Last Updated on December 9, 2021

(web version)

October 5, 2021
Residents’ Council Website:

President Pat Rudolph called the regular meeting of the Residents’ Council [the Council] to order at 7:00 pm on October 5, 2021.

Seventy association members attended. Visitors included residents, Pat Kasuda and Naomi McAfee, members of the Board of Directors, and Aida Blanco, Director, General Services.

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

Minutes for the September 1, 2021, Residents’ Council were approved as previously distributed.

President Rudolph presented the Mission Moments (Attached)

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

  • Pat Rudolph, President
  • Mimi O’Donnell, Secretary
  • Ron DeAbreu, Treasurer
  • Eugenia High, Chair of the Benevolent Care Committee
  • Dick Crebs, Co-Chair of the Communications Committee
  • Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair of the Conservation Committee
  • Ron McNab, Co-Chair of the Dining Committee
  • John Yoder, Chair of the Finance Committee
  • Mike Rose, Chair of the Grounds Committee
  • Carol Eshelman, Chair of the Health Services Committee
  • Sebastian Petix, Chair of the Housekeeping Committee
  • Pat Payne, Chair of the Legislative/Political Committee
  • Gordon Piché, Chair of the Maintenance & Engineering Committee
  • John Remias, Co-Chair of the Resident Life Committee
  • Justine Parezo, Chair of the Safety & Security Committee
  • Pat Payne, Chair of the Nominating & Elections Committee



Aida Blanco then presented “Words from Management” summarized below for those residents interested in reading the full text of the message.


President Rudolph adjourned the formal meeting at 8:08 p.m.

Respectfully submitted,
Mimi O’Donnell
Residents’ Council Secretary



(This Mission Moment came from a Happy Shopper to nominate a resident who helped Ellie make it a pleasant, successful trip for all. The Helping Hands would rather not be identified. Anonymity doesn’t diminish the nomination or the good deed.)


Residents’ spirits were soaring high and the temperature was intensely hot. This was a trip chauffeured by our dependable and patient Ellie. Since it was the first trip to Walmart since yesteryear, seating capacity was at a maximum. We were instructed the return trip to Charlestown would be at 12:30pm. At 12:20pm Helping Hands began going from aisle to aisle reminding shoppers to go to “check out” because a line was forming at the shuttle.  She also assisted those in need at the “check out,” helping residents with their walkers and heavy or bulky treasures. Thank you, HH, for volunteering to assist Ellie. You were the personification of Thomas Edison’s words of wisdom, “Success is 10% Inspiration and 90% Perspiration”  Recommended by a Happy Shopper.

HH’s action showed Responsibility, Caring, and Friendliness.

A neighbor nominates Karen Burkindine for a Mission Moment for her thoughtful decoration of the elevator entry on the 5th floor of HV/CR. Shortly after Karen moved to Charlestown, she saw the need to decorate the space where 5th floor residents arrive and depart. There is also an alcove with a game table and chairs that she decorates.

Karen began her generous efforts at Christmas with decorations centered around a large live poinsettia. At Easter, her display included a beautiful ceramic bunny bowl. For the 4th of July she presented a collection of patriotic items, all red, white, and blue. Summer has given us two wonderful, bright bouquets. The game table is dressed in an embroidered runner that she made, and a second floral centerpiece. Karen’s efforts have lifted my spirits every time I pass by.

The Mission Moments Committee acknowledges other efforts around Charlestown to beautify lobbies or spaces near elevators. Sometimes it is done by an individual, other times through Teamwork. In either case, it encourages Friendliness and Enthusiasm.

Mission Moment recommendations are always welcome. If you see or hear about someone showing Erickson Values of Respect and Caring, Diversity, Friendliness and Enthusiasm, Integrity, Responsibility, Excellence, Vision or Teamwork send your recommendation to Phyllis Lansing,, CR403.

Have you noticed that lately we hear the words “thank you for your patience” quite often? We know what that means. You are not going to get what you want. Things are not going to be the way you want them. And it is not going to change. Recently, upon hearing those words, it occurred to me that patience is an over-rated virtue. But it is not. Patience is the lubricant that allows all of us to live and work together without rubbing each other raw. We are all, residents, staff, and management, so done with this pandemic, but it is not over.  We are all grumpy and irascible because we thought the vaccine was going to end it but it didn’t.  It is so easy to channel our anger and frustration over the big picture to anger and frustration about the small things and to take those feelings out on those around us.  So, this month I am challenging myself and you to be more patient.

