Last Updated on October 8, 2021
THE RECORD OF THE CHARLESTOWN RESIDENTS’ COUNCIL
June 1, 2021
Residents’ Council Website: ccicharlestown.org
President Walt Howe called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm on June 1, 2021. The May 4, 2021 minutes were approved as distributed. 51 association members attended. Visitors included residents, Pat Kasuda and Naomi McAfee, members of the Board of Directors, and Heather Sheridan, Associate Executive Director for the Administration. The Council observed a moment of silence for those who have passed away.
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, Co-Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
Dick Crebs, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
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
Hope Tillman for Betty Elder, Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
Pat Payne, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
Hope Tillman for Jackie Graham, Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
Ed Wallace, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee
Patricia Payne, Chair of the Nominating & Elections Committee
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None
Hope Tillman, Chair, Bylaws, Policies and Procedures Committee, presented a summary of the proposed bylaws amendments, which appear below.
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 8:15 p.m.
Hope Tillman, Residents’ Council Secretary
ANNOUNCEMENTS/ PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Walt Howe):
According to Dot Bond, “Over the past year or so I have become stooped, and I walk very slowly, bent over my rollator. Sometimes people ask if I am OK or if I need help. So far I haven’t needed help, but I appreciate their concern. One day last fall someone I didn’t know stopped me in the hall and asked if I would like for her to get my meal from the Fireside. I thanked her but said I was just slow. Several days later she called and introduced herself and told me which restaurant and which pickup time she had arranged for her own dinner. She suggested I order from the same restaurant and for the same time and she would pick up both meals. She delivered mine to my door and she has continued to do this several days a week. I am spoiled. My “deliverer” is Barbara Kasemeyer. We both live in Building 9, Greentree Court.”
Those Charlestown brown paper bags do get around. Julie Helms called to recommend Nancy King for Mission Moment recognition. It seems Nancy had noticed a woman and her daughter pushing a shopping cart full of brown paper bags to put into the daughter’s car. A conversation ensued which revealed the brown paper bags were being taken to the Howard County Food Bank. There the sturdy bags were gratefully received so they could hold food donations for the Food Bank clients. “What a good idea,” thought Nancy. So a relationship developed. Nancy put out the word that she would gladly gather bags of bags early on recycling mornings in Herberts Run. As others became aware of this way to reuse the bags, they volunteered to help. Now the helpers cover two buildings on recycling mornings. Many good friendships have formed during the process which exemplifies teamwork, stewardship of resources, and friendliness. This shows harmonious community living, something we all can enjoy.
Do keep your eyes and ears alert for potential Mission Moment recognition. The Mission Moment Committee members (Roberta Poulton, Jacqueline McLellan, Mary Marshall, Gloria Palladi, Pat Kasuda, Dolly Ruprecht, Don Sillars, Linda Smith, Jude Socher, and Dayle Dawes) would be delighted to read your recommendations. Send them to Phyl Lansing.
We are now in the midst of the Wi-Fi upgrade, and I would like to offer some thoughts for those who encounter problems when the new Wi-Fi is turned on for your building. This applies not just to Residents’ Council members, but everyone who hears this. For some, the switch to the new Wireless Access Points (WAPs) will be easy and painless. For others, the switch will take some tweaking. The tweaking in some cases will just take a phone call to the IT 800 number. Others may require a visit from IT. A few will find that their older systems are not compatible.
We are switching to a new and better technology that will be more reliable and handle more connections and more demands like Zoom and video streaming. You do not need to know how to do the necessary tweaking; help is available.
When the new Wi-Fi is turned on, please understand that problems are expected. They are not a sign that the new system does not work. They just mean that adjustments are needed. In many cases, each of your devices needs to be told to forget the old network in order to connect to the new one. It is important to understand that if you encounter any problems, you need to report them in order to get help. Don’t wait for someone to figure out you need help. Call the IT 800 number. You are not expected to figure out the problems by yourself, and you will not be charged a fee for restoring or improving your Wi-Fi access at this point. It is part of the process that is already paid for.
