Aging and Disability Commission - Minutes

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, June 18, 2019



JUNE 18, 2019



The regular meeting of the Aging and Disability Commission was held at 7:00 p.m. on June 18, 2019, in the Hartford Room of The Village at McLean Care, 75 Great Pond, Simsbury.



Jan Beatty, Victor Bible, Anne Erickson, Joy Himmelfarb, Mike Jennings, Marvin Koff, Edward LaMontagne, Kate Robbins, Diana Yeisley, Kathleen Marschall (Senior Center Coordinator), and Cheryl Cook (Board of Selectman Liaison)



Lorraine Doonan, Sandee Fleet, Shannon Knall, Susan Krinsky, Cheryl Lauben, Mark Orenstein, Arlene Zappile, and Susan Ray (Library)



The meeting was called to order by Edward J. LaMontagne, Chairman, at 7:03 p.m.



The Pledge was recited.



None held.


ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES - Regular Meeting of May 19, 2019

The minutes were approved with one correction: Ms. Doonan was added to the commission members who Mr. LaMontagne thanked for their work on the spring seminar.



Selectwoman Cook noted that at the most recent BOS meeting the Farmington Valley Health District representatives provided a clarification of their increase in costs to the town by 14%.They plan to do a community health assessment regarding needs in the community for health services; they plan to rely on community partners for some of those services. Ms. Cook suggested that the commission keep an eye out for this survey.



Senior Center Director Ms. Marschall thanked Simsbury High School for inviting Senior Center attendees to their art show and dinner in May; 53 seniors attended. The Summer Reading kick-off was held June 17th at library, co-sponsored by Senior Center, and 511 people attended.Tuesday, July 16, the Senior Center will sponsor “The Road to Gay Marriage Equality in Connecticut” from 6-8:30 pm at the Senior Center; it is a free event with light hors d’oeuvres at 6 pm and presentation at 6:30 by Connecticut Supreme Court Justice Richard Palmer, author of the Kerrigan v. Commissioner of Public Health opinion in 2008 that legalized gay marriage in this state. She also noted a program on July 23 honoring the 50th anniversary of the moon landing at 6:30-8 pm in the Program Room at the library; the presenter will be Kristine Larsen, Professor of Astronomy at Central Connecticut State University.



  • Picnic in the Park: Ms. Yeisley noted everything is set for the event on July 27, 2019 from 11:30-1:30.



  • Age Friendly Community Update: Mr. LaMontagne noted that an email came to the Town Manager welcoming the town to the network from WHO global network for age-friendly cities.  They have established an online portal for the town by which we can share our experiences.  Mr. LaMontagne is meeting with the Town Manager this week to discuss how the portal will be managed. Ms. Beatty provided a summary of the seminar she attended June 18th on “Livability at Any Age: Let’s Get Started,” sponsored by CCSU and Masonicare. In addition to viewing the Smart Home on Wheels, demonstrated by Oak Hill’s NEAT Center Aging in Place Specialist, the 120+ attendees heard presentations on taking action to promote livability, the role of the Age-Friendly University in promoting social inclusion (both CCSU and U Hartford have earned the designation), how to support someone living with dementia, and innovative approaches that cultivate intergenerational relationships.
  • SEPTO First Responder Event: Shannon Knall spoke at this event on June 5 but was not present to provide report.  Mr. LaMontage distributed an overview of what had been planned.
  • Loan Locker Update: Mr. LaMontagne noted that McLean has said that they would not be able to accommodate the Locker during their construction project the next two years. He noted that he hopes the Loan Locker will open in the fall and continues to research potential locations in the event that Anthology is unable to provide the space.
  • SMPAC Accessibility: Mr. LaMontagne noted that a meeting was held on June 3 with PAC members with good input from Mr. Jennings on the accessibility of that facility. Mr. Jennings noted there was no signage and parking spaces were not large enough for vans. Mr. LaMontagne provided attendees with an ADA document on making temporary events accessible to people with disabilities. The next meeting will be on July 9th
  • Handicapped Parking Awareness Month: At the May 29th BOS meeting, selectmen designated June as Handicapped Parking Awareness month for the seventh year. Mr. LaMontagne sent an email to Chief of Police Nicholas Boulter, who said the police would continue to promote it, including on social media.



  • Accessibility Issues:  Ms. Knall sent an email to Mr. LaMontage that Memorial Field is not accessible. Mr. LaMontagne said he will visit and email Deputy Town Manager Melissa Appleby about his findings.
  • “Yes, in My Backyard” – an article from the Hartford Courant was brought to the commission’s attention by Ms. Robbins and shared with other commission members.
  • Other: Ms. Robbins asked if we could initiate a monthly reminder on SCTV with pertinent PSAs, e.g. shoveling curb cuts. Ms. Cook suggested that Public Works would be the right group to address this.
  • Commissioner Survey Results: Mr. LaMontagne suggested that instead of Super Tuesdays we offer one event a year and retire the name “Super Tuesday.” A discussion ensued about the location of the commission meetings and it was agreed to return to Eno Memorial Hall. Mr. Bible asked if unaffiliated voters can be regular members; Ms. Cook noted that town rules have changed recently so that unaffiliated voters can serve as members of town commissions. Mr. Jennings noted that commission results indicated that we should get a better understanding of community needs for those with disabilities.  Mr. LaMontagne said he could draft a questionnaire with Mr. Jennings’ help and send via Survey Monkey to designated lists. Farmington Valley Health District may also provide questions for the survey.
  • Ms. Yeisley noted that she is on a committee along with Ms. Cook formulated by Community of Care to address issues of diversity and inclusion and will report on their progress.
  • Ms. Erickson noted that the Story Walk rollout is for spring 2020 as part of 350th Anniversary, location still to be determined; it will be ADA accessible, but the plastic covering to protect the books in the open will not allow for braille.  She also noted that the library is being reorganized and that the large print books will be moved to a better lit area. The opening of the new area at the library will be in September.



There being no further business a request to adjourn the meeting was made. The meeting was adjourned at 8:42 pm.


NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, September 17, 2019, 7:00 pm, at Eno Memorial Hall.


Submitted by,

Jan Beatty