Thursday, March 12, 2009

Middletown Senior Center- No Voting Allowed

I've served as committee secretary many times- even for the town. It's a demanding job & no one ever really wants. However, once you've got it- it's yours! It can be challenging capturing all the motions, votes, discussions, and topics. However, if you're a member of the Senior Center Board, this is greatly simplified.

In all its public record filings- I located (18), there was a total of 6 motions. 6. Four of these were to approve minutes. It actually needs to be done for each meeting. 2 were to accept the Director's Report. 2. And the latter didn't list the results of the voting.

So think of whatever group you belong to. Any motions ever made? Voted on? Do you ever just plain old discuss? Disagreements?

6 motions in 4 yrs. Four votes. I located no discussion but rather what seems to be a presented list of items being planned or their status that were included in new or old business. I'd assume that these came from the Director. No input from this group was ever recorded.

The group did vote on a Chair, Vice-Chair, and Secretary- in May of 2006 (for one yr.). Never again is a Chair ever mentioned (or a vote for officers); only a Co-Chair and Vice-Chair. Which begs the question, who is running this group?

The budget for the center is NEVER mentioned. Not once. Membership meetings for the entire Center are supposed to held monthly. I located two. Again, lists on their meeting minutes. We need to attract more members & you can help. We need you at the Town Council Meeting. The Board & Director were at the membership meetings, but no one else was listed. Meaning? Lord knows. The membership certainly isn't having any input here. In one membership meeting (4/29/08) all members are requested to attend a Town Hall meeting May 8, 2008. I'm assuming that is a budget hearing.

If the Council is assuming that the Board or the membership have vetted this budget- dream on. When I was a Library Trustee, this was always an important part of our yearly agenda. A subcommittee was formed, information was shared & discussed, practice presentations were held, and a final budget was voted on. The Director may have developed it, but the Board took responsibility for it's finality. Eight people involved. At the Senior Center- ONE for the center budget. No discussion in drawing it up.

We also were involved in a yearly evaluation of the Director in the form of a subcommittee. There is none here, although perhaps the Town Administrator performs this function. Evidently this Board has no input here though. Why not?

How many meetings by the Board have actually taken place? Let's suppose a meeting a month (there should be more if you count membership meetings, but...) In 2009 there has been one, 2008- there were no meetings in June, July, August, and December. So the group actually met about 2/3 of its scheduled time. In 2007- the same schedule plus non-meetings for Sept. & Oct. They met approximately half the time that they were scheduled to meet. Most of these meetings are just not scheduled (vacations), sometimes they are called off for attending funerals. Only one was not held due to a lack of a quorum.

This is Part Two on the Senior Center. Part Three will focus on actual meetings and content; such as it is. but you don't have to take my word for all of this. You, too, can spend hours going through their filings.
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