Changing Aspen Leaves - RMNP

Advisory Council Meeting

February 9, 2012


Held at 2573 Midpoint Drive, Ste. 108

Fort Collins, Colorado  80525


Members Present:

Jay Adams

Nancy Arthur

David Born


Melissa Buckskin

Helen Davis

Carolyn Funk


Marcy Greenslit

Judy Jones

Ellen Lawson


Randy Mergler

Ellen Pihlstrom

Bill Prather


Mary Shultz

Debbie Tellez

Bob Tholl


Stan Ulrich

Sharon Zamora






Members Absent :

Peggy Bowers

Nila Croll

Howard Hay


Earl Stevens







Staff Present:

Tina Barker

Monica Becker

Tina Corrigan-Hugo


Ruth Long

Katy Mason

Linda Rumney


Ed Rutherford

Mercedes Windsheimer






Guests Present:

Myles Crane

Cherrie Thornton



Bob Tholl called the meeting to order at 1:32 p.m.


Minutes approved as presented.

OFFICE ON AGING PARTNER PRESENTATION:  Bob Keister, Larimer County Budget Director

Bob Kiester distributed a short version of the Larimer County budget.  There are 85 different types of services provided throughout the county and Bob distributed information on them.   The services are cataloged to help consumers understand and access them.  A survey was recently conducted by the county commissioners to determine what the public deems to be the most important ones.  The commissioners’  job is to put less money in the least valued services and more money into the productive and needed services.  Some services, however, must be provided.  The budget outlook is fairly bleak because home values have fallen and the jail sales tax will soon expire.  No federal help is on the horizon.


Bob Tholl reported that the Media & Public Relations Committee and the Community Outreach & Education Committee seem to be duplicating efforts.  Bob stated there are three options:  To disband the Media & PR Committee, to combine the Media & PR Committee with the Community Outreach & Education Committee, or to form a new committee with new objectives.  Bob stated that the consensus of the Executive Committee is to combine the two committee’s and has asked for a vote to merge them.  The change would take place with the March meetings if approved.  Jay Adams moved to combine the committees.  Melissa Buckskin seconded the motion.  The motion was approved.


Bob announced that the Executive Committee discussed changing the venue of committee meetings.  He requested a motion to move the committee meetings to the Office on Aging building at 2601 Midpoint Drive, Ste. 112, Room 108.  The change of venue would be implemented in March.  Carolyn Funk moved to have the committee meetings at 2601 Midpoint.  Mary Shultz seconded the motion.  The motion was approved.


Bob Tholl reported that the Executive Committee is working on the Council bylaws and will be presented at the next meeting.  Bob stated that the Estes Park Senior Center director requested that we sponsor a VA panel in Estes Park. 


Ruth Long reported that the Older Americans Act has been introduced in congress.  Ruth will issue updates to the Council when she gets them.  At the state level, there is a major controversy over the move of the State Unit on Aging (SUA) from the State Department of Human Services (CDHS) to Healthcare Policy and Finance (HCPF).  The Colorado AAAs (C4A) and the Commission on Aging are worried about the effect it will have on their services.  It appears that legislation to make this change is in progress.  The argument against the move is that the Older Americans Act programs are not funded by Medicaid.  The two organizations cannot envision why this would be beneficial.  At the federal level, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid are partnering with Older Americans Act programs and are encouraging states to act the same way. 


Ruth also reported that the Office on Aging had its annual evaluation done by the SUA.  This year we received two deficiencies:  In the Senior Nutrition program and in In-Home services.  Ruth will write up a response on how we plan to correct the deficiencies and will report back to the Council.


Staff Reports:

Katy Mason reported that the Senior Tax Work-Off Program has started.  She and Marcy Greenslit interviewed 138 people in four days.  Katy thanked Tina Hugo, Linda Rumney and Mercedes Windsheimer for also helping.  Marcy noted that there seemed to be a lot more people in the 60-65 age range who are out of work. 


Monica Becker reported that the Ombudsman program continues to be busy.  They have run an ad in the Estes Park and Loveland papers for a volunteer ombudsman.  A new facility is being built in Loveland and will have a 48-bed secured memory unit. 


The biography has been postponed to the March meeting.



Fort Collins Senior Advisory Board Report

Cherrie Thornton announced that the Growing Older in Fort Collins, Part 2 – Planning for the Silver Tsunami will be on March 1 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Fort Collins Senior Center.  Priorities identified by the community members that attended the first session will be explored.  Attendees will have the opportunity to hear a brief report on the findings from the first program and then a panel of community stakeholders will share information on what their organizations are doing to prepare for the Silver Tsunami.  Following the panel presentations, the audience will participate in three rounds of café-style group discussions facilitated by students from the Center for Public Deliberation. 


Cherrie also reported that the SAB is advocating to the City Council for tiered rates in electric usage.  There needs to be a senior-friendly process for applying for a medical (or other) exemption for hardship cases. 


Loveland Senior Advisory Board

Judy Jones reported that the SAB heard a presentation from the staffing manager of the House Call Physicians group.  The new program seems to be going well.  There has been a lot of discussion about the SAB not being included in the city’s planning document.  Judy stated that the Bridging the Gap committee will meet next Wednesday at McKee.


Foundation on Aging (FOA)

Mary Shultz reported that the FOA will have its annual meeting next Tuesday.  Accomplishments and goals will be discussed. 


Human Relations Commission (HRC)

Myles Crane reported that the HRC is planning the details of their annual Human Relations award breakfast on May 1.  Nominations for the awards are due March 31.  Award will be presented in five categories:  Police and Emergency Services, Senior, Adult, Youth and Organizations.  The nomination form can be found at


Myles announced that the Fort Collins Senior Center will host a facilitated discussion on exploitation of seniors on October 22.  The Fort Collins SAB was asked to co-sponsor the event.  Myles then asked the Council to also co-sponsor this event.  Helen Davis moved that the OOAAC support the efforts of the Fort Collins Human Relations Commission.  Judy Jones seconded the motion.  The motion was passed unanimously. 


Larimer County Commissioner

No report given.


Community Outreach & Education Committee

Nancy Arthur reported that the Committee will be meeting with Parish Nurses.  The Committee also discussed distribution of the Answers on Aging Resource Guide, mailing a postcard to the Special Needs Registry and merging with the Media & Public Relations Committee. 


Media & Public Relations Committee

Melissa Buckskin reported that the Committee agreed to combine her committee with the Community Outreach & Education Committee.  The Committee is currently working on hosting an Older Americans Film Festival on May 8 at the Rialto. 


Grantee Management & Evaluation Committee

Ellen Pihlstrom reported that Mary Catherine Rabbitt will present information on legal resources available in Colorado.  The Committee also discussed the proposed move of the SUA to HCPF and site visit evaluations.


Public Policy & Advocacy Committee 

Helen Davis reported that Michael Bennett from Cory Gardner’s office came to the committee meeting and discussed the Older American’s Act reauthorization.  Helen stated that she attended a Town Hall meeting in January with Bob Bacon, Randy Fischer and John Kefalas.  She noted that there has been a 52% increase in people in poverty since 2000.  Helen reminded the Council that Senior Day at the Capitol is on March 14. 



No announcements were made.



Bob adjourned the meeting at 3:35 p.m.

Background Image: Changing Aspen Leaves in Rocky Mountain National Park by Jeremy Hollis. All rights reserved.