Last month. I challenged you to get involved by doing one extra thing each week. I accepted that challenge for myself and I said that I would be accountable to you. The fact that I was going to have to stand up here in front of you motivated me to meet that challenge. I can be a procrastinator but you’re holding me accountable worked.  I intend to continue to be involved and I hope you will as well.

VICE PRESIDENT’S REPORT (Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker):
No report

SECRETARY’S REPORT (Mimi O’Donnell, Secretary, and Diana Dunaway, Assistant Secretary):
No report

The Council’s account balance at the end of August was $4,292.51. The Council received no income in September and had expenditures totaling $300.00. Thus, the Council’s account balance at the end of September was $3,992.51.


BENEVOLENT CARE (Eugenia High, Chair):
The Benevolent Care Committee did not meet in September.

Our celebration of Benevolent Care Month could be observed as we assisted the Philanthropy team with promoting donations and educating residents on the importance of the Benevolent Care Fund.

September activities included presiding at Benevolent Care Fund information tables around Charlestown and at “The Fruits of Our Labor” event; encouraging resident Telethon participation and gift giving; supporting fund raising events such as the Popup Sale and Shop; and attending Patti Santoni’s ELLIC’s Myths and Facts class about Benevolent Care.  Each committee member is a Benevolent Care Ambassador.

A Sunburst article outlined the history of philanthropy and urged donating to make a difference.   972 TV programming included: Jean Eichenlaub reading a “Did You Know?” philanthropy segment; Mimi O’Donnell’s “Voices of the Council” interview with the BFC Committee Chair; and Patti’s weekly Philanthropy Friday episodes.

The next committee meeting will be on October 20th at 2pm in CTS 116.

COMMUNICATIONS (Dick Crebs and David Elder, Co-Chairs):
August minutes were approved.  Gregory Johnson and Mary Evans were the staff in attendance. Fourteen members attended.

Charlie Eichenlaub provided an update on Evergreen topics.

We discussed the Wi-Fi upgrade. As always, residents are urged to call 1-800-677-0211 to report problems.

Package delivery is an on-going problem. Gregory Johnson shared that there are improved results when the vendor provides a single driver for the entire campus. Amazon has not cooperated.

We discussed Swift reach and the alert line. The Alert line requires the resident to call, but Swift reach calls the resident.

Wayne Smith provided an update on the Data Taskforce findings.

Send Hope Tillman an email request if you would like to participate in an intercommunity Erickson tech meeting.

The Communications committee will meet via ZOOM for the remaining months in 2021. The next meeting will be on October 25 at 2:00 pm by Zoom.

CONSERVATION (Anna Marie Ciarrocchi, Chair):
The committee met September 21 and the July minutes were approved. The committee continues to pursue whether there is someone at Erickson Management who could come and shed light on the Sustainability report of Erickson.

Soon the tripods showing which items can and cannot be recycled will be displayed in the dining venues. Again, the committee emphasized that cardboard drinking cups and soup cups are NOT recyclable in Baltimore County. We need volunteers who are willing to monitor the recycling in Chapel Court, Parkview, Harborview, and Arborside. Contact Anna Marie Ciarrocchi at 443-833-3791 if you are willing to help.  Instructions will be given.

The committee learned that housekeeping automatically provides a new, blue recycling container and a beige container for trash can be requested from housekeeping.

The collection of plastic bags from each laundry room and taking them to the grocery store seems to be going well.

The guidelines for submission of articles to the Sunburst were reviewed.

The committee will meet October 19 and 2:00 pm in BR 2

DINING SERVICES (Ronald MacNab and Mary Lee Seaman, Co-Chairs):
The Dining Committee met on September 27 by Zoom.  Ron MacNab introduced Mary Lee Seaman as the new Co-Chair of the committee. Restaurant sub-committee chairs and members gave updates on their restaurants. The comments were that older residents could not use the computer to make reservations and that their phone calls were not answered.  Others complained that there were no reservation times left when they tried to register.

