Commission members: Beth Wagner, Chairman, Ingrid Heller, Lea Mintz, Sam Crocker, Rosalind Kopfstein, Janet Metzger, Hilda Rhodes, Jean Whitham
Others present: Gail Schiron, Marie Sibilio, Ruth Moran, Julia Pemberton, Barbara Newland(Ridgefield VAN) and two visitors
Mrs. Wagner called the January 6, 2016 meeting to order at 9:01 am in the Redding Community Center
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the meeting of December 2, 2015 be accepted as submitted, Kopfstein, Metzger. Approved. Unanimous.
Iris Paul asked if the Heritage Center would return to a 5-day/week opening now that fuel costs are down, and added that she is interested in learning more about the Center’s programs.
Valli Lipsicis asked about the status of the Georgetown project and potential of senior housing as a part of that project.
First Selectman Pemberton responded to the questions, commenting that the 5-day/week would be a topic of the budget workshop. The change to the 5 day/week involves discussion of programming and staffing of the facility. The Georgetown project is at a standstill, and the future of the project is uncertain.
Barbara Newland is new representative from the Ridgefield VNA, replacing Eloise Barron who has moved out of the area. Ms. Newland briefly described her role and highlighted the upcoming Health Fair on April 9. The Ridgefield VNA will have a new facility soon and will be able to offer additional programming.
REPORT FROM DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES
Mrs. Schiron reported the following:
- 23 seniors received holiday gifts; she thanked the Congregational Church and Christ Episcopal Church for their generosity..
- 2 homebound visits were made during December
- Cub scouts decorated the windows at the Community Center for the holidays. They also brought in food for the food pantry, and learned about the food pantry and its purpose.
The operating budget for 2016-17 was reviewed in anticipation of the Budget Workshop on Friday, January 8, 2016. Mrs. Schiron noted that the Heritage Center and Social Services budget discussion is scheduled for 1:15 pm. Commission members discussed and stressed the importance of providing information on the number of paid and unpaid programs at the Heritage Center.
SENIOR CENTER COORDINATOR REPORT
Marie Sibilio reported on class participation in programs, paid and free programs, for December. The December Holiday Luncheon was attended by 45 people. The Mothers and Daughters Charity League sponsors and serves the lunch. The turkeys are provided by the Senior Center and that cost is offset by the $5.00 charge for the lunch. The choral and orchestra group from John Read Middle School provided entertainment for the lunch.
SENIOR CENTER PROGRAM REPORT
Ruth Moran reported the next presentation on Opera is scheduled as part of the cultural programs. A presentation by Charley Couch on Redding history is planned for January.
The Lunch & Learn on January 4 was attended by 10 people. Information was provided by Rosalind Kopfstein, Barbara Newland (Ridgefield VNA) and a representative of the Homewatch Caregivers.
Mrs. Moran plans to send out periodic surveys to get input and ideas for programs. She is hopeful that people with special talents/interests/experiences will come forward to share with others.
Mrs. Metzger reported that she contacted the FISH organization in Ridgefield for information on the operation. The program is 100% volunteer, there are no concerns about liability issues, the drivers are screened, the operation is a 501C3 group, and they have a central answering service. While this service works well in Ridgefield, it is doubtful it would be practical for Redding.
Marie Sibilio will be retiring at the end of January. Mrs. Wagner presented her with a token of appreciation and thanked her for her dedication to the Town of Redding and the seniors over the past 21+ years.
February 3, 2016, 9 am in the Senior Center.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:05 a.m.
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary