Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson

Advisory Council Meeting

April 10, 2008


Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524

Members Present:

Nancy Arthur

Roger Bailey

Helen Davis


Rene DeMattei

Marcy Greenslit

Elnora McCloughan


Janet Montera

Barbara Nuss

Ellen Pihlstrom


Earl Stevens

Barbara Tuttle

Stan Ulrich


Sharon Zamora







Members Absent:

Jim Barlow

Steve Budner

Cassie Castleberry


Manfred Diehl

Mary Shultz

Don Venneberg





Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Tina Corrigan-Hugo

Margaret Long


Ruth Long

Lynette McGowan

Laura Sutherlin





Guests Present:

Nancy Wallace




Elnora McCloughan called the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m.


Nancy Wallace from Wallace & Kling was welcomed.


Janet Montera introduced Nancy Wallace, from Wallace & Kling and the Senior Law Project.  Nancy contracts with the Office on Aging to provide legal services to clients in Larimer County.  Nancy stated that she is a sixth generation wheat farmer from northeastern Colorado.  Nancy graduated from CSU.  She has two children, one child was adopted.  In 1990, she decided to focus on elder law.  She partnered with the Office on Aging and will be celebrating eighteen years of running the Senior Law Project in June. 


Nancy described her law practice as specializing in Social Security Disability cases, estate planning, guardianships and Medicaid income trust advice.  Nancy has a shared staff of three, totaling five with her law partner.  She has been in the law partnership for sixteen years. 


Nancy stated that her legal assistant first talks with clients to determine whether or not their issue falls into the guidelines outlined in the Office on Aging contract.  Nancy stated that because people want free legal services for a variety of issues, it is difficult for her legal assistant to filter out the clients that are appropriate for the Office on Aging contract. 


Nancy reported that she does not do criminal work or PI cases (slip and falls).  Nancy reported that she does work with a lot of Medicaid planning issues like spousal protection planning.  Nancy finds that a lot of her clients are family members who want to know when a parent or parents can qualify for Medicaid.  Many of their questions are about how to appropriately spend down the estate and how to give money to family members, and still qualify for Medicaid.  Recently, Nancy instituted a new policy.  In order for legal services to be covered under her contract with the Office on Aging, Nancy now requires that the person, whose estate is being reviewed and discussed, must attend the appointment.  Nancy stated that she also works on landlord/tenant cases.  Although Nancy does not represent people in court, she does give advice on small claims court cases. 


A question was asked as to why there has been an increased demand for her services.  Nancy answered the question by stating that she believed the increase was due to her eighteen years in this field; people just know who she is and what she offers.  Margaret Long stated that during the last five years, the Answers on Aging Resource Guide which lists Nancy’s services, has grown from a printing of 10,000 a year to a printing of 25,000 a year.  In addition, in the past, there were more local attorneys that provided elder law services.  Nancy is now one of the few attorneys in town that knows elder law well and provides this service.  Nancy added that she gets calls from other attorneys about a half dozen times a month with Medicaid questions. 


There were a couple of grammatical errors noted, page 2 bottom of first paragraph, “where” should be “were”.  Page 4 under Media & Public Relations Committee, add “–“ to age-related. Change Page 5, last sentence of the first paragraph to read, “It appears that there are several bills proposed to change the Homestead Exemption, one would allow one move within county; the other would allow one move within the state.  If either of these should pass they would appear as a referred amendment to the constitution at the general election this fall.”  Earl Stevens moved to accept minutes as corrected, Stan Ulrich seconded motion.  Motion was carried.


Elnora McCloughan reported on the Transportation Summit at the Ranch.  It was reported that 500 people attended.  A report should be out by the end of April.  Earl Stevens stated that the votes reflected only 340 people in attendance.  It seemed that participation was down from last time.  Stan noted that the median household income of the people attending the summit was reported as $120K a year.  Elnora distributed a printed copy of an agency letter regarding the Home Care Allowance Increase.


Elnora McCloughan reported that the advisory council membership terms are up in June for members, Nancy Arthur, Janet Montera, Earl Stevens and Sharon Zamora.  Janet Montera will not continue her membership.  Matt Jackson has resigned and Roger Bailey will be resigning as he is moving to California.  Elnora asked the council if anyone would like to volunteer as chair for next year.  If you are interested, please call or email Elnora before April 18. 