Ken Zahn reported that restaurants were operating well below capacity due to lack of staff. Reservation times are blank because all opening have been filled other than drop-ins (two tables in each restaurant.) He is working with his team to present a list of tasks that resident volunteers could perform to ease the staffing situation.

A resident asked if offering a ten-meal plan might be a temporary measure to reduce demand for full-service dining. Ken pointed out that such a decision would need to be made a top-levels and there may be issues with:
1) the Care Agreement all Retirement Communities must have with residents.
2) State Regulations regarding senior living communities

Ken will look into it.

The next meeting of the Dining Committee is October 18 at 2:00 in the Auditorium.

FINANCE (John Yoder, Chair):
The Finance Committee met on September 28, 2021, in Brookside Classroom 1 with Finance Director Pam Stiner, Finance Director Designee Gladstone James, Council President Pat Rudolf, Council Vice President Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker, Council Treasurer Ron DeAbreu and 9 committee members.

The meeting was called to order at 9 AM.

The Occupancy Data and Financial Package reports for August were presented by Pam Stiner:

Occupancy numbers for Independent Living, now standing at 91.2% and slightly below budget, are partly offset by the above-budget occupancy in Assisted Living, now standing at 93.4% or 12% above budget. To date, over half of the releases from Independent Living apartments and have been to higher levels of care, meaning that about half of the decreases in Independent Living are being picked up with higher levels of care are still within Charlestown. This has meant more Independent Living apartments being available despite continuing strong sales performance.

Resident monthly fee revenue was slightly higher than budget for August while Departmental Revenue was below budget, resulting in below-budget revenue for the month. But for the year to date, revenue is above budget by almost $1 million ($995,000), thanks in part to the CARES Act.

Over all, operating expenses for the month of August were $94,000 below budget, though the Year-To-Date operating expenses are $96,000 above budget, led primarily by unanticipated increases in the cost of contract labor due to COVID and resulting staffing shortages.

Highlights of restricted Fund activity include the following:

  • Benevolent Care Fund distributed $105,054 in August to 19 residents.
  • The Scholars Fund Balance is $1,624,326 after an inflow of $1,315 and an outflow of $44,877.
  • The Staff Appreciation Fund balance is $20,307 after an inflow of $1,375 from residents.

The next meeting of the Finance Committee will be 9:00 AM on October 26, 2021, in Brookside Classroom 1.

GROUNDS (Mike Rose, Chair):
The Grounds Committee met on Tuesday, September 28, 2021, with Ryan Truitt and Kevin Crawford from the Staff and 11 members.

Topics covered were:

  • Landscaping at Brookside, Herbert’s Run and St. Charles
  • Lamppost repair/painting
  • Replacing 4x4s and mulch on the Nature Trail and removal of debris
  • Removing a downed willow tree at the lake
  • Boat dock benches have been repaired/replaced
  • Front gate landscaping has been completed
  • The Chapel fountain will be cleaned/repaired
  • Regular maintenance of the Memory Walk has been scheduled
  • Caton Woods landscaping has been scheduled
  • A tree near the cemetery will be retrimmed to increase safety in the area
  • Discussion has begun on accessibility to Charlestown grounds, etc. in accordance with the ADA

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 10/26 at 10 AM. I will try to find a new meeting room that is more accessible for all.

HEALTH SERVICES (Carol Eshelman, Chair):
Statement read by Mary ODonnell
The Health Services Committee members met on September 13th via zoom.  There were 8 members attending and 2 guests.

Casey Jaekle introduced Brandy Simons, the new assistant home care administrator.  Casey reported that Home Health Care is continuing to work on improving customer satisfaction as well as educating customers on the many ways that an aide can assist them.  He also reported that they are continuing to hire new aides, but it is a very competitive market, so they are adding new incentives as well as using new recruitment techniques.

Continuing Care and Independent Living – Co-Liaison Louise Dempsey, reported on the meeting of the Caton Woods Council which was attended by 5 staff members and 19 residents. The discussions included maintenance updates as well as activities, trips, and dining. The Caton Woods 4th floor is currently off isolation.

The Unused/Unwanted Medicines Takeback program was a great success. People were very appreciative of the service. Six large boxes of medicines were collected and taken by the police department for incineration. The next collection will be January 10 2022.

The next meeting is scheduled for October 12, 2021, at 11:00 am via zoom.

HOUSEKEEPING (Sebastian Petix, Chair):
Meeting was held on 9/27. New members were welcomed and introduced along with past members. The minutes were approved. Committee membership totals 26 but more volunteers are needed.  All buildings are covered except but Maple Terrace.

Role of the committee was clarified to emphasize that we are to address the cleanliness and aesthetic aspects of indoor public areas including bridges, halls and stairwells. Anyone can complete a work order on the CCI web page if a housekeeping need is observed.

Past issues raised included bike storage in stairwells along with carts and abandoned bikes. Suggestions was made that bikes be registered. Solution to problem is being addressed with administration. Betty Elder is in communication with administration.

Also discussed was overflowing trash cans (exterior); broken entrance door; mice in apartments and communal areas near restaurants. Michelle Fenn head of housekeeping addressed these issues. She also stated that the deficit of housekeeping staff has been reduced to 10 from the previous 15.

Finally, suggestions for the Sunburst article for the February issue were solicited.

Future meetings will be held quarterly although monthly reports will be submitted to me. The next Housekeeping Committee will be in January 24, 2022 at 10:00 am in Brookside 1.

The Legislative/Political Committee met on Wednesday, September 8, 2021. The meeting began with a presentation on Maryland redistricting 2021 by Carol Wynne, League of Women Voters, Baltimore County. Carol shared a PowerPoint presentation summarizing key findings from the 2020 Census and the implications for re-drawing the State’s legislative and congressional districts prior to the 2022 elections.

Under Old Business, the Chair reported that the 2021 Residents Handbook has been revised to include the following statement:   The Residents’ Council and Administration will share specific guidelines regarding the appropriate display of political signage and collateral to be followed during active political seasons. In addition, the Committee discussed follow-up on efforts to amend the state liquor law so that private persons who use their own alcoholic beverages on the Charlestown campus are not in violation of our license.

The next committee meeting, October 12 at 10:00 am in BR2, will feature a presentation on Urban Information Systems.  The presentation will focus on the results of the 2020 census in Maryland.

The meeting was held on Tuesday, Sept 28th at 2pm in the General Services’ Conference Room.

6 members met with General Services’ Kevin Crawford and Chris Caldwell. Also in attendance were Council President Pat Rudolph and VP Merci Izquierdo-Whitaker.


  • Elevator for Bldg. 7 – Will finish in December 2021
  • Nature Trail Bridge – Done
  • Generator for St. Charles – on order, expected in January 2022
  • AC for Maple Terrace – scheduled for October
  • Scheduled Roof Replacements – No contracts yet. Chapel Court and Bridges
  • Terrace level Awning replacements – Bldg. 7, 8, 9, and Brookside (also arbors with awnings)


  • Brookside and Herbert’s Run Renovations… Still on schedule
  • Auditorium Stage Renovations… No decision at this time
  • Refectory – No new information at this time


  • Replace elevators – Charlestown Square, Chapel Court, Cross Creek Station
  • Visible vertical crack in the brickwork outside HV223 – GS looking into the situation. Building not in any danger.
  • Courtyard Crossing (Building 7) baseboard molding outside CY7G09 needs replacement
  • Outside door into small reception area before the doors into the main Chapel needs repair – Father Leo needs to address this issue.
  • Interior Signage needs attention. Committee members to make recommend changes.
  • Lock for automatic doors bldg. 8/9 link.

Next scheduled meeting October 26 at 2:00 pm in the General Services Conference Room.

RESIDENT LIFE (Rosemary Eck and John Remias, Co-Chairs):
The Resident Life committee members met on September 15, 2021. Sixteen residents and one staff member, Mary Evans, were present. Several long-term residents remain on the committee, providing valuable history to inform our future actions.

All residents are encouraged to add a photograph of him/her self to accompany your contact information in future resident directories. Details regarding how to do that will be shared in the coming months.

