Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Advisory Council Meeting

February 11, 2010


Held at 2573 Midpoint Drive, Ste. 108

Fort Collins, Colorado  80525


Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

David Born

Peggy Bowers


Cassie Castleberry

Caryll Cram

Helen Davis


Valerie DiBenedetto

Carolyn Funk

Marcy Greenslit


Judy Jones

Ellen Pihlstrom

Bill Prather


Gail Reader

Mary Shultz

Earl Stevens


Stan Ulrich

Sharon Zamora






Members Absent :

Manfred Diehl

Tim Dolan

Howard Hay





Staff Present:

Sarah Barker

Tina Barker

Tina Corrigan-Hugo


Tom Donnelly

Margaret Long

Ruth Long


Lynette McGowan

Linda Rumney

Laura Sutherlin


Laura Walker







Guests Present:

Elaine Boni

Rachel Cruz

Kathleen Gronberg


Marcy Greenslit called the meeting to order at 1:33 p.m.


Minutes stand as presented. 


Marcy Greenslit reported that the Executive Committee discussed the Namaqua and Wallace & Kling site visit reports.  The biggest issue to come out of the site visit report for Wallace & Kling was that Nancy Wallace is planning to retire in two to three years. 


Margaret Long reported that the office is really busy with a variety of things.  The Senior Tax Work-off Program has started.  We are completing a revised budget and we are being cautioned not to exceed a 10% carryover.  Margaret stated that she is waiting to see what happens legislatively.  She sent an AARP email that mentioned a possible cut of $500,000 from the Older Americans Act funding. 


Staff Reports

Since Katy was absent, Margaret reported on the Senior Tax Work-off Program.  So far it looks as if we’ll have 150 applicants.  Marcy Greenslit volunteered to talk to people between interviews to inform them of rebates, heating and other financial savings programs for which they would qualify.  Marcy stated that there were a lot of unemployed people looking for work and heard from seniors that many of them are victims of ageism.  This year the program has received an additional $10,000 from the county commissioners and $10,000 in stimulus funds.  The Department of Health & Human Services is spending the stimulus money to put workers in non-profit organizations.  Marcy stated that even with the doubling of funding for this program, Katy will have to turn people away.  


A problem with Workers’ Compensation Insurance has arisen in the Senior Tax Work-off Program.  The County never had any problems until last year when they had a $68,000 injury claim.  The payment came out of the Human Services’ budget.  Representative Delgrosso has authored a bill to correct the problem.  This legislation will create an opportunity for entities like the county, which is self-insured, to purchase a separate workers’ compensation policy for the Senior Tax Work-off Program. 


Linda Rumney and Tina Barker introduced Sarah Barker as their new ombudsman intern; she will be with the program until mid-May.  They will be doing a presentation about Project Visibility later today.  Currently there is discussion about putting together a resource guide of businesses that are supportive of the GLBT (Gay, Lesbian, Bi-sexual and Transgender) community.  Tina announced that the state will not have any ombudsman training this year.  This puts the ombudsman program at a disadvantage since they have to complete 15 hours of training in order to keep their ombudsman certification. 


Lynette McGowan raised awareness for her program and for “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” classes.  This class is an excellent resource for dealing with the emotions that are common with caregivers. 


Laura Sutherlin reported on “A Matter of Balance,” an 8-week education program on avoiding falls.  Laura thanked Marcy for her time helping with the Senior Tax Work-Off Program.  Marcy took time to become knowledgeable on a variety of programs and has been very helpful to these clients. 


Nancy Arthur gave a brief autobiography.

OFFICE ON AGING PARTNER PRESENTATION:  Catholic Charities Northern, Kitty Kent

Kitty Kent is the Senior Outreach Coordinator at Catholic Charities Northern.  She has worked with Catholic Charities since 1982.  Her position includes doing home visits and lots of case management with seniors.  She helps people complete applications for a variety of programs.  Lately, she has noticed an increase in the senior homeless population.  Her caseload is growing as the economy gets worse.  Kitty is working on different ways to get seniors off the street.  She does in-depth life-time case management.  Clients only stop getting her services when they die or tell her to stop.  Catholic Charities has a temporary shelter with a two–week stay limit. 