I wish everyone a painless switch to a better and more reliable Wi-Fi system.
VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Pat Rudolph): No report
SECRETARY’S REPORT (Hope Tillman, Secretary, and Mimi O’Donnell, Assistant Secretary): At the Work Session, Sales Director Don Grove provided an overview of current sales efforts.
TREASURER’S REPORT (Ron DeAbreu):
The Council’s account balance at the end of April was $5,558.50. The Council received no income in May. Expenditures totaled $21.17. Thus, the Council’s account balance at the end of May was $5,537.33. The treasurer’s report was accepted.
BENEVOLENT CARE (Jean Eichenlaub and Eugenia High, Co-Chairs):
The BCF Committee met on May 26, via Zoom. The Philanthropy committee members were in attendance.
Patti emphasized that we must develop more strategies to increase funding for BCF by going “outside the gate” of Charlestown. This would include the Friends and Family Strategic Plan. Producing a sporadic monthly email newsletter from and about Charlestown could be used as a way to communicate with friends and family.
Other suggestions from Patti included the creation of a “Give Smart” platform that offers people a ”text to donate” opportunity. It may be coming this summer.
The Philanthropy 2020 Annual Report received favorable comments from many residents who viewed it as informative and well done. It can also be used to educate family members and new residents.
Emily Fowler reported that the Treasure Sale stores are in use only for residents and staff purchases. The red dot furniture sale was successful. Individual “sidewalk” sales were successful with the help from volunteers.
There is no date set for a future large-scale Treasure Sale. The plans for the Tin Cup golf game are moving smoothly, but there are still some openings for players.
Our next meeting will be on June 23, at 2:00 pm. It will be by Zoom.
COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs and David Elder, Co-Chairs):
David Elder opened the meeting. Greg Johnson and Mary Evans, and Ken Zahn were the staff in attendance. We had 18 members attending. Minutes from the April meeting were approved.
The Charlestown website has added the continuing care activities calendars, information about online dining reservations, and an update to the Maryland legislature bills tracked by the Legislative-Political Committee.
Changes to the ccicharlestown.org website navigation menu were approved and will be implemented.
Charlie Eichenlaub provided an update on Evergreen topics.
Ken Zahn shared details of the dining services reservation rollout. Volunteers will man a table outside the campus restaurants to answer resident questions and have forms for MyErickson signup. Community Resources then contacts the resident and schedules an appointment to assist in the signup. There is also an infomercial on 972 which outlines the steps to make a dining reservation. Please note that the reservation is for only one name, any additional persons will be added at the time of seating for contact tracing. The waitlist is more of a “call ahead” and is for same-day usage. If you don’t receive an email confirmation, go ahead and call the restaurant.
We exhaustively discussed the Wi-Fi upgrade. Several St. Charles residents have complained of slow speeds and inability to connect. If you have an issue with Wi-Fi, send an email to David Elder, sharing details. Include your platform, name, and email.
David shared a few words regarding the Computer Literacy Project. It meets on Saturdays at 10 am. You need to contact David and give him your email address and he then sends a Zoom link.
There is an additional meeting on the 3rd Wednesday of each month.
The Data Project Taskforce will meet next on June 29. “MyUnity” is the census system of record for Charlestown. Over 30 people at Charlestown have the ability to update demographic data in My Unity. Brittany Owens administers the yearly Responsible Party updates in My Unity.
Next Month’s meeting is on June 28 at 2 pm via Zoom.
CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The committee met in Brookside 1 with one staff member and eight residents. Two of the members were new. The April minutes were approved.
COST OF RECYCLING AND TRASH REMOVAL: The Committee had questioned Ms. Fenn about costs per ton for trash and recycling because we felt that giving the residents this information would further incentivize them to recycle. We learned that we need to request this information from Administration. We have asked the president of the Council to ask this at his next meeting. We did learn that there is a market for plastics that can be made into outdoor furniture.
