opt in to have their phone numbers listed for the next Resident Directory for both independent living and continuing care.

Charlie Eichenlaub gave an update on Evergreen topics. We’re excited for the Wi-Fi upgrade to happen.  The first building will be St Charles.

David Elder shared a few words regarding the Computer Literacy Project.  It meets by Zoom on Saturdays at 10:00 am. In addition, on April 10 at 2:00 pm, there will be an in-person/online hybrid session in Brookside 1. Those attending are asked to bring their own device. You need to contact David and give him your email address and he then sends a Zoom link or to make a reservation if you want to attend in person.

The Data Project Task Force will meet on March 30 with Erickson Living IT.

We anticipate that soon there will be a COVID Survey, and later this year there will be a Holleran engagement survey.

My Erickson will have two new icons on April 5th: Clubs and the Residents’ Council (labeled RAC). Councils at other Erickson Living communities are called Resident Advisory Councils (RAC). The clubs’ section will have the most recent information for clubs open to residents including their leader contact information. The Residents’ Council section currently located under Residents’ Resources will move to the new icon.

On, Healthy Habits/COVID will be moved down as a section on the front page of the website.

ELLIC now has an icon on the website front page rather than Educational Activities since most of the current educational offerings are through ELLIC.  The Legislative & Political Committee are tracking this year’s bills being considered in the Maryland General Assembly in the areas of election law/voting, environment/conservation, health care/congregate care/medical service delivery, senior consumer issues, and equity.

The Communications Committee will meet next month on April 26 at 2:00 pm via Zoom.

Following the report, Walt Howe stated that Access Point devices are being installed which should enhance internet stability. Walt also mentioned that the COVID survey was underway.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
Our committee met on March 21, 2021, with Michelle Fenn (Housekeeping) and Jason Dennis, and seven members present.

Charlestown Leadership/Staff Liaisons Report:  Michelle Fenn introduces her assistant, Jason Dennis,  who provided an update.

–     Michelle Fenn reported the moving of people into Wilton Overlook has been completed.  RG is empty.  Videos of the various stages of demolition will be taken and shown on 972.  The projected date for the completion of the 250-space parking lot is August.

–     A clarification of rules for trash pick-up has been sent out to residents recently. Leave trash outside the door after 8:00 pm, the night before pickup, or before 7:00 am in the morning.  If a resident needs a desk size trash can for their trash so it won’t be left in the hall in plastic bags, they can call housekeeping and one will be delivered.

–     Because residents have been throwing trash around the dumpster at the loading dock at St. Charles, the door will be locked and have a code to prevent resident access.

–     Michelle Fenn will provide a trash/recycling report every three months.


–     Videos on Channel 972 about Conservation legislation in the General Assembly, which are currently airing, went very well.

–     A Monthly article on the environment: to be published in the Sunburst monthly will be written by Donna Martin

–     Posters: Hope Tillman volunteered to help with making more professional-looking posters of what can and cannot be recycled.  Marty Tewkesbury will begin rotating the current posters again

–     Lightbulbs: In order to recycle LED (curly) lightbulbs, call General Services, (Maintenance), and leave lightbulb on your shelf.  Regular bulbs should be wrapped and thrown in the trash.

–     Earth Day (April 22): Several members will explore ways to call attention to this day.

–     Room to meet:  The committee has requested a room to meet other than HR 142.

The next meeting is April 20, 2021, at 2:00 pm via Zoom.   

DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield and Ronald MacNab, Co-Chairs):
The Dining Services Committee met on March 15 at 2:00 P.M. This was a hybrid Zoom/ Brookside Rm 1 meeting. Attending were 20 guests, committee, and council members. Six in the classroom and fourteen by Zoom.

Bob Caulfield opened the meeting welcoming everyone. He introduced Pat Fagan, a new member of our Dining Services Committee. Bob reported on his 3/9 meeting with Ron MacNab and Ken Zahn highlighting the many issues discussed. He explained a question brought up by a committee member regarding the position of Charlestown to the hiring of hospitality industry workers recently laid off due to the pandemic. Ken confirmed the company has been receptive to this, but with limited success; short shifts, the compensation offered, and those content with their current unemployment insurance income seemed to limit the appeal.

Ken Zahn provided the Dining Services updates, first on Charlestown Liquor License and next on plans for reopening the restaurants.  The meeting then opened to a question-and-answer session.

Alcohol License:
Ken reviewed the recent controversy regarding alcoholic beverages at Charlestown. Our Class C liquor license, currently being renewed on August 31, does not allow residents to bring their own alcoholic beverages into the dining rooms. It has come to be known however this practice has been going on for years unchallenged. Obtaining an additional corking license may provide a solution and would allow residents to bring wine, which is not sold by Charlestown, into a dining facilityKen has conferred with other facilities and is asking for patience until he is fully informed and accurate on the restrictions and how they will be handled at Charlestown.

