Monday, April 12, 2021 - 9:30 AM


Joseph Giordano, Chairperson

Charles Harrington, Vice-Chairperson


Chairman Giordano called this Human Services Meeting to order at 9:30 am with the following Supervisors in attendance: Clayton Barber, Archie Depo, Stephanie DeZalia, Shaun Gillilland, Joseph Giordano, Charlie Harrington, Roy Holzer, Kenneth Hughes, Steve McNally, Jim Monty, Jay Rand, Tom Scozzafava, Jeffrey Subra, Ike Tyler, Joe Pete Wilson and Davina Winemiller. Robin DeLoria and Noel Merrihew were excused.


Department Heads present: Dan Palmer, Linda Beers, Jim Dougan, Judy Garrison, Krissy Leerkes, Michael Mascarenas and Terri Morse.


Also present:Sun News, Tim Rowland.


GIORDANO:I will call the Human Services Committee to order.If you will join me in the pledge of allegiance.Good morning.Itís good to see all your smiling eyes.Weíll call Mike Mascarenas up, the Department of Social Services.


MASCARENAS:Good morning and welcome back.It is good to see everybody in person.I put blue ribbons on everybodyís workstations.Those blue ribbons are for Child Abuse Prevention Month which is the month of April.Iíd like a resolution declaring the Month of April Child Abuse Prevention Month if that would be okay.




MASCARENAS:Iíd like to extend a sincere thank you to all the employees who work in my child and family services unit and that includes Foster Care, Child Protective Services and Preventive Services.Their dedication to the families is really second to none and Essex County is absolutely a better place because of the work they do.Also, everybody who sits here other all the department heads, we failed to bring in employees due to the Covid restrictions and us getting back we didnít do that this time but we like to do that but everybody here Ms. Beerís department, Ms. Leerkes, Ms. Morse everybody contributes to that really protecting the children.You donít see a lot of what goes on behind the scenes, those partnerships that exist and everybody really working in the best interest for the families of Essex County itís there.Theyíre really awesome people to work with and they also deserve a thank you.So thank you to my colleagues.

With that being said, a lot of you are starting to think about whether or not you can have a summer recreation program or not.The answer is, you can.The guidelines really havenít been developed they were developed for last year. Iím not sure if they are going to be as strict but right now thatís what weíve got to go by so if I were to give you a recommendation I would say, if you want to have a summer recreation program to start doing so with the guidelines that are in place from last year and if we do get guidelines from the state department of Health it will likely will be less than a burden and youíll be well prepared but if itís something youíre talking about in your towns and you want to start hiring those people so that we can get any trainings done that need to happen the State has extended the variance that they had for last season which is good news.It will be helpful to some of your day camps and/or opening of your beaches so if you have lifeguard training in the past, they have to review course materials those types of things, they sign the attestation that weíve included in your packet and theyíll be good to go.The problem is itís not creating any newly, trained individuals so if you donít have those people that were trained and are willing to come back you can still be in a bit of a bind.We are having training. Mr. McNally has put me in contact with somebody in the South that is actually having training as well and weíll get those trainings to you.The one that weíre holding for us is in there.It will be four days in May. Thereís a lot of course material that has to be covered online in order to meet the requirement but they will have the ability to complete the swimming portion at Moriah Central School of the training.Moriah has been a really good partner to work with us on helping us get through this for you guys.†† With that being said, thatís all I have right now in terms of day camps.We can get those guidelines to you that were out last year thatís what Kristen Sayers sent us.Currently, we are in contact with her sheís really great to work with. She can only do what she is handed down from the people above her so thatís what she has right now and thatís what Iím assuming that weíre going to go by unless we hear otherwise.Questions, comments?


WILSON: Mike, can you just send out the guidelines from last year and is that also where you find the form for the people to sign who were previously certified?


MASCARENAS:Yes I already sent you that and itís in my monthly report the variance, thatís in there so that is included but I will absolutely send the guidelines to everybody.Linda Beers is also in contact with them repeatedly and she has passed some information on and she gets it to me as well.


WILSON:Thank you.


GIORDANO:Any other questions for Mike?Okay, thank you Mike.


MASCARENAS: Thank you.


GIORDANO:Next up, we have Terri Morse, Mental Health.




††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was the Mental Health Department with Terri Morse reporting as follows:


MORSE:Good morning everyone.If you all saw my email from last week looking forward to getting more data about how many stop light there are in Essex County so far Iím up to eight I believe and Iím looking to get confirmation of data from Ticonderoga about how many stop lights there are.


GIORDANO:We had two that went out and we replaced on and I think the other is a flashing four.Are you counting flashing fours?


MORSE:Iím counting four.


GIORDANO:Are you counting stop lights that act more like stop signs?


MORSE: So your one stop light you have right out of Lowes Iím not counting.


GIORDANO:That is a stop light though.


MORSE:So itís operational?


GIORDANO:That one is yes.


MORSE:How about the one on 22?


GIORDANO:That one is a four way stop.Thereís two on 22, one is a four way stop and one is a regular.I can get with you after.




MONTY:But they are stop lights because they are the flashing red.


MORSE:So, Iím looking for red, green, yellow.I find that is the data that helps those groups that Iím speaking with understand how rural Essex County is.People cannot wrap their head around 1,916 square miles.They canít wrap their head around 21.6 persons per square mile but when you say there are eight stop lights in Essex County and itís the second largest county in the State they are like, oh, my gosh thatís a big deal especially when there are seven stop lights on Route 3 from the exit in Plattsburgh, from there to where it splits off to the college or the hospital we have that many stop lights in that county.So, Iím looking forward to getting your data.


GIORDANO: I will get that to you.


