Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Senior Commission Meeting Wrap Up

The Costa Mesa Senior Commission met this morning before a sparse crowd (7 of us) at the Costa Mesa Senior Center for their final meeting of the year.  Vice Chair Stella Atkins was absent and the crowd was small, apparently because of a field trip to a casino today.

As mentioned in a previous post, they discussed Mission/Vision statements - HERE, and their 2014/2015 accomplishments and 2015/2016 goals - HERE.

The vision statement the commissioners approved reads as follows:
"Enriching lives and communities through health, wellness, volunteerism, and socialization."

The mission statement approved reads as follows:
"The Costa Mesa Senior Center is dedicated to the improvement of the lives of older adults by creating a place that offers opportunity to become more educated about health and wellness, share skills and talents with peers, interact and develop communication with friends, family, and others, and be advocates for older adults."

Take a few minutes to review the accomplishments and their goals on the other link, above.

Senior Center Program Administrator Yvette Aguilar presented her report, which apparently is not available online.  The highlights included:
  • Recent staff promotion and addition
  • A new sign-in policy is now in place.  Each patron is being asked to sign in and out to help validate attendance numbers.
  • The Senior Center will be closed November 11th (Veteran's Day); Thursday, November 25th and Friday, November 26th (Thanksgiving Holiday); Friday, December 25th (Christmas) and Friday, January 1, 2016 (New Year's Day).
  • Additionally, December 28-31 the Senior Center will operate on limited hours, from 8 a.m. - 1 p.m.
  • New Transportation information will be mailed out in the winter edition of the Recreation Guide.
  • The Center has new, updated telephone numbers.  All members were mailed a postcard with the numbers and they were also included in the November issue of The Chronicle.
  • WiFi is now available in the Senior Center.  The passcode is !@cmsc99
  • Golden West College will collaborate with the staff with nursing students and programs.
  • An Emergency Action Plan/Fire Drill will be held on December 4, 2015.  Details will be in the December newsletter.
  • The Albert Dixon Memorial Foundation donated an additional $25,000 to the Senior Serv program specifically for Costa Mesa Seniors.  The total donated to the Costa Mesa Seniors to date is $6,7,000 ($50,000 to Senior Serv, $15,000 for tablets/technology and $2,000 to MELT)
  • Membership is now 1,676 registered members, of which 1119 are Costa Mesa residents.
  • A total of 845.5 volunteer service hours were recorded for September and October.
  • A total of 769.0 hours were programmed for September and 801.25 for October.
  • There were a total of 6,467 visitors at the Senior Center during September and 5,439 in October.
There were several free-flowing discussions among the commissioners and the staff throughout the meeting.  They included:

John McGlinn continued to express his view that there should be a strategic plan for the future operations of the Senior Center.  He also expressed concern about the budget for the Senior Center, wondering how they can plan for activities when there is no real solid number of actual participants, as opposed to folks who are just members.  He also expressed concern that membership was free. In response Assistant CEO Tammy Letourneau advised him that the City Council has determined that membership would continue to be free for the next year or so.  She will bring to the commission budget information for the remainder of the fiscal year at their meeting in January.

McGlinn's concerns generated a discussion about methods of keeping track of member participation, Commissioner Janet Krochman suggested identity cards with card readers as a pricey option.  Chair Ernie Feeney suggested a sign near the new sign-in location in the lobby to help remind members they are required to sign in.

Dr. Kirk Bauermeister suggested a 3-5 year plan to facilitate budgeting.

Several commissioners expressed the view that things are better and, from the nodding of heads in the small audience, it appeared that they agreed.

Commissioner Anne Perry commented positively on recent coverage of the Senior Center in the news media and on CMTV, but expressed concern about the Senior Center web site and Facebook page.  Recreation Manager Travis Karlen advised her that the old web site was owned by a member of the former Senior Center staff, who has refused to release it, so Karlen is working around the issue by acquiring all the other domain names similar to it and will be building a new web site.  Lawyers have been involved, but the individual - not a former director - actually owns the domain name and cannot be forced to relinquish it.

Feeney generated a discussion about what the process might be if an individual wishes to donate to the Senior Center.  Letourneau advised that folks could donate through the Costa Mesa Foundation, with earmarks for the Senior Center.  The Foundation would route the funds to the city for use at the Senior Center.

There was a complaint by Feeney about the tardy receipt of The Chronicle and Letourneau advised it was a complication with the printer that was being resolved.

The meeting wrapped up at 10:00 a.m. with a reminder that the next meeting will be January 12, 2016 at 9:00 a.m.


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