Restaurant Reopening:
 The Governor has lifted restrictions on restaurant capacity and Baltimore County will follow the recommendation with the added provision that dining tables be kept six feet apart. Charlestown will comply gradually. First, there will be a reconfiguring of the table layouts and then an adjustment of staffing as resident usage shifts to mostly in-house dining. Beer/wine service is back. Rolls service with dinner began on March 18. The three-day limit per week on seated dinner reservations will continue until further notice. By the end of March, as dining capacity increases, reservations can be made daily along with the ability to “drop-in” for dinner without a reservation. Please note reservations will be encouraged but not required. Restaurants will open on Sundays sometime in April.

Resident attendees were encouraged to express questions and concerns.

–    The current maximum capacity for dining is four people. A few larger tables will be added to seat five.

–    There are currently no plans to reopen the Refectory dining room.
Coffee machine stations around the community will not be replaced. This is a self-service process currently considered unsafe.

–    Bistro dining at the Chesapeake will return.

–     The phone in process for placing in-house dining reservations remains fraught with complaints. Residents are kept holding for extended periods of time, thinking they are approaching contact and then told to call back, wherein they are placed at the back of the line.

–     There will continue to be no meal delivery fees for the time being.

–     The whole fruit dispensing system has been discontinued.   In the future, a fresh fruit menu choice will be available on dinner menus.

The next meeting of Dining Services will be April 19th at 2:00 P.M. Meeting BR-1 and by Zoom.

FINANCE (Gordon Piche, Chair):
The Finance Committee met on March 30 with Director Pam Stiner, Assistant Finance Director Eric Schwab, Council President Walt Howe, Council VP Pat Rudolph, Council Secretary Hope Tillman, Council Treasurer Ron DeAbreu, and  12 committee members.

The meeting was called to order at 9:00 am.

The Occupancy Data and Financial Package reports for February were presented by Eric Schwab:
Independent Living     93.0%
Assisted Living             98.5%
Memory Care               98.8%
Skilled Nursing             75.9%

Independent Living (IL) Occupancy had a small decrease in February. IL is expected to remain quite steady for a short while given the recent opening of the Wilton Overlook addition. Settlements of new residents continue in IL. February Operating Revenue of $7,109,000 was $227,000 above budget and includes $208,000 for Care’s Act Federal relief funds which will continue each month through June. Operating Income was $669,000, which is $155,000 below budget. Operating expenses were $381,000 above budget, much attributed to continued incurring COVID expenses.

Nonoperating income for February was negative $618,000 resulting in an increase in Net Assets of $51,000. There were changes in cash flows which increased by $696,000 to $6,161,000 cash at the end of the Period. The balance sheet continues to be good.

Regarding Restricted Funds:
Benevolent Care Fund distributed $104,317 for the month of February to 16 residents. It is expected that the number of residents receiving care will increase to a total of  18-19 in coming months.

The Scholars Fund Balance is $1,262,386 after making Scholarship Payments of $18,000.

The Staff Appreciation Fund has a balance of $12,044.

In response to a question about entry deposits, about 1/3 of current residents, those admitted after June 1, 2017, are in the 90 percent refundable category, while 2/3 of current residents are in the 100 percent refundable category.

The committee will meet next on April 27 at 9:00 am in Brookside Classroom 1.

GROUNDS (Mike Rose, Chair):
The Grounds Committee met via Zoom on Tuesday, March 24.2021 with Mike Rose presiding. Staff members Ryan Truitt and Kiril Apostolov and 11 members participated.

The outside drain at Brookside has not been corrected and continues to create a muddy condition following rain. The staff will address this situation.  Staff agrees that grass will not grow there successfully and will investigate planting shade plants like liriope and mondo grass.  The tree which fell on the rock garden has been partially removed and Staff agreed to remove it completely from the rock garden.  Lamp posts will be painted this Spring.  Funds have been released for timber edging and mulch on the nature trail.  The privet hedge outside the chapel has been cut to a few feet to allow it to be fully exposed to the sun.  It will take a couple of years for the hedge to grow back. No pest problems were recognized.  Money has been released to repair the Nature Trail bridge.

The Five Year Plan lists those items which need to be completed but not a priority plan. Mike Rose asked for a copy of the priority plan done by Brightview. Athletic fields are a part of the community plan.   Kiril said that residents would be included in the planning of grounds work.

The next meeting will be at 10:00 am on April 27 by Zoom.

