Commission members: Rosalind Kopfstein, Chairman; Alice Pardee, Hilda Rhodes, Jean Whitham, Florence Hayes, Henry Polio, Lea Mintz, Louann Lang
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, and Natalie Ketcham
Mrs. Kopstein called the March 6, 2013 meeting to order at 9:02 am in the Community Center.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move to approve the minutes of the February 6, 2013 meeting as corrected. Whitham, Rhodes. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: Henry Polio was present for the meeting; adjournment motion was made by Mrs. Whitham, not Mrs. Mintz.
Mrs. Schiron reported on the following:
- Telephone system: a new phone system is now in place; some kinks are still being worked out.
- Budget: Mrs. Schiron attended the Department Head budget workshop. The departments were asked for a zero percent budget, and that is where the budget for 2013-14 is.
- Coffee/refreshments for the Center: Mrs. Schiron commented that the money spent to provide coffee and refreshments for the Center is substantial. Most agree that it is a positive gesture to have coffee and refreshments available for those attending programs or just socializing at the center. A suggestion to have a “donation” box available was made. Mrs. Rhodes commented that many of the groups would be willing to contribute to the cost of the coffee/refreshments.
- Meeting with representative of Bethlehem Lutheran Church: Mrs. Schiron had a meeting with Barbara of the Church to plan a luncheon program to discuss the needs of the community with the clergy of Redding. The concept is to provide work or service to the “seniors” in need with minor home repairs, or whatever is needed.
- Redding Shares the Warmth program: Mrs. Schiron reported that many have requested help with oil costs. The average grant is $400 for one fill up of oil. She currently had enough in donations to cover the needs for this year.
- North Western Mental Health Association: Mrs. Schiron noted that the discussion at the last meeting centered on the Newtown tragedy and issues of depression.
- Emergency Contract List: Mrs. Schiron was in contact with those on the emergency contract list during the last snowstorm.
- Budget: Mrs. Schiron met with Finance Director Steve Gniadek regarding the proposed budget, particularly how to make the Senior Center programs operate on a near self-sustaining basis. Mrs. Moran is collecting information regarding how other senior centers run their programs, and will present an analysis at the next meeting. Mr. Gniadek will attend the April meeting to discuss the issues.
SENIOR CENTER COORDINATOR
Marie Sibilio reported the following:
- Van trips for February, 1210 miles
- Bingo or a movie will be offered each month to the luncheon program.
- The RVNA has a program planned for March in Redding, “The Art of Memory”
- Newsletter: the newsletter will return to a monthly publication, but will not be mailed. Copies will be made available at the Community Center, Town Hall, and on bulletin boards.
Ruth Moran reported:
- Monthly flyers of activities have changed, one flyer describes the regular programs and the other describes the special events.
- Luncheon: during each month, one luncheon has a special theme.
- Garden Club: The Garden Club will offer a workshop on March 18 on planting of seedlings. Seniors will be encouraged to assist with the seedlings that will be planted in the garden outside the center. The Garden Club also asked if any of the seniors could assist with the preparation of price tags for their annual sale in May.
FOCUS GROUP QUESTIONS
Ideas have been collected. Mrs. Kopstein will work with a smaller group to assimilate the ideas and suggestions for discussion at the next meeting.
Redding Pilot article on Paula Allen: Mrs. Mintz complimented Mrs. Kopfstein on the article in the Redding Pilot that highlighted Paula Allen and her participation at the Heritage center. Mrs. Mintz added that she would like to see more residents of Meadow Ridge take advantage of the programs and classes at the Center and will help to distribute information and flyers.
Ridgefield VNA: Saturday, March 16, 2013 from 9 am to 1 pm is the Annual Health Fair. Another program is planned for May 21, 2012, from 7 pm to 9 pm on the topic of bank fraud schemes. The program will be sponsored by the VNA along with Fairfield County Bank. Probate Court Judge Egan is also participating in the program with information related to estate issues. It was suggested that Officer Chris McManus be invited to cover the topic of internet/computer safety and fraud schemes. Flyers for the program will be made available.
The next meeting is scheduled for April 3, 2013, at 9:00 am at the Heritage Center. A reminder, inclement weather and school closings will cancel meetings.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 9:50 am.
Mary Maday, Recording Secretary