Aging and Disability Commission - Minutes

Meeting date: 
Tuesday, November 14, 2017



November 14, 2017



The regular meeting of the Aging and Disability Commission was held on November 14, 2017, in the Youth Room – Eno Memorial Hall – 754 Hopmeadow Street, Simsbury, CT.



Jan Beatty, Victor Bible, Mike Jennings, Marvin Koff, Edward LaMontagne, Mark Orenstein, Diana Yeisley, Arlene Zappile, Kathleen Marschall (Senior Center Coordinator), and Cheryl Cook (Board of Selectman Liaison).



Lorraine Doonan, Joy Himmelfarb, Susan Krinsky, Mary Ellen Long, and April Schmidt.



The meeting was called to order by Edward J. LaMontagne, Chairman, at 7:10 p.m.



The Pledge was recited.



There was no one in attendance for public audience.



Jean Miles, resident of Weatogue, came to observe.

John Hampton, State Representative, attended to provide information and distribute July 2017 special reports from the Office of Legislative Research about acts affecting seniors and people with disabilities. He noted that the state budget cuts were significant. Ms. Yeisley asked about several new laws affecting people with disabilities and Mr. Hampton said he would research her questions and report back to her. Mr. Orenstein asked if a law had been passed allowing more volunteerism for town upkeep functions. Mr. LaMontagne asked if there was a way to address mental health funding. Mr. Hampton said he was open to ideas to propose to the legislature. He also noted concern about opioid overdoses and said that a constituent had suggested taxing pharmaceutical companies. Mr. LaMontagne asked that the commission consider bringing to Mr. Hampton’s attention issues of concern such as opioid addiction and depression; he suggested consulting with Community for Care about issues of concern.  Mr. Hampton stated he would hold office hours at the Housing Authority from 2-4 and 6-8 on November 15.



Dr. Koff moved to accept the meeting minutes. Mr. Orenstein seconded and the minutes were approved.



Ms. Cook noted that the appointment of the new Town Manager will be announced on November 16. Interim appointments are still to be determined. She said that the election recount was underway today for several offices and that results will likely be available by November 15.  She also stated that the new Director of Social Services had noted that the renters’ rebates for the elderly and people with disabilities who applied have not yet been released from the state but are anticipated shortly.

Fortunately, Ms. Cook said, the state budget cuts to the town had been anticipated and planned for accordingly, so the town decided that there is no need to impose any additional taxes.  A tri-board meeting to start the budgeting process for next year will be held November 21. She also noted that the Board of Selectman approved a multi-use trail for Tariffville where it meets Bloomfield.



Ms. Marschall noted that Ms. Formanek, Director of Social Services, plans to attend the January meeting of the Aging and Disability Commission to introduce herself.  The annual veteran’s meeting was held at the library; 80 veterans and their guests attended.  The annual Thanksgiving luncheon will be held November 15, 2017, at St. Mary’s, and about 200 seniors are expected to attend. She noted that the VFW Post 1926 is doing their annual holiday collection for the Veterans Home through December 10 and drop boxes for items are located in the library, main level of Eno Memorial Hall, fire and police departments, and Simsbury CVS.



Souper Tuesday: Ms. Schmidt helped Mr. LaMontagne serve at the November 14th event and about 50 people attended. Mr. LaMontagne will approach the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, and First Church again this year, and if they continue with their usual level of support the budget for the year will be set. As of 11/14/17, the balance in the Aging and Disability Commission Donation Account is $578.40, and the balance in the Commission’s Social Workers Contingency Fund is $286.58.

Fashion Show: FAVRAH has indicated that they would like to host a fashion show the third Tuesday in April. Jean Miller is the contact there.



Fall Seminar: Mr. Bible noted that about 10 people attended the seminar. He thought that the spring seminar should be of broader interest. Ms. Yeisley advised that the SEPTO event is April 18 so that the seminar could be planned on a different date in April.

Eno Memorial Hall Renovations: Mr. Jennings attended the Public Building Committee meeting on November 6. The architect on the original Eno plan, Mr. Giolitti, hopes to present a much-reduced version of that plan at the next Public Building Committee meeting.  They talked about beginning construction in June 2018, which would require relocating some of the larger programs that take place in Eno. Mr. Orenstein noted that any assisted listening devices should be uniformly branded throughout the town for compatibility.



Pedestrian and Bicycle Master Plan: Mr. Roy had asked Mr. LaMontagne to attend a meeting November 13 to discuss walkways and bicycle paths.  Forty people attended, and Mr. LaMontagne disseminated information that was provided at that meeting. He brought up accessibility issues at the meeting and will continue to update the Commission.

Age-Friendly Community: Mr. LaMontagne talked to Nora Duncan, Director of AARP CT, and one of their staff people, Tia, will attend a Commission meeting early in 2018.

Commission Membership: Ms. Diachenko’s resignation was approved by Board of Selectmen.  Ms. Sandy Fleet has been appointed as a new commissioner.

Other: Mr. Orenstein was acknowledged by Mr. LaMontage as being noted in 60 over 60.  Ms. Yeisley noted that SEPTO will be making presentations to the Chamber of Commerce and Board of Selectmen about establishing disability-friendly businesses. She also noted that Simsbury High School has been recognized nationally for their unified sports programs. Ms. Miles asked if dementia-friendly would be included in the initiative, and all commissioners were enthusiastically positive.



Ms. Zappile made a motion to adjourn. Mr. Bible seconded, and the meeting was adjourned at 8:25 p.m.


NEXT MEETING: Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 7:00 p.m., Youth Room, ENO Memorial Hall


Submitted by

Jan Beatty