HEALTH SERVICES (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair):
Our Committee met on Tuesday, March 9, 2021, at 11:00 am via Zoom. One year after our first Covid restrictions were put in place, we are back to as close to normal living as possible with the vast majority of our residents and most of our employees fully vaccinated against Covid-19.  Thanks to the use of masks, seasonal Flu activity has been minimal with only one pediatric death nationwide. For those contracting pneumonia, influenza, and Covid, the majority of deaths were Covid-19 related. Wilton Overlook is fully operational and though visitation for it and Caton Woods is still restricted depending on the residents’ health situation, small group activities have begun. Visitors are no longer required to be tested for Covid, though they are still asked precautionary questions. The Intermissions Program will be fully reopened on April 1st with 5 hours of daily programming including individual lunches. The outpatient rehabilitation department has a Certified Aging in Place Specialist on board allowing for the implementation of best practices to ensure our residents can safely age in their home and will soon have a Certified Orthopedic Clinical Specialist.  The Bladder Retraining/Urinary Incontinence program has begun and a new plan to introduce blood flow restriction therapy is in the works.

Two of the Maryland General Assembly bills being considered, Senate Bill-204 establishing standards governing memory care and Alzheimer’s disease units in assisted living programs and Senate Bill-313 regarding outreach programs administered by the Maryland Department of Health to educate health care providers and increase their understanding of certain types of cognitive impairment were referred to the House Health and Government Operations Committee in  late March. Senate Bill-204 was amended by removing some regulations. Both bills passed both the House and the Senate and are being sent to the Governor.

Administration has been contacted to express concerns regarding a more safety-conscious method of medication delivery to residents’ shelves. In conjunction with the Baltimore County Police Department, the Charlestown Security Office, and this committee, a collection of unused medications is scheduled for Monday, May 10 from 1:00-3:00 pm; save the date. This is open to residents and staff alike.

Residents are encouraged to make use of the Residents’ Council website where one will find very helpful information and tips on all that is available to us, including health-related articles under the Health Services Committee page.

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 11:00 am via Zoom.

HOUSEKEEPING (Betty Elder, Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee did not meet in March of 2021.

As a reminder, emergency cleaning can be brought to the attention of the CCI Housekeeping staff. If any resident notices items that need immediate or emergency cleaning, they should report it themselves and use the My Erickson portal,  Let Mr. Kiril Apostolov know ( if there are blatant violations to trash and recycling procedures.

Maintenance items noted by the Housekeeping Committee members were shared with the Maintenance and Engineering Committee chairperson.

As of this time, all positions for housekeeping volunteers have been filled. However, advertisements will continue as unexpected vacancies may occur. Names of volunteers who have served since October 2020 have been shared with Stephanie Knowles. These volunteers were part of the Volunteer Recognition Celebration last week.

Our next meeting is on Friday, April 16, 2021, at 2:00 PM via Zoom.

The Legislative/Political Committee held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, March 10, 2021 at 10:00 am with 20 members in attendance. The meeting began with the approval of the minutes for the February 10, 2021 meeting. The first item of business was an update on the three 30-minute programs on legislation recorded and shown on TV972 under the heading of “What’s Up in Annapolis 2021”.  This has been a really unusual General Assembly session because everything has been virtual with all hearings, testimony and Senate and House meetings and votes are live-streamed. Everyone is socially distanced and masked. So none of the usual flavor of the session has been present. The other unique feature of the session has been the sheer number of major pieces of legislation that the General Assembly is tackling from police reform to major legislation in health and election law as well as major budget issues with the COVID relief act. All of this has happened before the Legislative session ends on April 12th.

TV Show 1: Voting and Election Law – Shown on March 2, 2021, this show highlighted proposed legislation in the areas of voting and election law. The presenters included Phyl Lansing, Eleanor Lewis, and Don Sillars.

TV Show 2: Health Care and Consumer Issues – Shown on March 9, 2021, this show highlighted proposed legislation in the areas of health care/health care service delivery, senior consumer issues, and equity. The presenters were Janet Allan, Wendel Thompson, and Ann MacKay. Together, they described nine separate pieces of legislation ranging from training for health care workers in dealing with dementia to setting standards for memory care.

TV Show 3: Environment and Conservation.  Presenters: Donna Martin, Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Marty Tewksbury, Bonnie Kawecki – This year there has been major legislation before the General Assembly to address climate change as well as bills related to recycling.

Future work of the committee will include:

(1) providing training for committee members and interested residents in advance of the 2022 General Assembly session focused on learning how to navigate the resources available to track legislation and read/follow bills through committees, hearings and discussions. Residents may find that they really love watching budget and tax meetings.

(2) reviewing the Residents’ Council Guidelines for Political Activity at Charlestown. The next meeting will take place on Wednesday, April 8th in Brookside Room 1. It will be a hybrid Zoom/in-person meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 11:06 am.

MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair, read by Hope Tillman):
The committee met on Tuesday, March 23rd at 2pm via Zoom. Nine members and Betty Elder, Chair of Housekeeping, met with General Services’ Kevin Crawford and Kiril Apostolov.

General Services’ Updates:  Mr. Crawford explained that there are many projects still being reviewed. The following projects have been scheduled to be completed

  1. AC for bldg. 2 [Maple Terrace]
  2. Roof replacement for Chapel Court and bridges throughout our campus
  3. Elevator replacement bldg. 7 [Courtyard Crossing]

We will get more updates as decisions are made.

Items that have been addressed or scheduled for completion:

  1. Structural floor issue at bldg. 8/9 bridge has been completed
  2. Painting of exterior light poles and striping at newly added stop signs to be completed within the next 2-3 weeks

New items discussed

  1. Lighting needed on bridge from Harborview to St Charles
  2. Maintenance issues occurring on evenings and weekends. Reporting between Security and General Services to be reviewed
  3. Light issues in Edgewood at 1st floor stairway and along courtyard area

Our next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 27th 2pm by Zoom

RESIDENT LIFE (Ron Fayer and Cindy McManus, Co-Chairs):
There was no meeting. The next meeting will be held Wednesday, April 21, at 2:00 PM via Zoom.  

SAFETY & SECURITY (Ed Wallace, Chair):
The meeting opened at 1:00 PM on Tuesday March 9, 2021, with ten committee members and three council members present using Zoom.
Security has informed us that they are no longer able to provide fall statistics to the committee, as they have done in previous years.  Clara and Heather have been emailed concerning fall statistics, with no answer yet.

Medicine is still being left on shelves.  The last reported occurrence happened about 1 week prior to this report.  Photos are available, if needed.

There have been several calls concerning speeding EMV’s.  Committee members have been requested to be aware if they see problems and to get the license numbers.

A meeting will be held in March with the Falls sub-committee and Charlestown personnel to discuss fall statistics, among other things.  Bill Miller and Ed Wallace will represent the committee.

The committee will begin planning for June, which is safety month.

Richard Crebs provided an article on Robo-calls, which was sent to all members of the committee.

The next meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 13, 2021, at 1:00 PM, in Brookside in person and on Zoom.

The Nominating and Elections Committee held meetings on March 5 and March 19, 2021. Committee members reviewed lists of names of potential candidates for election to the Residents’ Council. In addition, they updated the status of contacts previously made. Nomination packets have been sent to all approved candidates as of March 19th. Posters inviting residents to consider becoming candidates to serve on the Residents’ Council have been re-posted in the lobby areas at Charlestown. Residents continue to be encouraged to contact any Committee member to suggest candidates. Dates for filming candidate videos have been scheduled with TV 972 staff. The committee scheduled an orientation session for candidates to be held on Monday, May 3, 2021 at 7:00 pm in the Gallery. The purpose is to meet and greet the candidates and to review the guidelines for the Council’s election process. The members of the Executive Committee are also invited to this meeting. The next Committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 1:00 pm.

The Bylaws and Policies and Procedures Committee members for 2021 are: Ron DeAbreu, Steve Harders, Walt Howe, Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Mimi O’Donnell, Patricia Payne, and Hope Tillman. They have sent their changes to the documents to the Council for its review and action. The Policies and Procedures revised document will take effect once it receives Council approval which will be an agenda item for the Council’s Work Session this month. On the other hand, once the Bylaws document has been approved by the Council, it will be prepared to submit to the Charlestown residents for review at the August Residents’ Association Meeting.


Nathan greeted those attending saying how nice it was to see people in person. He discussed the following topics:


COVID remains an issue of focus. Nathan continues his role as the Incident Commander and will continue this role for the foreseeable future.  As of today, there are three residents with COVID, all in skilled nursing, who are recovering well. There are five employees and they are doing well.

Charlestown has taken steps to work with new residents/staff to get vaccinations through a national contract with CVS. Our new residents/staff have priority access for appointments.

COVID Survey

This on-line survey is important to Charlestown to give feedback about how Charlestown has done during the crisis, where we can improve, and precautions to take should there be another period of incidents like this in the future. It is on-line which provides quick results for administration so that immediate steps can be taken to improve. (Sessions have been set up to help residents who may not be comfortable with responding on-line.)

The annual Holleran resident survey will be conducted in September using the more traditional paper collection method.

Dining Services

Dining is operating with 75% capacity and it is good to see so many residents being out and about.

New Construction/Facilities

Nathan visited Wilton Overlook neighborhoods and it is wonderful to see residents in the new facilities. The parking structure with 249 parking spaces should be opened to residents, visitors and employees  in August.

Feedback from residents

Nathan commented that many residents have contacted him and administration with compliments on the way COVID has been managed at Charlestown. He appreciates the feedback and regularly shares it with others.