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Bethel Senior Advisory Board Regular Meeting, 10 February 2004

Bethel SAB

Regular Meeting, 10 February 2004
Tuesday, 10:00 AM, Eddie Hoffman Senior Center, Bethel, Alaska

Moment of reflection/Invocation
Roll Call, Call to Order
I. People To Be Heard—New Business
II. Approval of Agenda, Minutes
III. Reports, Announcements
Senior Center Director delegate (attached, oral summary)
Chair (attached, oral summary), update on SAB documents, correspondence (City)
IV. Unfinished Business
schedule for special meeting to discuss bylaws
V. New Business
Recommendation to the City Council to allow the SAB to designate “emeritus Board members”.
Recommendation to the City Council to allow taxis to set Senior Citizen fares
Recommendation to the City Council that Mayor Hugh Short and Vice-Mayor Thor Williams, as well as the rest of the City Council, respect Seniors’ testimony of last spring and cease consideration of a City-owned liquor store and wet-status.
Consideration by the SAB of the Seniors’ request for the SAB to sponsor twice monthly, informal, open discussions among Seniors.
Organize a schedule and procedures for SAB/Seniors annual required review of the NTS program and SAB client survey.
VI. Comments, discussion—visitors, Board
VII. Next Regular Meeting
Adjourn 11:00 AM

Senior Advisory Board letter

Date: Tue, 09 Mar 2004 14:36:44 -0900

One year ago I volunteered for and was appointed to the senior advisory board, for what I thought was a chance to do something for my fellow seniors.

Instead I have wasted a year of my time trying to figure out how we were suppose to do anything.

The powers that be told us we couldn’t use the board rules that the City Council approved. We were supposed to go by municipal codes. Then we were told we don’t know how to hold a meeting.

A city parliamentarian attended our meetings but never corrected anyone. Once we didn’t have a quorum she tried to get our chair to let the ex-officio be given a vote so we could have a meeting. The two of them were upset because the chair wouldn’t do it, at the same time we decided to have a work session, and later were admonished for doing that. The ex-officio even called a member from his sickbed, 45 minutes after the meeting, to try to get their quorum.

Another senior and my self went to AC to have coffee; we met and talked to lots of different people. We were later accused along with two other board members that weren’t there, of violating the open meeting law.

Then another time, a different member and myself went to AC to meet and talk to seniors, that we don’t see at the senior center. We were admonished for open meeting violation, again with members that weren’t there. We were reported by a “reliable source” (maybe the source should get new glasses).

It is a sad day when a person or persons are so insecure and paranoid that they can’t do their job because their so busy spying on old folks, and filing false claims on the very people they are supposed to be looking after.

For a do nothing board with no power there was sure a lot of time wasted on trying to trip us up. And making sure we followed all their rules. Maybe they don’t like it because we speak our mind. If they can get rid of us one at a time they can get the people they want on the board and don’t need to have meetings. Most of the new appointees haven’t attended half the meetings since their appointment, some haven’t attended any. Some members, when they do attend they have their own agenda. They follow the posted agenda only if it fits their scheme of things and none of the “educated” people in attendance tried to correct them

How can a board perform its duties if they, “members”, can’t talk to seniors? Maybe I’m in the wrong country, I thought this was “AMERICA”, if I’m wrong please correct me.

I am tired of being spied on by city officials, who get paid to protect and defend my rights as I did for them some forty years ago. There four I am resigning my position on the board of director effective immediately and plan to publish my resignation in the press, by the time this can be written for your benefit there maybe other news worthy events taking place.

Larry Howard, member senior advisory board

Letter to the Editor On Neglecting Seniors

On Senior services

The City of Bethel, ONC, and the Senior Center spend nearly a million dollars a year on our “senior programs”. Under the Older Americans Act, these programs are to provide nutrition, transportation, and support services. One of the objectives of the OAA is “Freedom, independence, and the free exercise of individual initiative… and protection against abuse, neglect, and exploitation.”

The state’s Adult Protective Services
requires “Any incident in which a vulnerable adult suffers harm from abandonment, abuse, exploitation, neglect or self-neglect.” must be reported.

Who is *Required* to report includes health practitioners, members of the clergy, and law enforcement but also “Employees of service grant agencies funded by Department of Administration for the provision of services to older Alaskans, the Department of Health and Social Services, and the Council on Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault”

So, why are some elders in our community, who regularly attend our Senior Center, so neglected that their bodies have deteriorated?

There are only two cabbies left who will transport these elders. If these cabs are on the other side of town when the Eddie Hoffman Senior Center calls for a taxi, these guys feel they have let the elders down, because no one else will convey them.

I want to publicly thank the two Kusko Cab drivers who exemplify the compassion and caring and respect we should all have towards our elders. These two go out of their way to respect the dignity that some elders struggle to retain.

This community spends all this money on senior services, yet these two small businessmen contribute so much more. The rest of us should take the lesson to heart.