PLASTIC BAGS: We discussed the problem of people mixing trash with their plastic bags including very unsanitary items. If the volunteer sees there is contaminated material mixed in with the plastic, that whole bag of contaminated plastic will be trashed.
New signs were posted in the laundry rooms. The following residents have volunteered to pick up the plastic and bring it to the grocery store: Mary Perschy – Brookside; Rosemary Herman—St. Charles; Marty Tewksbury—Harborview and Chapel Court; Wendel Thompson—Courtyard Crossing and Fountain Hill; Donna Martin—Arborside; Anna Marie Ciarrocchi—Herberts Run.
There was a discussion about climate change legislation. Advocacy for legislation will be done through the Legislative Committee. We note that one of the bills we were following passed—500,000 Trees will be planted in Maryland.
The committee began discussing a possible visit to the recycling center.
Our next meeting will be on June 15, 2021, at 2:00 pm in Brookside Classroom 1.
DINING SERVICES (Bob Caulfield and Ronald MacNab, Co-Chairs):
The Dining Committee met on May 17, 2021, in the Auditorium with thirty members and guests. This was the first time we have all met in person since February 2020. Ron MacNab spoke saying that using the Auditorium was an experiment. We have been getting a larger turn-out than Brookside Classroom 1 can accommodate. If we continue having a large attendance, we will continue meeting in the Auditorium.
Bob Caulfield expressed concern with Charlestown’s need to hire new employees in light of the current job market. Staff was reduced during the pandemic and now we are hiring and training new people for our restaurants, just as restaurants throughout Baltimore have reopened and returned to full capacity. There is competition in the industry, for competent staff, willing to work for the current $11.75 Maryland minimum wage.
Ken Zahn provided an update on Dining Services.
There are nine promotions taking place. Victor Cirrincione was promoted to Regional Chef and moved to Corporate Headquarters. Paul Edelman was promoted to Assistant Director of Dining Services, Kevin Reid was promoted to Executive Chef at the Atrium, and Executive Chef Keven Jones was moved from the Atrium to the Chesapeake. As in any transition, it is expected that it will take a bit of time for people to get used to their new roles and coworkers.
The masking requirement for residents was dropped. Staff will continue to wear masks. Dining Services is checking closely with the County Health Department to adjust as changes are made. Once table distance requirements are lifted, it will take some time to get the tables back in the dining rooms.
The Sunday brunch menus are being changed monthly.
By June, most menu items from a restaurant will be made available for the dining room, by delivery or pickup.
There is a general consensus that dining room experiences have improved and usage is increasing.
The next Dining Town Hall meeting will be May 28 at 10:00, in-person at the Auditorium.
The meeting then went to a question-and-answer session.
Brunch is being extended from 11:00 to 4:00. With time and experience, it will be decided if an evening meal should be provided on Sundays.
Some of the chairs at the Chesapeake are missing sliders and difficult to move.
It was asked if coffee and tea will be coming back to the lobby areas and Black Swan. Ken said this could not be considered as long as there is a health restriction for us on self-service. Beyond that, he could not say.
It was pointed out that the MyNutrition Menu on MyErickson does not match well with the actual restaurant menus. Ken acknowledged there was a problem and will seek to improve it as positions are filled and trained.
An online reservation system will be up and running within the next few weeks.
Once again, residents requested that the salt content be reduced especially in the soups.
There was an observation, a resident asking for butter was told they are out. The resident repeated the request to another of the staff and that request was fulfilled. Ken responded that more training is needed. Several of the staff had no experience in dining room procedures. Training is a priority.
Ken was complimented that many of the items mentioned during the focus group meetings are already appearing on our menus.
FINANCE (Gordon Piche, Chair):
The Finance Committee met on May 25, 2021, in Brookside Classroom 1 and by Zoom with Finance Director Pam Stiner, Council President Walt Howe, Council Vice President Pat Rudolph, Council Secretary Hope Tillman, and Council Treasurer Ron DeAbreu and nine committee members. The meeting was called to order at 9:00 am.
