TOWN OF REDDING
COMMISSION ON AGING
WEDNESDAY, February 1, 2017
Commission members present:
Beth Wagner – Chair, Karen de Friesse, Jean Whitham, Rosalind Kopfstein, Ingrid Heller, Hilda Rhodes, Lea Mintz
Angelica Fontanez – Director of Social Services
Ruth Moran – Program Coordinator of Heritage Center
Guest: Julia Pemberton – First Selectman
The meeting was called to order at 9:00 a.m.
I. Approval of Minutes from December 2016
Motion: Minutes approved as written – unanimous.
II. Senior Center Program Report – Ruth Moran
Ruth talked about the variance between the money collected and the money paid to instructors, reminding the Commission of the monthly fluxuations due to prepaying for programs. Flo Vannoni was mentioned for her act of kindness – paying for film tickets for some of the people at the center. Jim Lang was mentioned for his sponsorship of the Met backstage tour. The discussion then centered on a series of programs being developed by Lea Mintz, Jean Rexford, Jean Whitham and Ruth to center on health policies and senior care options. Ruth would like to see one lecture at the Heritage Center, one at Meadow Ridge and one at the Mark Twain Library. Rosalind Kopfstein would like to include a program on caring for an aging relative.
Activities at the Heritage Center in January included an “Elder Defense” class, an Opera Talk by Jean Schroeder and a well-attended Opera DVD showing of La traviata.
The passing of Paula Allen was noted with fond comments from members on the board.
III. Director’s Report – Angelica Fontanez
Angelica noted the uptick in clients using the food pantry and oil requests due to the cold weather. She commented on the difficulties inherent in dealing with the state and cited some examples. The intern, Dev has been able to assist some clients in navigating through some of these issues with the State. Angelica is working with Chief Doug Fuchs to coordinate wellness visits, and to produce a procedure to facilitate visits with the police department.
Angelica said the donations for “Redding Shares the Warmth” have given her enough leeway to help but she stresses that the money is not replaced on a regular basis.
Angelica was also congratulated by the board for her excellent article in the Redding Pilot. Beth Wagner, as Commission chair will write a letter to the Pilot recognizing donors who were not mentioned in the article.
IV. Other Business
Julia Pemberton spoke on the probability of not receiving funds from the state of Connecticut and having to balance continuing programs with town tax increases. Beth Wagner mentioned that the AARP tax program was starting up once again in Bethel and Ridgefield and will gather contact information and availability dates to be published in the Blast.
There was no additional business presented before the Commission; the meeting was adjourned at 9:42 am.
The next COA meeting is scheduled for March 1, 2017 at 9:00 a.m. in the Heritage Center.
Minutes prepared by Karen de Friesse