Commission members: Beth Wagner, Chairman, Ingrid Heller, Lea Mintz, Henry Polio, Rosalind Kopfstein, Janet Metzger, Hilda Rhodes, Jean Whitham
Others present: Gail Schiron, Ruth Moran, Julia Pemberton
Mrs. Wagner called the February 3, 2016 meeting to order at 9:00 am in the Redding Community Center
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
Motion: move that the minutes of the meeting of January 6, 2016 be accepted as corrected. Mintz, Metzger. Approved. Unanimous.
Correction: page 1, Barbara Newland is with the Ridgefield VNA.
REPORT FROM DIRECTOR OF HUMAN SERVICES
Mrs. Schiron reported the following:
- Senior energy applications: she has received several, one was denied, but an appeal is being made.
- Van: January had 119 trips for a total of 1,070 miles. A repair on the van is needed, parts have been ordered and the repair will be handled by the Highway Department.
- Doug Hartline concert: Doug Hartline performed a concert on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at the Christ Church. Along with Doug, were four members of his group and with his wife Ginny and her sister providing the vocals. The purpose was to raise funds for the Redding Shares the Warmth program. Mrs. Metzger reported that $1,200 was collected.
Mrs. Schiron was thanked for her 27 years of service to the senior population of Redding.
First Selectman Pemberton reported that the Angelica Fontanez has been hired to be the Director of Social Services. She is scheduled to begin work on February 16, 2016. Mrs. Pemberton stated that temporary help at the Heritage Center front desk has been filled by Jean Tompkins. Mrs. Moran continues to work on a part time basis, about 20 hours a week. The “RecTrac” function will now be handled by Laura Anderson from the Park & Recreation office. Eventually, that function will return to the Heritage Center office staff.
Plans to replace Mrs. Sibilio are pending further review of the actual need and function of the office. The goal is to provide a greater breadth of programming for seniors. Beginning in March, the Heritage Center will be open on Fridays, and programs will be offered. The computers in the computer lab are outdated and need to be replaced. Mrs. Pemberton is working on that issue, along with the updating of software.
SENIOR CENTER PROGRAM REPORT
Ruth Moran reported on results of a survey done in the past month. She summarized the results that included a desire for computer basics, games, art lectures, cooking classes, history lectures and many other interesting activities.
Mrs. Moran noted the Cultural Café events have been very popular. The talks on opera by volunteer Jean Schroeder have been very well attended. The recent talk on Redding History by Charley Couch was attended by more than 40 people. Mrs. Moran is exploring other areas of interest. A summary of regular class participation was also distributed.
Tax Preparation: AARP sponsored tax preparation is available in Bethel and Ridgefield. Appointments are necessary.
Mrs. Metzger provided a summary of the information that was gathered on transportation options. Various taxi services are available, and average costs were listed. She also included information on the FISH program that exists in Ridgefield. The FISH program (Friend In Service Helping) is a national organization. Each town sets up their own program and files for non-profit status with the State of CT. Drivers and coordinators are all volunteers. They use an answering service that is funded through donations. The drivers do not accept any payment.
Commission members discussed the hours that Heritage Center is open. Most were in agreement that staying open past 4 or 4:30 in the afternoon was not necessary. Shifting the hours could be of help when determining the workload of the office staff. Mrs. Wagner will convey this information to First Selectman Pemberton.
March 9, 2016, 9 am in the Senior Center, the second Wednesday rather than the first Wednesday.
The Chair adjourned the meeting at 10:07 am
Submitted by Mary Maday, Recording Secretary