The Occupancy Data and Financial Package reports for April were presented by Pam Stiner:
Independent Living 91.9%
Overall CC Occupancy 86.2%
Independent Living Settlements for Quarter 1 were above target (37 actual vs. 30 budget), plus 15 settlements in April indicating continued positive momentum.
April Operating Revenue of $7,307,000 was $282,000 above budget and includes $241,000 for Care’s Act Federal Relief Funds which will continue each month through June. Operating Income was $1,109,000, which is $206,000 above budget. Operating expenses were $76,000 above budget, still partly attributed to COVID expenses. Non-operating income for April was $1,046,000 resulting in an increase in Net Assets of $2,155,000. Some very good news is that cash flows have turned around and increased by $575,000 resulting in $6,999,000 at the end of April. The balance sheet continues to be good.
Regarding Restricted Funds:
Benevolent Care Fund distributed $113,179 for the month of April to 18 residents. It is possible that the number of residents receiving care will continue to increase in the coming months.
The Scholars Fund Balance is $1,485,648 after an inflow of $107,245.
The Staff Appreciation Fund balance is $15,488 after an inflow of $2,190 from residents.
Hiring and retaining new staff in a labor market where wage levels have been increasing rapidly has presented a challenge, particularly in the healthcare lines of business.
We continue to combine studio and one-bedroom apartments to meet the demands for larger units. Pam indicated that the current budget provides for 15 combos to be completed this year.
In response to questions about the investment portfolio, Pam indicated we drew $11.5M from investments that will take approximately 5 years to replenish.
The committee will meet next on June 29 at 9:00 am in Brookside Classroom 1.
GROUNDS (Mike Rose, Chair):
The Grounds Committee met via Zoom on Tuesday, May 17, 2021, with Mike Rose presiding and the following staff members: Ryan Truitt and Kevin Crawford. There were 15 members participating.
The first order of business continuing once again was ground cover for Brookside and Herbert Run facing the Nature Trail. Treatment is also needed as well on terrace apartments frontage. Liriope and an unknown plant, perhaps native, will be used.
Arborside steps need repairing and a staircase is needed to access the bocce court. Moving trees is prohibited by Baltimore County.
Fill is being added to the end of the bridge followed by mulch and timbers. Bridge repairs will be made. It is possible to cross but not ready to be advertised. Several lamp posts still need painting. The back of Cross Creek needs some erosion control. There are currently no plans.
A post at the entrance to the Nature Trail was knocked over. It may have been damaged by the vendor. The slip tape needs to be replaced on some trail steps.
Nineteen large boards at the lake have been replaced by Kevin. St. Charles shrubs for privacy—shrubs will be removed and replaced at St. Charles 110. EW 202 would like additional shrubbery cut off.
Memory Walk should be edged and blown clean. Trimming is being done according to Kevin who will water it. The tree at the corner of the cemetery needs to be trimmed so that it will not block light at night.
Benches on the ballfield will be replaced. They will be of aluminum and have backs.
The hedge and trees near the chapel, including ivy, have been completed and look good.
The company Solitude was at the lake so things are looking good. Dye will be added twice a month to kill the algae.
Bonnie said that the single pier needs a rope for the security of walkers.
At the end of Parkview, the parking lot needs to be concreted. Kevin will follow through with this.
The next meeting will be held on June 22nd by Zoom.
HEALTH SERVICES (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Chair):
Our Committee met on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at 11:00 am via Zoom with one Administration Staff present.
Unused Meds Collection on May 10 was a great success thanks to our residents and volunteers. We have scheduled the next one for Monday, September 13, from 1:00 -3:00 pm.