M. Pamela Bumsted

Senior Advisory Board member 2003-2004

MOA Transfer Senior Center Passes

Passed 15 August 2005 Joint ONC/COB Work Session

Memorandum of Agreement

Between the City of Bethel and Orutsararmiut Native Council on the Transfer of the Senior Center and its Service Responsibility

This Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the City of Bethel (City) and Orutsararmiut Native Council (ONC) is intended to facilitate the transfer of the Senior Center, senior service responsibilities, and pertinent assets related to the provision of services at and through the Center from the City of Bethel to the Orutsararmiut Native Council. All assets and lease arrangements mentioned in this Agreement pertain to the transfer of the Senior Center from the City to ONC for the express purpose of ONC providing services to low-income seniors and other qualified individuals beginning on September 1, 2005 and continuing indefinitely.

The City of Bethel has been awarded two grants from the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, that support the provision of senior services: (1) Nutrition, Transportation and Support Services grant, and (2) Home and Community Based Care grant. This MOA is contingent on the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services, awarding the same or similar grants to ONC for the provision of senior services during Fiscal Year 2006.

Notwithstanding the exceptions mentioned herein, it is the intent of the City of Bethel to transfer ownership of the Senior Center Buildings and improvements, (e.g., walkways and fencing) to the Orutsararmiut Native Council. The Orutsararmiut Native Council will be responsible for the maintenance, repairs, and improvements to the Senior Center buildings, contents of the buildings, and other assets referenced in this agreement beginning on September 1, 2005. This duty of care includes all required inspections (e.g., sprinkler & fire panels, fire extinguishers, range hood, and elevator) and maintenance and repair necessary to meet all state and federal regulations pertaining to employee and public health and safety.

Aside from the cash subsidies and in-kind donations described in this agreement, the City of Bethel will not be responsible for costs or other financial obligations incurred by ONC relative to the operation of the Senior Center and the provision of Senior Services to the community.

Parties to this Agreement

City of Bethel, P.O. Box 1388, Bethel, AK 99559, 907-543-2297

Orutsararmiut Native Council, P.O. Box 927, Bethel, AK 99559


Provision of Senior Services

This Agreement transfers the responsibility of operating the Senior Center and providing services to eligible individuals from the City to ONC. The Orutsararmiut Native Council will continue to provide services to low-income seniors over 60 years of age, minorities, and those living in a rural area as specified for recipients of Nutrition, Transportation, and Support Services grants administered by the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services. The Chrissie Shantz Adult Day Care program will continue to operate in its present or improved form to serve eligible seniors, those at risk of institutionalization, individuals with disabilities, and others who qualify under the Home and Community Based Care grant program administered by the State of Alaska, Department of Health and Social Services.

Financial Support

The City of Bethel will provide a cash subsidy to ONC in the following amounts and for the following years: $200,000 in Fiscal Year 2006, ending June 30, 2006; $150,000 in Fiscal Year 2007, ending June 30, 2007; and $75,000 in Fiscal Year 2008, ending June 30, 2008. While these amounts represent a minimum cash distribution from the City, with proper justification and subsequent approval by the Bethel City Council, ONC may receive up to a maximum amount of $200,000 in Fiscal Years 2007 and 2008. The City will not give any cash subsidies to ONC in any fiscal years after the conclusion of Fiscal Year 2008, ending June 30, 2008.

The amount of the cash subsidy over the minimum amounts for Fiscal Year 2007 and 2008, but less than the $200,000 cap, is not automatically approved. The ONC Executive Director or his or her designee must show documentation that reasonable and relevant operating expenses will be incurred in excess of the ability of ONC to pay such expenses through its anticipated revenue streams and administration of funds passing through its organization. A request to the City Manager for an increase in the cash subsidy must be submitted in writing with supporting documentation attached. The City Manager will put the request on the agenda of the soonest regularly scheduled City Council meeting. Once the Bethel City Council approves a $50,000 increase, ONC may spend up to that amount before another approval is required for an additional $50,000 installment. Cash disbursements to ONC shall be made by the City Manager within 10 working days of Bethel City Council’s approval.


The land on which the Senior Center sits will be leased by the City of Bethel to the Orutsararmiut Native Council at the rate of $1.00 per year for the duration of the time that ONC operates the Center by providing services to low-income elders and other qualifying individuals. The details of the lease arrangement will be spelled out in a legal contract, signed and dated by both parties.

Senior Center Buildings

The Senior Center Buildings, located at 127 Atsaq Way in Bethel, Alaska, will be used by ONC for the express purpose of providing services to low-income seniors and other qualified individuals as delineated under the section: Provision of Senior Services. The buildings shall remain in use for the express purpose of providing senior services.


