Commission on Aging Meeting
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9:00 am call to order via Zoom Conference
Present: Mary Dale Lancaster, Sarah Atwood, Ingrid Heller, Jean Rexford, George Cohen, Hilda Rhodes, Ruth Moran, Michelle Stillman, Angelica Fontanez, Kathleen Brandt, Julia Pemberton, Karen de Friesse, Randi Hutton, and Janet Metzger
Minutes: Karen de Friesse
1) Approval of May Minutes: Ingrid Heller, Janet Metzger
2) Public Comment: None
3) Director of Senior Service (Ruth Moran): Ruth Moran talked about payments and the rundown of classes. The Director was hoping for a Zoom account for the Senior Center as instructors are not happy about outlaying their own money; Julia Pemberton addressed this issue and Angelica Fontanez will confirm use of town Zoom account. The Director was also asking if there was a way to accept electronic payments for the classes and that matter is being investigated.
The discussion continued with the Director talking about the need to re-open the Senior Center, but Julia Pemberton said that a spike is expected in the cases of COVID and Senior Centers will probably not re-open until the fall. The Selectman continued with specifics as to how the reopening might begin. Town Hall will re-open July 6 with limited contact and requiring masks.
Mary Dale Lancaster mentioned that this was Ruth Moran’s last month on the job and offered praise for a job well done.
4) Social Service Director (Angelica Fontanez) report: The Director began by talking about the food pantry increased usage and contributions. She also discussed a detailed report showing how services are being used and age groups involved. The Director continued with the breakdown of financial support with regards to SNAP and Husky usage. Many calls were made to the United Way about mental health issues. With the increase in government support the true nature of the virus impact is not known.
Contributions have been very generous including money received from the newly opened PayPal account. The budget is stable but the future staff needs will have an impact. Julia Pemberton assured the Director that the town is ready to support the Center. There is no immediate plan to hire a Senior Service Director, but it is understood that there will be a new hiring need in the future.
5) Old Business: Mary Dale Lancaster brought up the issue of leash signs and dog waste stations. Julia Pemberton said signs were not an issue, and that signs would be posted in and around the Heritage Center and RES. Dog owners are responsible for picking up after their dog and disposing of the waste properly – the town will not supply bags or a waste station, as the town does not have staff for that job. With regards to a new leash ordinance, the Selectman thought it might be time to revisit the issue at the Selectman’s meeting.
A gift raised by a Community Group has been received by the Social Services department.
With regards to a stenographer for the COA, the job will be posted again.
6) New Business: The Commission discussed possible candidates to fill 2 vacant alternate commission positions.
Mary Dale Lancaster finished the meeting by bringing up the draft COA annual report and thanked those who sent in revisions and recommendations.
Meeting adjourned at 10:21 am. Next meeting will be held on July 8.
Karen de Friesse