On an optimistic note – in future meetings, committee members will build a list providing ideas and actions to encourage residents to re-engage in Charlestown’s various activities once the pandemic is truly behind us.

We announced the creation of a Residents’ Diversity, Inclusion and Belonging (DIB) subcommittee. This will allow us to provide residents’ comments and ideas to the Administration’s Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Council for their consideration in the promotion of harmonious living here at Charlestown. Please contact John Remias if you are interested in participating in this effort. Our first meeting of the DIB subcommittee will be this coming Friday, October 8th, at 10:00 in Brookside Classroom 1.

Thank you to Mary Evans for continuing to serve as our community liaison.

The next meeting of the Resident Life committee will be on October 20 in Brookside Classroom 2 at 2:00.

SAFETY & SECURITY (Justine Parezo, Chair):
The last meeting of the Safety and Security Committee was held on September 14, 2021. It was well attended by 10 members and joined by two resident guests, as well as by Pat Rudolph of Resident Council and Aida Blanco, Director of General Services.

Fall Prevention: At the meeting, Bill Miller provided a written history of a cross- committee work group collaborating with the administration to bring Charlestown to ongoing compliance with CDC standards for fall prevention in community living. Work for protecting residents from falls will be ongoing.

Gun Take-back: A gun take-back event will take place in the first week of November. This will be done in collaboration with Baltimore County Police. A Baltimore County police officer and someone from our Security Department will go to the apartments of participating residents to accept rifles, handguns and/or ammunition from anyone who no longer desires to have them in their home.

If you would like to participate in this program, call Craig Nelson, Manager of the Security Department or Shawn White, Deputy Manager. They will see that you are on the list and will coordinate with you for the collection of these items.

The Role of the Committee: Ms. Blanco requested that we keep our eyes and ears open to assist the Security Department in identifying and addressing potential hazards to the safety and wellbeing of residents. If you see something, say something directly to Security. If you hear a rumor that concerns you, look to trusted sources for verification.

If you happen upon a fellow resident who seems cognitively disoriented, ascertain the resident’s name, and contact Security with his or her location. Security will respond and a social worker will follow up with a wellness check.

The next meeting will be October 12th in Brookside Classroom 1 pm.

WORDS FROM MANAGEMENT (Aida Blanco, Director of General Services):
Following is a summary of the information provided by Aida Blanco:

  • Patti Santoni, Director, Philanthropy was thrilled to announce that the recent telethon raised $124,165.00 with 2 level 6 donors of $5000 or more major donors and over $27,000 from the Charlestown Board of Directors. While the 2021 campaign is closed donations are accepted year-round just contact the Philanthropy team.
  • Collection for Staff Appreciation begins 10/18 and information will be distributed to each cubby.
  • Continuing Care (Caton Wood 1) is in complete isolation, breakout mode which means no communal dining, group activities or programming. Visitations can happen in residents’ rooms. These procedures are in effect for a minimum 14-day from today (Oct. 5). The staffing protocols for N95 masks and higher PPE will be put into effect in all probability for a couple of floors in Continuing Care units. We still have the COVID cohort in Wilton Overlook.
  • Testing for unvaccinated staff in Continuing Care continues for 2 x due to high transmission rate in the County. So, we will continue to test unvaccinated staff until further notice.
  • Sales signed 14 reservations and 15 settlements in September. So far, we are 20 settlements above budget, which is great news.
  • Although we are short staffed, Human Resources is taking many steps to get recruitment numbers where they need to be. We able to attract new employees and have hired 30 new employees in September. Note: 5 were for Housekeeping; with an additional 5 employees, Housekeeping may be able to resume in-apartment housekeeping services.
  • General Services signed a roofing contract with work starting Friday, 10/08 with prep work. The roof replacement will begin in a week or two.
  • Replacement of awnings for building 7, 8, and 9 started 10/04 and will continue for about half of the campus in a month and a half. The project will include replacing some of the arbors, as well.
  • Tree trimming including pruning and removal of dead trees is in process to provide more light to the area which will allow grass to grow.
  • Supply challenges continue to affect progress, especially with appliances. Replacement parts, nuts and bolts are difficult to obtain. Parts for the fountain outside the Chapel area should allow repair to be made, just in time for the winter.