Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson


Unapproved Minutes

March 11, 2004

1:30-3:30 PM

Held at 1501 Blue Spruce Drive, Room 135B

Fort Collins, Colorado  80524



Members Present:

Paul Bell

Bill Benton

Steve Budner


Carolyn Funk

Johanna Inman

Elnora McCloughan


Carol Rehme

Karen Reinhardt

Mary Shultz


Earl Stevens

Ken Tharp

Stan Ulrich





Members Absent

Rita Dykstra

Peggy Haller

Gerry Hinks


Ray Martinez

Tom Nix

Barbara Nuss


Lloyd Spawn

Hal Wilson






Staff Present:

Donna Brumbaugh

Tina Cheatum

Ruth Coberly


Stacy Duenwald

Genevieve Fitzpatrick

Margaret Long


Katy Mason

Glen Rathgeber

Qualear Wilson


Melanie Wolf







Guests Present:

Dean Miller

Laura Sutherland





Mary Shultz called the meeting to order.



Laura Sutherland, a graduate student at UNC Gerontology Department, attended the council meeting to learn more about the senior community in Fort Collins. Laura will be working on a program evaluation project for the Office on Aging (OOA).


Also, Genevieve Fitzpatrick, a new employee with the OOA, attended. Her position is funded through the Senior Community Service Employment Program.



Margaret Long encouraged members whose terms are expiring to re-apply if they wanted to continue membership with the council. May 14th is the deadline.


Margaret also added that the statewide needs assessment will begin and continue through early April. A random sample of 375 seniors will be contacted by telephone and be asked to complete a structured interview.



No comments were given.



No adjustments to the agenda or minutes. Earl Stevens made a motion to accept the minutes as submitted. Karen Reinhardt seconded the motion. Minutes accepted.



Mary Shultz deferred her comments to the committee reports section of the agenda.



Earl Stevens grew up in South Bend, Indiana. When he was 14, he was shot and injured by a friend at a local lake cottage. Earl attended the University of Chicago and Indiana University. At the end of World War I, he spent 18-19 months in the US Army. He then attended graduate school at Princeton University. He transferred to University of Michigan and completed his Masters Degree in English. He then attended the University of North Carolina graduate school in English Language and Literature, majoring in the 19th Century British. He began work on his PhD in English. After graduation, Earl obtained a teaching position in a small state University in Texas. He experienced some problems at this school and made the decision to move back to the University of North Carolina and continue work on his PhD. He then started teaching at a small school in North Carolina and proceeded to move back to Texas. Earl emphasized the limited choices that teaching positions in academics provided. In Texas, the position paid 5,000 dollars, which was quite a large sum in those days.  The school changed the teaching contract just before he arrived with his family, wife and 2 sons at the time. He only stayed for one year. He then moved to the English Department at the Stevens Points University of Wisconsin and then to Rhode Island College where he taught for 26 years. He is Professor Emeritus at Rhode Island College. Altogether, Earl has 42 years in teaching academics.


Earl has three sons and 6 grandchildren. His sons are gainfully employed as a geologist, an attorney, and a physician.



Margaret Long announced that our recent letter of intent submitted for the Robert Wood Johnson Grant was not approved to move to the next level of the application process. There were1600 letters of intent so the odds were against us. Margaret thanked Paul Bell for his work and said that she hopes that at least some of the ideas in the letter of intent can be worked on by the Advisory Council, perhaps through the Health Committee.


Margaret informed the council that the Community Partnership Grant to the Office on Aging will allow us to deal with some of the access to transportation problems currently experienced by seniors and disabled county residents. The Community Partnership Grants are funded by the City of Fort Collins (75%) and Larimer County (25%). Margaret requested $11,128 dollars in her grant proposal and was approved for $9,128 dollars. The funds will go to supplement funding for medical transportation. $4,128 dollars will be distributed to the House of Neighborly Service and Disabled Resource Services so that they can fund transportation to medical appointments for both senior and disabled clients in Fort Collins and Loveland. The other portion, $5,000, will be given to Larimer County Options for Long-Term Care to cover some of the medical transportation needs of their clients in Fort Collins. Margaret announced that last year Medicaid changed its rules regarding medical transportation for those in need, which created problems for many clients. Although Medicaid is continuing to make rule changes, it is unclear whether clients who lost coverage will regain it. Seniors who are not on Medicaid but have limited income are also struggling to afford transportation to doctor’s appointments and will be served by this grant.


Margaret provided an update for the state-wide needs assessment. 375 calls to seniors will be conducted in Larimer County by early April.


Margaret stated that the state Joint Budget Committee has recommended cuts in state funding for seniors. Senator Peggy Reeves attempted to save 1 million out of the 2.5 million dollar cut. She was unsuccessful in her efforts. Margaret suggested that Senator Reeves should be thanked for her efforts. Margaret encouraged council members to advocate at the state level. She emphasized that many of our vital contracted services would have to be cut significantly if we lose this amount of state revenue.


Margaret encouraged all council members to complete the questionnaire located in the packet for the board of county commissioners (BOCC) review of the Larimer County Office on Aging Advisory Council (LCOOAAC). Margaret reported that the bylaws will be submitted with other BOCC review information to the commissioners.



Education Committee

Steve Budner announced that the preparation meeting for the upcoming job fair will be held on Thursday, March 18th at 1 p.m. Twelve businesses have signed up for booths at the job fair. The job fair will be held Wednesday, April 7th at 12-5:30 p.m. at the Fort Collins Senior Center.


Melanie Wolf announced the need for council members to participate in upcoming speaking engagements with the Speaker’s Bureau. There is still a need for volunteers to speak to the local Soroptimist Club to be held on Tuesday, March 16th. Please contact Melanie, the Speaker Bureau coordinator, for more details. Margaret added that she hesitates to submit the press release for the speaker’s bureau until we are sure we have enough members to cover the requests.