The title of the following vehicles will be given to the Orutsararmiut Native Council:

1. Ford Bronco (1993)

2. Thomas Build Freightliner mid-size bus (2001)

3. Narrow body cutaway van/bus with wheelchair lift (expected to be received by the City during summer 2006 through a Section 5310 grant award by the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF))

The transfer of ownership of the narrow body cutaway van/bus is contingent on City Council’s formal acceptance through a resolution and a signed agreement with the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities, acknowledging the transfer of ownership from the City to ONC. Per the grant agreement with DOT&PF, the van/bus must be used for the provision of senior services until such time as a public transit system becomes operational. Once a public transit system becomes operational, the van/bus must become a public transit vehicle, serving the general public as part of the transit system.

Contents of the Senior Center Buildings

The City-owned contents inside the Senior Center building will be transferred to ONC for the provision of senior services, including major kitchen appliances (e.g., refrigerators, freezers), furniture (e.g., couches, chairs, tables), electronic equipment (e.g., television, stereo, computers, printers), exercise equipment, and other material goods currently found in the Senior Center.

In-kind Contributions

To help ONC provide senior services through the Senior Center; the City shall contribute the following in-kind services to ONC:

Water, sewer, and trash pick-up services for the duration of the time ONC provides senior services through the Senior Center

Routine maintenance and major repairs to the Thomas Freightliner bus at an estimated cost of $8,000 per year for a period of five years, ending on June 30, 2010

Routine maintenance and major repairs to the narrow body cutaway van/bus with wheelchair lift (if received by the City during summer 2006 through a Section 5310 grant award by the State of Alaska, Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF)) for a period of seven years, ending on June 30, 2012.

The ONC will be responsible for the maintenance and major repairs of the Ford Bronco.

Routine maintenance and major repairs to the Senior Center boiler for a period of one year, ending on June 30, 2006. Maintenance and repairs to the boiler after June 30, 2006 will be the responsibility of ONC.

Senior Advisory Board Membership

The City of Bethel shall retain one seat on the Senior Advisory Board, as it currently stands, or other citizen body created to provide advice to program administrators. The person occupying that seat will be appointed by Bethel City Council.


The signatures below of the highest elected official and highest ranking administrator from the City of Bethel and Orutsararmiut Native Council validate this Memorandum of Agreement and obligate both parties to the terms herein.

Speak Mind Bethel Senior Center

Date: Sun, 14 Mar 2004 10:17:40 -0900

Dear Newseditor,
I am the elected chair of the Bethel Senior Advisory Board. However, I am writing as a private citizen to inform the public about recent Senior Advisory Board issues.

The Senior Advisory Board (SAB) met for their regular meeting on March 9th 2004. Present were members Mary Gregory, Larry Howard, Sr., Julius Pleasant, Sr., David E. Trantham, Jr., Joan Hamilton, and myself as Chair. Also present was Louise Charles who works for the City of Bethel as Director of Senior Services and is therefore the ex officio (non-voting) member.

The Board was unable to take action at its last meeting. The SAB voted not to accept the Bethel City management’s agenda for the elder citizens of Bethel. The senior services director wrote an agenda that would not allow the SAB to discuss the senior discount for taxis, would not let the SAB discuss how to perform the grant review, and would not allow requested training from the City Clerk, Amanda Byington.

That evening, the City Council, in their regular meeting, revealed that the City has sought legal advice against the Senior Advisory Board from the City attorneys, Preston, Gates, Ellis, LLP.

The Senior Advisory Board is a volunteer citizen committee. Because the city receives funds for seniors under the Federal Older Americans Act, the City of Bethel is required to have citizen input. Members are appointed by the City Council to represent the concerns of older people to the City government and to meet the City’s grant responsibilities.

Despite this mandate, since May 2003, the City has not consulted with the Advisory Board about actions the City has taken, are taking, and will take that affect every person over 55 in Bethel (as well as those in the Delta who love them). As recently as January 21 and 22, 2004 Mayor Hugh Short and Vice-mayor Thor Williams left senior services out of their newspaper statement “Our government needs to be focusing on core services: public safety, water and sewer, roads, recreation, and economic development.”

Since October 2003, the City of Bethel senior services program director and city clerk have insisted that only the senior services director, and not the Senior Advisory Board, can decide what citizens may talk about at the SAB meetings. In addition, the SAB is the only citizen committee that has their meetings discussed in the management reports included in the public Council packets. The management reports are personal notes from the senior services director. The SAB minutes themselves are written by the senior services director. As of March 9, 2004 the December 2003 minutes have not been given to the SAB for review.

The SAB operates under the authority of the City Council according to their bylaws. The collective senior voice is an active and functioning part of the City of Bethel, with specific and defined responsibilities to older citizens that cannot be circumvented by action of the City Council and management.

Last Tuesday, acting in the interest of seniors and of all citizens of Bethel, the Senior Advisory Board stood up for the rights of older Americans, against this City government’s best efforts to dictate otherwise. I am urging everyone to participate whenever issues of elder citizens are discussed–Senior Advisory Board meetings, City Council and Task Group meetings, newspapers, talk lines, legislative teleconferences.

Let your government officials know that there are folks who believe that growing older isn’t a disease; that an active democracy isn’t a crime.

Thank you.

M. Pamela Bumsted, Ph.D.

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