Our Continuing Care liaisons met with the Caton Woods Council and with the Wilton Overlook Continuing Care Council, each comprised of staff and residents, for the first time since March of 2020. At Caton Woods visitation is now fully open, and all residents are vaccinated with masks required only indoors. Visitors must have their temperature taken at Wilton Overlook prior to visiting and must wear masks at all times. There are two nurses on duty daily, each covering a twelve-hour shift and three caregivers per floor. Meals are now served in the dining rooms with residents assigned to one of two sittings or they may dine at any of the restaurants. The beauty shop is open and daily schedules of events are posted with live entertainment available on Saturdays and for special events. Volunteers to help with activities are always welcome.
At Wilton Overlook, staff has dealt with new schedules, new assignments, and increased duties for several months, including coping with COVID and the relocation of 150 residents into their new homes with many staff now certified as medical technicians. An entire assisted living floor was added, and the rehab unit relocated. Efforts are now in place to replace staff that left and to add staff in areas needed. Meals are served in the dining rooms and the Beauty Salon is open, and birthday celebrations and other forms of entertainment will resume.
We have a resident representative on the Home Health Service Advisory Council and continue to be involved with the Low Vision Reading Brigade and the Computer Literacy Project. Monthly articles have been submitted to the Sunburst by the Falls Prevention Group requested a Safety Orientation by the Charlestown Security Services as many existing and new residents may not be aware of what to do in certain emergencies.
The COVID testing kits at the Medical Center are available only for residents exposed to COVID, manifesting COVID symptoms, needing pre-operative procedures, or moving from Independent Living to Assisted Living or Long Term Care. Because testing kits have to be available for any potential COVID outbreak, they are not available for those needing the test for traveling purposes. These tests are available at St. Agnes or CVS.
Various initiatives to encourage staff to get vaccinated are being conducted but mandatory vaccination cannot be imposed. Explaining to those unvaccinated the advantages of getting the vaccine by emphasizing its benefits of maintaining health and safety for themselves, their families, and residents is positive reinforcement. We encourage residents to be supportive of Staff expressing our thanks for the monumental job they have done during the pandemic for which we are indeed grateful.
The next meeting will be held on June 8 at 11 am via Zoom in Brookside Classroom 2.
HOUSEKEEPING (Betty Elder, Chair):
The Housekeeping Committee held a hybrid meeting on May 21, 2021, with eighteen people in attendance. The Charlestown staff was represented by Michele Fenn.
Several messages to facilities coordinators, Dave Vickers, Steve Hall, and Julie Colburn, were not answered about the long-term storage of personal items in the hallways and in stairwells. Ms. Fenn will contact their supervisor and will get information for the committee. Also, she will check into the issue of hanging towels to dry on the balconies.
Ms. Fenn will reach out to the Sales Department and Ms. Blanco about Wayforth trucks still leaving packaging items (straps, tape, etc.) in the front driveway of the St. Charles and will reach out to contractors about excessive dust still on the railings in the St. Charles and wallboard handprints in the Brookside elevators.
Residents’ apartments outside window washing will take place soon. Outside windows of the common areas of the hallways and bridges should have already been done. Ms. Fenn mentioned that the inside window cleaning of common areas should be taking place weekly. Committee members have not seen this at all. In addition, Ms. Fenn mentioned that there is a recurring stain on the carpet on the CC-AS Bridge. Maintenance and contractors have been notified and are looking into the source of the stain.
If any resident notices items that need immediate or emergency cleaning, they should report it themselves and use the My Erickson portal (CCIWorkOrders@erickson.com).
Maintenance items were shared with the Maintenance and Engineering Committee chairperson.
A replacement resident inspector for Greentree (Building 9) is needed. Please contact Betty Elder if interested in filling the role.
There is NO Housekeeping Committee meeting in June. Our next meeting is on Friday, July 16, 2021, at 2:00 pm. It will take place in Charlestown Square, Classroom 116.
