TOWN OF SIMSBURY
AGING AND DISABILITY COMMISSION
OCTOBER 17, 2017
SUBJECT TO APPROVAL
The regular meeting of the Aging and Disability Commission was held on October 17, 2017, in the Youth Room – Eno Memorial Hall – 754 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT.
Janet Beatty, Victor Bible, Joy Himmelfarb, Marvin Koff, Edward LaMontagne, Mary Ellen Long, Mark Orenstein, April Schmidt, Arlene Zappile, and Susan Ray (Simsbury Library)
Margaret Diachenko, Lorraine Doonan, Mike Jennings, Susan Krinsky, Diana Yeisley, Kathleen Marschall (Senior Center Coordinator), and Cheryl Cook (Board of Selectman Liaison)
CALL TO ORDER
The meeting was called to order by Edward J. LaMontagne, Chairman, at 7:05 p.m.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
The Pledge was recited.
No one spoke at public audience.
Gerry Toner, Director Simsbury Culture, Parks & Recreation, attended and said he was approached by a resident who asked if there were programs specifically for adults with autism. He noted that the town currently offers an open gym program for all ages and abilities at Henry James School beginning in December on Sundays from 12-4 that is popular (about 50 or more) and costs $2 for admission. In response to the resident’s suggestion, the department is discussing whether they might earmark a specific time period (perhaps an hour and a half) for supervised time for adults with autism. They are talking to FAVARH and other agencies for advice. Ms. Schmidt suggested that he reach out to the Institute for Autism and Behavioral Studies at University of St. Joseph. He noted that he would report back with what they find.
State Representative John Hampton was unable to attend due to illness. He will be rescheduled.
ACCEPTANCE OF MINUTES - REGULAR MEETING OF SEPTEMBER 19, 2017
Ms. Schmidt moved to accept the meeting minutes. Ms. Long seconded and the minutes were approved.
BOS LIAISON REPORT
There was no BOS Liaison report due to Ms. Cook being absent.
SENIOR CENTER REPORT
There was no Senior Center Report due to Ms. Marschall being absent. Ms. Ray noted that the library is doing a program called Bird Brains about bird intelligence. The movie for Halloween is “House of Usher” with Vincent Price showing at the library on October 27 at 2 p.m.
Mr. LaMontagne noted that the October 10 event had numbers that were lower than usual – below 50 people. The Fashion Show was not held because The Second Chance Shop decided not to participate. Lions Club members helped to serve. Mr. LaMontagne noted that a new protocol was established re volunteers in the kitchen. He also noted that it is becoming more difficult to get donations for Souper Tuesday. The month of November is covered, and Mr. LaMontagne will ask the Rotary Club to contribute in the spring. We still have donations from the First Church, which will get us through the year. Financials were not available because of Ms. Marschall’s absence. A satisfaction survey was passed out at the October event, and 42 responses were received; 39 respondents were satisfied with the meal provided. Their suggestions for improvements will be passed along for consideration.
The Fall Seminar will be held October 19 at 7 p.m. in the main program room at the Simsbury Library. This seminar is co-sponsored by the Commission and SEPTO. Mr. Bible noted that in the future media needs to be contacted early in order to get notices placed. Mr. LaMontagne will contact SCTV to see if the seminar could be filmed.
Eno Memorial Hall Renovations: Mr. Jennings will attend the first meeting of the Building Committee in November and report back to the Commission.
The new Director of Community and Social Services is Kristen Formanek. Mr. LaMontagne noted that he will invite her to attend one of the upcoming Aging and Disability Commission meetings.
Town Manager Forums: Mr. Orenstein and Ms. Beatty attended the focus groups and noted that the final interviews would be held October 19 with the newly elected Board of Selectman hoping to hire a new Town Manager to begin in January.
Mr. LaMontagne noted that there is a new company in town called Ti-Trikes, which has bicycles made specifically for those individuals with disabilities.
Mr. LaMontagne also noted that he has been asked to be part of an advisory committee devoted to creating a master plan for pedestrian and bicycling.
Ms. Schmidt asked about the status of several commission members and Mr. LaMontagne noted that Ms. Martinek has officially withdrawn and Ms. Diachenko will receive a letter asking about her status. Mr. LaMontagne noted that there are now three vacancies on the Commission. Mr. Bible noted how frustrating it is that unaffiliated voters cannot, by town charter, be full members of a commission.
Ms. Schmidt also asked if there was any response from the Performing Arts Center about charging for handicapped parking; there was none.
Ms. Schmidt also asked if the AARP representative will come to a future meeting, and Mr. LaMontagne stated that he will be in contact with Nora Duncan who is the Executive Director of the Connecticut AARP.
Dr. Koff made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Bible seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:10 p.m.
NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 7:00 p.m., Youth Room, ENO Memorial Hall