Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman; Janet Cianci, Hilda Rhodes, Louanne Lang, Sam Crocker, Henry Polio, Jean Whitham, Janet Metzger, Lea Mintz, Beth Wagner
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, and Lore Handy
Mrs. Kopstein called the December 4, 2013 meeting to order at 9:02 am in the Community Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the November 6, 2013 meeting be approved as submitted. Metzger, Cianci. Approved. Unanimous.
Mrs. Schiron reported on the following:
- Energy Assistance: applications for fuel assistance have been received
- Nursing home visitations: Mrs. Schiron with an individual who is unhappy with current nursing home arrangements.
- Food Drive: the Food Pantry is full, thanks to food drives by RES and JRMS, the churches and residents.
- Thanksgiving baskets were made and delivered to those in need.
- Calls have been received from residents in need of small handyman jobs and snowplowing.
- Mrs. Schiron was appointed the Town’s contact person for the Veterans of Foreign Wars.
- Van: the current van will be donated to the Bridgeport Rescue Mission when the new mini-bus/van is received. The new vehicle is expected in February and is a gift from a deceased resident.
- Refreshments: the cost of refreshments (cookies & coffee) will be charged to the Program Account rather than the kitchen account. These refreshments are for the enjoyment of the groups that meet in the Center and visitors to the Center. There was discussion of asking local grocery stores for donations of baked goods that could be frozen for later use. Some of the groups who meet regularly contribute to the cost of the baked goods or take turns bring baked goods for the group.
Redding Shares the Warmth Fund: Mrs. Schiron noted that the current balance in the account is not sufficient for this year’s needs. She anticipates a greater demand for fuel this year, expecting more than 20 families who will need fuel assistance. Some of the local churches took up collections over the Thanksgiving holiday for the Fund. Mrs. Schiron will prepare a new article for the Redding Pilot on the importance of contributing to the Fund.
REPORT ON ACTIVITIES
Mrs. Sibilio reported on the following:
- AARP Driving Class: this was cancelled due to low interest. Another class will be scheduled in the spring.
- Mrs. Sibilio stressed the importance of making reservations for programs to assure the program has enough participants and to allow for sufficient seating & materials.
- Lunch on Election Day: 19 went to lunch in Bethel on Election Day
- Thanksgiving Luncheon: 67 people attended this. The luncheon is put on with help from the Mothers and Daughters National Charity League.
- Mrs. Sibilio and Mrs. Schiron attended a program in Wilton on the Affordable Care Act. There were more questions than answers.
- Ellis Island presentation by Art Gottlieb was well attended. He is doing a presentation on Pearl Harbor this afternoon.
- Cooking Class: 11 people participated in a cooking class with Mary Jo Dix.
Mrs. Moran reported the craft classes are doing well. A Thanksgiving pumpkin arrangement workshop and a Christmas Wreath workshop were well attended. She is preparing an article for the Redding Pilot to accompany photos taken by her husband, Bob Moran. Mrs. Moran is planning more of this type of 1-session workshop/programs. The only concern was that participants need to register for the classes so that adequate supplies will be available.
Luncheon Options: Discussion centered on what options exist to provide lunch for the seniors twice a week. Mrs. Moran provided information on what would be needed if the lunch was prepared and served by volunteers. The challenge would be to get volunteers to do the lunches on a regular basis. The group also discussed raising the cost of the lunch from $2 to $4. Information on the current program fees and the contract with CW is needed to complete the cost analysis and determine what, if any, changes should be made. There will be further discussion at the next meeting.
ELDERLY TAX BENEFIT
Mrs. Whitham contacted Tax Collector Pat Moisio and asked her to attend the meeting. Due to a last minute conflict, Mrs. Moisio was unable to attend the meeting. The group was interested in getting more information on the program, i.e. what is the cost to the Town for the benefit, how many are taking the benefit, etc. The Board of Finance subcommittee studying the Elderly Tax Benefit program has a meeting scheduled for tonight, December 4, at 6:30 in the Town Hall Hearing Room. Commission members were encouraged to attend the meeting and listen to the discussion.
The next meeting is scheduled for January 8, 2014 at 9:00 am at the Heritage Center.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:05 am.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary