TOWN OF REDDING
COMMISSION ON AGING
JULY 8, 2020 VIA ZOOM
The meeting was called to order at 9:01 am via Zoom Conference.
Present: Mary Dale Lancaster (Chair), Sarah Atwood (Vice-Chair), Ingrid Heller, George Cohen, Hilda Rhodes, Karen de Friesse, Randi Hutton, and Janet Metzger.
Angelica Fontanez (Director of Social Services), Michelle Stillman (Administrator to Social Service Director, Julia Pemberton (First Selectwoman), Alice Smith (Administrator to First Selectwoman
Member of Public: Morna Crites-Moore
1) Approval of May Minutes: Janet Metzger, Karen de Friesse.
2) Public Comment: None
3) Social Service Director (Angelica Fontanez) Report: The Director began stated that for the moment the food pantry use is down. The Director has been working with seniors on energy assistance but most of her time has been with wellness visits including one with police assistance. In this case, the Director used some emergency funds to offset some client costs.
Building maintenance issues may be going through Sean Donnelly in the future, but according to Alice Smith there is nothing formal yet. More information to follow.
The job description of a Director of Senior Services was discussed among Angelica Fontanez and the First Selectman, Julia Pemberton. Various skills were discussed including experience and flexibility. Both agree the job should be full time. Job will be posted internally and then put out to the public.
Mary Dale Lancaster brought up the job of stenographer (for taking minutes) and she will discuss with the First Selectman the job posting details.
4) Senior Services (Michelle Stillman) Report: Michelle Stillman discussed briefly the classes held via Zoom. Payments are down and Ms. Stillman emailed reminders. Angelica Fontanez is looking into a combined payment system with Park and Recreation Department, or in participating in an online payment system.
5) Chairman’s Report: None
6) Old Business: Mary Dale Lancaster noted that the dog leash signs were not yet up and Alice Smith said Jeff Hanson had ordered signs and she will talk to him. Mary Dale also talked about recruiting new members and asked if any Commission members knew the proposed candidates. Hilda Rhodes did know one possible candidate and offered to give a brief introduction.
7) New Business: Mary Dale Lancaster began a discussion about the role of the Commission on Aging during the pandemic. Hilda Rhodes said it was important to support both seniors and the staff of the Center. Angelica Fontanez pointed out that although the research done on other senior centers prior to the pandemic came had come to a halt, some lessons learned might still have value. Hopefully, the research will continue in the fall, especially about what other centers are providing to their seniors virtually. The Director went on to point out that the staff and volunteers are still making calls, doing visits and errands. Ms. Stillman raised the issue of liability to the town if outdoor classes were held at the center. Alice Smith will research and bring the matter up to Julia Pemberton. She pointed out that waivers may need to be signed. Mary Dale will also speak with Julia Pemberton.
Randi Hutton brought up the issue of the correct way to wear a face mask and Alice Smith said the directions were posted in the town hall. Alice will forward a copy of instructions to include in the next Blast.
Meeting adjourned at 9:48 am. Next meeting will be held on September 9, 2020.
Karen de Friesse