LEGISLATIVE/POLITICAL (Pat Payne, Chair):
The Legislative/Political Committee held its monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at 7:00 pm on Zoom with 38 people in attendance. Special guests at the meeting included the members of Maryland’s District 12 Legislative Delegation: State Senator Clarence Lam and Delegates Eric Ebersole, Jessica Feldmark, and Terri Hill. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the activities and outcomes of the 2021 General Assembly Session that ended on April 12, 2021. Issues of primary concern to the legislators during the session included: (1) the pandemic and the steps necessary for getting the citizens of Maryland vaccinated, (2) overriding the Governor’s veto of “The Blueprint for Education”, (3) enhancing the impact of the state’s job creation tax credit, (4) passing legislation to reduce the influence of money in elections, (5) overriding the Governor’s veto of funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), and (6) passing police reform legislation. The legislators responded to several questions from the residents. Of particular interest was their explanation of the process the Legislature must follow to override a gubernatorial veto. The meeting ended at 8:30 pm with the legislators making a commitment to meet with the committee again before the 2022 General Assembly Session.
The next meeting of the Legislative/Political Committee will be on June 9 at 10:00 am in Brookside Classroom 1.
MAINTENANCE & ENGINEERING (Jackie Graham, Chair):
The meeting was held on Tuesday, May 25th at 2 pm by Zoom. The committee met with General Services’ Chris Caldwell and Don Hoffman.
General Services’ Updates
PROJECTS SCHEDULED FOR THIS YEAR
Nature Trail Bridge
AC for Maple Terrace
Roof replacements for Chapel Court, Parkview, and bridges throughout campus
Generator for St Charles
Elevator for Building 7
Awning replacement for terrace level units
PROJECTS TENTATIVE SCHEDULED FOR NEXT YEAR
Brookside and Herbert’s Run renovations
Auditorium stage renovations
PROJECTS ADDRESSED OR ON SCHEDULE
Lighting on bridge Harborview to St Charles, Roof runoff issues, automatic doors bldgs. 8/9 and 7/8 links, repainting of light poles, retaining pond pump issue, and various M&E issues reported by the Housekeeping Committee.
Centerline striping needed on road near the Chapel. All striping not replaced after completion of new construction.
Next meeting Tuesday, June 22nd at 2 pm currently by Zoom.
RESIDENT LIFE (Ron Fayer and Cindy McManus, Co-Chairs):
There was no meeting in May. This next meeting will be held on June 16, 2021, at 2:00 pm.
SAFETY & SECURITY (Ed Wallace, Chair):
The meeting opened at 1 PM on Tuesday, May 11, 2021, with eight committee members, two Residents’ Council members, and two Charlestown representatives.
The following items were discussed:
There is still no definitive set of rules for using the elevators. What seems to work is for people to ask anyone already in an elevator if they mind if they enter. If they do not feel comfortable with you entering, then wait for the next elevator.
A discussion with Mimi O’Donnell on the functions of the Safety and Security Committee was recorded and will be televised during the month on channel 972.
Several people indicated that they were worried that the Gallery was not being locked at night to safeguard the paintings in the room. Charlestown security indicated that they were locking the Gallery each night at 7 PM and unlocking it at 7 AM.
Since June is National Safety Month, the committee has submitted an article for publication in the June Sunburst.
There apparently are some derelict vehicles occupying parking spaces. Anyone aware of the same should contact Security or a member of the committee.
There was a discussion as to the need for another firearms turn-in. A final decision will be made at the next meeting.
The use of pendants was discussed because of a recent event in which the resident did not properly push the button. The button should be held down until the pendant vibrates.
There was a discussion regarding the reporting of any property thefts or vehicle break-ins at Charlestown. Such rare occurrences should be reported to Charlestown security, but it is the responsibility of the reporting person to notify the police.
Charlestown security personnel should be recognized by residents when they perform duties that are “beyond the call”. Such recognition is always appreciated by the security staff.
The next meeting will be Tuesday, June 8, at 1:00 PM at Brookside Classroom 1.