Kitty stated that currently there are more men than women in the shelter.  Usually, women come in because of abuse or mental illness.  A typical homeless senior will have more expenses than income and have been evicted from their home.  Some of the seniors are alcoholics, drug addicts, or mentally ill people.  Kitty stated that housing is the biggest challenge and organizes some home-sharing.


Kitty works with the Sister Mary Alice Murphy Day Center as a case manager.   At the center she encourages them to take a shower and do their laundry so that they are clean when they have job interviews.  Kitty also refers them to the Workforce Center to take classes.


Kitty discussed the Rocky Mountain SER (Senior Employment Resource) program.  This program is run by the US Department of Labor and will put seniors in a “training” program in which they are working about 24 hours a week.  The program is administered in Greeley, and this makes it inconvenient for her.  The SER workers are placed in government and non-profit agencies and have to be 55 and over.  They receive two years of subsidized employment.  Hopefully that will lead to full-time employment. 


Another Catholic Charities Northern program is helping seniors with prescriptions on an emergency basis, but their limit is $65 a year.  On Monday, Wednesday and Friday they provide food boxes.  Kitty currently spends eight hours a week on the senior outreach program. 



Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Kathy Gronberg attended the Summit on Aging and is looking forward to the next step.  The Board has noticed that there are a lot of seniors who are not aware of the Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board.  They have committed to doing presentations about the SAB in churches and later will contact other community organizations. 


Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that the COLT Transit Manager gave a presentation on increasing ridership.  Earl announced that the computer classes are full.  Earl stated that the Board will meet every other month in other locations.  The March 3 meeting will be at Sugar Valley Estates.  Judy Jones is working on the Bridging the Gap Luncheon.  The committee is currently searching for accommodations.  The BTG committee will need to have two volunteers from the OOAAC to serve on it this year.  Please let Katy know by next Wednesday if you are interested.  The meetings are at 11:45 a.m. at the McKee Medical Center every third Wednesday.


Foundation on Aging

Mary Shultz reported that the Foundation on Aging held the Summit on Aging which was very successful.  Mary commented that the keynote speaker discussed making community’s senior-friendly.  Statistics and panel presentations on transportation, health, housing and supportive services were impressive.  The breakout sessions related to each panel presentation.  The Board is now working on follow-up actions.  David Born asked if there were videos available.  Some will be posted on the FOA website:


Larimer County Commissioner

Tom Donnelly stated that he is glad to be on this Council.  He commented on the transit issues in Loveland, as he is also a liaison on their Board.  Tom reported that Representative Delgrosso’s legislation concerning the worker’s compensation for the Senior Tax Work-Off Program has passed the house and is expected to pass the senate.  Tom commented that people can always call the commissioners and talk to them, as they want to find out what’s going on. 


Human Relations Commission 

Elaine Boni reported that the Commission is gearing up for their annual awards.  Seniors contribute a lot to our community and she hopes the Council will nominate someone.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

Mary Shultz invited Jenny Sawyer from Neighborhood Services to discuss emergency programs that are available. 


Media & Public Relations Committee

Marcy Greenslit reported that the Committee held a successful Media Luncheon last month.  Marcy believes that the Coloradoan will offer a monthly column.  The Committee is gearing up for Older Americans Month in May.


Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

Valerie reported on the MCR transportation issue.  Margaret and David Born had written a letter and had not heard from them.  Ellen Pihlstrom talked with MCR management and found that they will start the process of reinstating the heart infusion procedure on the PVH Harmony campus.  The MCR management acknowledged that will solve a small part of a much bigger problem. 


Public Policy & Advocacy Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that the Committee is still working on the waiting list for senior housing.  Nationally the health care bill is at a stand-still.  Stan read an article that said that at least 50% of people want to see something pass on healthcare.  A lawyer in Denver is going to sue the state because he feels that the TABOR amendment is unconstitutional.  He might have a chance.  If he does, we need to lend our support.  Proposition 101 will cause disaster.  A January 29 newsletter from the Bell Policy Institute stated what the results would be.  Two other amendments that might appear are Proposition 60 and 61; these will also limit the amount of the money counties receive.  We will be calling on you to contact your legislators. 



There were no announcements made.



Marcy adjourned the meeting at 3:19 p.m.

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.