Executive Committee

Mary Shultz announced that the upcoming Bridging the Gap luncheon will take place in September of this year at The Ranch.


Steve Budner discussed the upcoming job fair at the committee meeting. Bill Benton mentioned the OOA advisory council participation in the Transportation Roundtable.


Health Committee

Carolyn Funk reported that the committee held a breakfast meeting last month. The discussion involved upcoming site visits and utilizing the current form available for the site visits. Ken Tharp also joined the committee.


Membership Committee

Stan Ulrich announced the need for new members on the council. There is one vacancy now and another member plans to leave the council. Stan encouraged Carolyn and Steve to meet following the meeting to discuss recruitment needs for the council.


Nutrition Committee

Margaret Long reported that the committee did not meet. Margaret stated that the Nutrition Coalition did meet and that the Nutrition Committee would probably start meeting again this spring. She plans to discuss the committee with Hal Wilson when he returns to Colorado next month.


Senior Attainable Housing Committee

Steve Budner reported that Peggy Haller has announced that she would resign from the council due to her busy schedule. However, Peggy informed the group that she will remain on the housing committee. The upcoming presentation to the Affordable Housing Coalition was discussed. Apparently, there was an article in the Coloradoan regarding the Richards Lake housing development.


Transportation Committee

Bill Benton reported that Wayne Smith from the Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board spoke at the last meeting. Bill also mentioned the need for council members to ride the local buses and talk to seniors regarding the bus system. He has free passes for the rides. Bill announced that he has had computer problems and currently is not receiving his e-mail.


The transportation committee will be working with the Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board to plan a jointly hosted transportation roundtable for later this year.


OOA Staff

Katy Mason reported that she has been hard at work placing seniors in appropriate jobs in the county for the Senior Tax Work-Off Program. There were 109 applicants. Due to budget constraints, only 65 seniors could be hired and the other 45 had to be turned away. Katy emphasized that all applicants were qualified for the program. She expects more applicants for next year’s program. She reminded the council that the program enables eligible seniors to work off up to $350 dollars of the Larimer County portion of their property tax bill.


Katy also discussed the upcoming Bridging the Gap luncheon. She is the OOA staff liaison for the event. She emphasized the importance of the event bringing together providers and others to discuss services for seniors. Katy requested council members to volunteer and take part in the planning committee for the event. The planning committee meetings take place once a month in Loveland and lasts one and a half hours. Currently, Mary Shultz represents the council. Katy encouraged more council members to participate in the committee due to OOA’s involvement as a co-sponsor for the event. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday, March 17th at noon at McKee Medical Center.


Katy is excited that she is working with Genevieve Fitzpatrick, a new OOA staff member. The position is a one-year temporary position through the Senior Community Service Employment Program via the Larimer County Workforce Center. She will be providing information regarding the new Medicare prescription discount card. Genevieve will be out in the field visiting subsidized housing sites, meal sites and other senior focal points in order to discuss the drug card and be a help to those in need. Low-income seniors may receive $600 towards prescriptions if they are financially eligible. Genevieve hopes to get the word out to eligible seniors. 


Donna Brumbaugh reported that the ombudsman program is pushing hard for volunteers. Currently, two new applications have been submitted and one additional individual has been selected for training. Donna added that Qualear Wilson, our CSU intern, has passed the state test and is now an official ombudsman. She has been assigned facilities in Larimer County and is working 30 hours a week with the Ombudsman program.

Discussion ensued regarding current frustrating issues with facilities.



Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Dean Miller reported that the Fort Collins Senior Center plans to increase the number of fitness and wellness classes offered due to increased interest. Dean also mentioned that the Fort Collins Senior Center has a shortage of parking. He also informed the council of a possible name change for the senior center. John Smith, FC Senior Advisory Board member, is working with college interns to provide vital information regarding the individuals who are frequenting the senior center. The survey will include how many vehicles, what kind of vehicles, what populations are being served, etc. Further information will be provided later.


Loveland Senior Advisory Board Report

Earl Stevens reported because the Senior Advisory Board had to cut short its meeting and that the two speakers were unable to address the Board. A presentation was given regarding Loveland's process of updating its master plan.


The current computer classes will end Friday, March 12th. Other computer classes will be given in early to mid-April.


Earl thanked the Office on Aging for co-sponsoring the Bridging the Gap luncheon with the Loveland and Fort Collins senior advisory boards. Parking will be free at the event.


Earl also noted that John Daggett of the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization discussed the business of rural transportation.


Earl reminded the council about the fundraiser for the Chilson Senior Center: the Community Pancake Breakfast and Plant Sale scheduled for Saturday, April 24th from

8-11:00 a.m. The cost of the event is $4 per adult and $2.50 per child (12/under).


On Monday, April 26th, the annual Senior Prom will take place at the Chilson Senior Center from 7:00-10:30 p.m.


The Loveland Senior Advisory Board meets regularly on the first Wednesday of each month at 10:45 a.m. in the Gertrude B. Scott room of the Loveland Library.


Foundation on Aging Report

Mary Shultz reported that a beginning computer class would be offered April 26-27 from

6-8 p.m. at Poudre Valley High School Business Department. Registration forms for the class are located in the library at the Fort Collins Senior Center. Some discussion ensued. 



Ken Tharp added that he attended the Town Hall meeting regarding TABOR and Amendment 23 on Saturday, March 6th in Loveland. He was discouraged by the discussion that took place. Margaret also attended the meeting and said that most of the people in attendance did not seem to be focused on the critical fiscal issues that face the state. Discussion ensued.



Mary Shultz adjourned the meeting.


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