NOMINATING & ELECTIONS (Pat Payne, Chair):
The Nominating and Elections Committee has been meeting since January. We held an orientation meeting for the 2021 candidates for the Residents’ Council on May 3, 2021, at 7:00 pm in the Gallery. At this meeting, the candidates briefly introduced themselves and were, in turn, introduced to the Council President, Vice-President, and members of the Nominating and Elections Committee. The Committee Chair also reviewed the guidelines for the Residents’ Council elections at Charlestown. In addition, the candidates signed up for video tapings for their candidate introductions on TV 972 and completed the required documents. There are a total of 10 candidates for the Residents’ Council for 2021. They are Diana Dunaway, Rosemary Eck, David Elder, Carol Eshelman, Louis Nielsen, Justine Parezo, Sebastian Petix, John Remias, Mary Lee Seaman, and John Yoder. The campaign begins July 1, with the election scheduled for August 4, 2021. Special thanks to the members of the Nominating and Elections Committee who helped recruit candidates for the Residents’ Council. They include Anna Marie, Ciarrocchi, Vice-Chair, Joan Green, Pat Kasuda, Diane Lyons, Bill Miller, Sherry Stewart, Wendel Thompson, and Hope Tilman.
BYLAWS COMMITTEE (Hope Tillman, Chair):
Proposed amendments to the current bylaws were approved by the Residents’ Council in its March work session and will be brought to the Residents’ Association for approval at the Annual Meeting in August 2021. This document will be distributed to all residents for review prior to the Annual Meeting to meet the current Bylaws amendment requirements. Copies are currently available at the lobby desks in the Residents’ Council binders. Please contact Hope Tillman with any questions or concerns.
While the major change was to add a statement to cover extraordinary circumstances such as COVID for running Council elections, we found several other places we felt clarifications were important. The committee also proposes minor corrections on punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. We have adopted gender-neutral language throughout the documents.
In Article I, Objective, we are proposing to add “residents” to the wording “Monitor legislation concerning the welfare of retirement communities”, so that it reads “Monitor legislation concerning the welfare of retirement communities and their residents” to add our concern for the residents as well as the community. This is important when there are needs of the community which may not coincide with resident needs.
In Article IV, Residents’ Council, we are adding a statement to cover extraordinary circumstances, such as COVID, for running Council elections, to adopt procedures that protect voter privacy and assure the right of all residents to vote. We also changed the word resume to bio, as we only ask candidates to submit a short statement of 100 words and not a complete resume.
In Article V, Duties of the Secretary, we removed the Council computer from the responsibilities of the Council Secretary, as there is no longer a computer in the Council office to be maintained.
In Article VI, Duties of the Treasurer, we removed the reference to petty cash, as it is no longer used.
In Article VII, Committees, we made the establishment of standing committees a requirement and the establishment of special committees optional.
In Article VII, Meetings, we separated the procedures for the annual meeting, special meetings, and Residents’ Council meetings for clarity.
WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Heather Sheridan):
Heather Sheridan began by providing the COVID statistics. There is one resident in independent living who currently has tested positive. There are 0 staff positive and 6 staff out on quarantine. 98% of the residents have been vaccinated, including residents who have recently moved in.
Mask guidelines have changed. They are now required by anyone unvaccinated and for those in large groups of 50 or more. Guests can now use the Fitness Center and pool. Guest rooms are available as of June 1.
The dining rooms are moving all the furniture back in place, but not all tables can be filled until there is adequate staffing. Currently, we have about 50 vacancies in our Dining Services. That is close to the typical vacancy rate for this time of the year, slightly higher due to COVID. This rate is lower in comparison with our sister communities.
Heather was happy to report from Don Grove that in May there were 18 settlements along with 25 reservations. Many thanks to the residents who recommended Charlestown to their friends and family.
The Wi-Fi project Update: So far the contractor has completed the installation of wireless access points in over 1000 apartments. St. Charles was activated on May 11. There have been 45 tickets submitted by residents out of the 125 apartments in St. Charles. Heather is tracking all tickets to completion. Residents are encouraged to report any connectivity problems to the 1-800-677-0211 support line.