Margaret Long reported that she is waiting to hear about next year’s funding.  Margaret explained that next week, she should know about federal dollars which have the possibility of going up or down $10-20K.  Margaret stated that HB1108 will be heard in appropriations on Tuesday.  Margaret talked with Kelly Fritz at AARP and Kelly was not feeling very optimistic.  Margaret stated that once she knows what the funding will look like, she will work with the Planning and Funding committee in mid-May/June to start work on next year’s one-year plan and county budget.  After the budget is complete, Margaret will make any necessary amendments to current contracts and will bring the plan to the Advisory Council for a vote in June. 


Margaret updated the council on the Economic Stimulus package which could potentially be a great benefit for low income seniors.  Margaret gave a “hats off” to the VITA program.  VITA stepped up to the plate and helped out residents who live in long-term-care facilities and others who are home-bound to file their tax return. 


Margaret reported on the four projects that the Office on Aging has partnered on with Colorado State University.  Margaret stated that the Office on Aging is building a strong partnership with CSU. 


Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Stan Ulrich reported that the Mayor of Fort Collins spoke at the board meeting.  Discussion revolved around the Mason Street project.  The Mason Street project received a $70 million federal grant that was awarded to the City of Fort Collins.  The City will contribute $2.5 million to the project.  The Mason Street project stretches from Cherry Street to Harmony Road.  Stan reported on “BOB”, Building on Basics, a 501(3)c standing committee.  The committee is planning an addition to the Senior Center.  Stan reported that the Senior Advisory Board is also concerned with the Aztlan Center bus stop.  Stan reported that he has talked with a scheduler about the issue, and the scheduler is confident that something will be done eventually.


Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Earl Stevens reported that the Board has been working on how to reach seniors that have historically been difficult to reach.  They are working on producing a brochure and magnets.  A report will be released on the City of Loveland’s website on veterinarian services in the Loveland area that provide discounts to seniors. 


Foundation on Aging

Margaret Long reported that the Foundation on Aging Board has been very busy.   They are working on increasing their capacity.  They are currently getting the pieces together to submit a grant to JVA Consulting for funding and technical assistance.  Last Tuesday, the group worked on their Strategic Plan and created a Mission statement. 


Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.


Human Relations Commission 

No report given.


Commission on Aging

No report given.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

No report given.


Media & Public Relations Committee

Janet Montera reported that the committee has almost completed the media plan and would like to include the final plan in the council binder.  Janet stated that Deni LaRue has been a great help.  The goal is to present the plan at the June council meeting.  Janet noted that Helen Davis wrote an article for the Fort Collins Community Link which was published in Saturday’s paper.  Earl and Janet will participate on Deni’s radio program.  Marcy is working on the Speakers Bureau.  And finally, the committee has requested that Margaret write a senior column.  Janet reported that council presentations have been scheduled through October.  Janet thanked the committee for pulling all of the presentations together.


Planning, Funding & Partnership Development Committee

No report given.


Pubic Policy & Advocacy Committee

Stan Ulrich reported that the committee has increased liaisons with other groups.  So far, the committee is working with the Affordable Housing Committee, and the Northern Colorado Social Legislation Network.  Stan noted that Bridging the Gap will be held in Loveland this year.  Stan reported that the committee discussed the Aztlan bus stop situation, and the Mason Street Corridor.  Margaret Long stated that the biggest problem right now is transportation between Loveland and Fort Collins.  Unless you are able to transfer through FoxTrot or take Shamrock, it is next to impossible to get from Fort Collins to Loveland.  Ellen Pihlstrom asked for stories regarding transportation problems from clients trying to get to the Medical Center of the Rockies.  The Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board has recently formed an editorial committee to get more stories about seniors. 


Staff Reports

Laura Sutherlin reported on her trip to Washington DC for the American Society on Aging (ASA) conference.  Laura participated in several workshops including workshops on evidence based health programs and disaster planning.  Laura reported that she can help 18+ with disabilities and 60+ populations get medical transportation if they are not able to get it for themselves.  The medical transportation funding is part of a grant awarded to the Office on Aging.


Lynette McGowen reported on her trip to Washington DC for the ASA conference.  Lynette stated that there were over 700 workshops.  Through her attendance, Lynette feels that the Office on Aging is on the right track working in collaborations and coalitions.  Lynette announced that last year, the Lifespan Respite Care Act passed and is now federal law.  There will be $53 million dollars funded into this Act for distribution through the ADRC’s.  Lynette distributed information on the Larimer County Alliance for Grandfamilies.  The Office on Aging gave a sum of money from the Caregiver program to fund a Navigator position.  Lynette noted that the nationwide extension has a new website, which includes a whole section on Family Caregiver.



Barbara Nuss noted that there are Job Fair cards at the back of the room and that over 700 people are expected to attend this year.



Elnora adjourned the meeting at 3:23 p.m.

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