MORSE: Thank you.As I have been sharing with you over months that the Mental Health Department has had an increase in services and an increase in crisis services.Iím watching other data also and the data that I think, I donít know in particular the services that we are providing actually directly impact the data on the top of your second sheet but maybe it does but the fact that the suicide attempts and/or completed data that 911 receives or response to is flat in í20 and í19 basically Iím wondering is the work that our agency is doing is helping.Domestic violence calls have been reduced and what they call MHOís so now the Mental Hygiene law calls have also been reduced too.Maybe because our crisis people are utilizing the appropriate services instead of going to 911 and using the law enforcement to be their social worker or maybe because we implemented the youíve heard me talk about CIT and then we changed it to LEMRS which stands for Law Enforcement Mental Health Services Referral thatís where the law enforcement when they encounter and individual that has been kind of, gotten their attention and maybe there is a concern about their substance abuse or mental health conditions that that is then weíre getting a referral from the law enforcement and then responding to it the day after maybe that is actually helping to reduce those numbers or address those concerns.So, more I like data and I know that is not the only thing to consider but Iím watching these numbers as time goes by to see if our LEMRS referrals increase and these numbers decrease maybe there is a correlation.

I also want to bring to your attention that under the community services report that every year the community services board prepares a local services plan and Iíve shared with you what our 2021 goals we are preparing 2021 goals in 2020 so weíre now working on the 2022 goals.So the 2021 goals are as I defined on the report and the local services planning committee at the State level gave all of us a little bit of a pass in 2021 because mainly we were amongst Covid and said, just give me your bare bones but weíre looking to think about what is needed in our community when it comes to Office with Persons with Developmental Disabilities, Office of Mental Health and Office of Substance Abuse.I donít think the Mental Health Director has ever asked for the Board of Supervisors input on our local services plan.Now, Supervisor Hughes is now sitting on the Community Services Board and on some level he is representing all of you at that table so if there are local services plans, if there are topics that you think we need to be looking at as a community services board under those Offices of Persons with Development Disabilities, Mental Health or Substance Abuse please feel free to share them with Ken or you can email me directly.We want to make sure that services that are provided for in the county are adequate to meet the needs.That is my responsibility as the Director of Community Services.Thatís what you pay me for to make sure that those are appropriate so how can we create a plan that doesnít include what you see in your communities?So, when we prepare that local services plan I would like an opportunity to share it with you so that youíre involved, you know what weíre doing and we also know that weíre meeting your constituents needs.So, Ken I put you on the spot.

So I have one resolution and that is to appoint Bob Woughter who is a Superintendent of Schools in Keene as a member of the Mental Health sub-committee for the community services board with a term effective January 1, 2021 to December 31, 2024.




GIORDANO:All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.Thank you.


MORSE:That is the conclusion of my report.


GIORDANO:Thank you Terri.Does anyone have any additional questions for Terri?I will get back to you on the stop lights.


MORSE: I will appreciate that.I will let everyone know our final results.Thank you.


GIORDANO: Next up we have Linda Beers, Public Health.




The next on the agenda was the Public Health Department with Linda Beers reporting as follows:


BEERS:Good morning.I think I would like to do resolutions first.A lot of them is moving money forward so Iím going to go through them and thereís one that we can talk about if you have any questions on so weíll go through them and then weíll go over my report as quickly as possible.Resolution #1 is to move money forward, it is from the Prevent budget of $9,507.04, Covid response and we need to move from 2020 budget to 2021.




GIORDANO:Discussion?All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS:We can skip #2, just in case there is discussion on it. Weíll go to three to increase revenues and appropriations Ada Atkinson Award, an elderly woman left us money and weíre moving it forward $42,855.29.




GIORDANO:Discussion?All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS:Number four resolution is to increase revenues and appropriations for MRC which is our Medical Reserve Corp and that is to move that money forward $2,853.03.




GIORDANO:Discussion?All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS:These are always some of my unbelievable ones.This is DSRIP money.This is the money that we got from engaging in a program that was a Medicaid redesign that many counties actually chose not to do.Iím proudly saying, we are going to move $1,109,515.85 forward and this was the CHHA participation and we do certain admissions to hospitals.




GIORDANO:Discussion?All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS: Number six is New York State Department of Health Immunization Action Plan contract supplemental flu and itís in the amount of $13,566.00 and I would like to move that forward.




GIORDANO:Discussion?All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS:And this same itís very similar 2020 budget moving forward to the Covid 19 grant this was grant funding money that weíve been spending down and weíre moving that forward in a total of $67,446.03.




GIORDANO:Discussion?All those in favor, signify by saying aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS: Iíd like to go back to resolution #2, the reason for my request is to order two vehicles. We use these for our certified home health agency.We do this with this kind of funding because we polled all of our nurses and we say, why do you stay in Essex County?What is it that makes ours different from others and they actually vote and we keep record of that vote and put it in the files and the number one reason is because we have provided them with a vehicle and one of the reasons they chose to work for the county thatís what allows us to use some of this money which is DSRIP money as I told you we were literally given $1,109,515.00 and we would like to use a portion of that money which we have to spend, which is $55,000 to buy two cars.You should note that these cars actually pay for themselves because the mileage that we would actually be paying to a nurse using their own car thereís been long standing data to prove that and in two years they pay for themselves.






GILLILLAND:Dan, donít we have several months of wait time on any new vehicles now?


PALMER:Actually these we did.We did receive one bid.The dealer has agreed, they were on the lot and heís agreed to hold them until we get the resolution done and just to clarify this it says, from budgeted funds technically it was not put in the 2021 budget but what she is suggesting is to take it out of the million dollars of DSRIP funding to cover it. We had a couple of vehicles that we had to surplus out of there that were over ten years old.


McNALLY: I donít know; do you think this is a good time to start looking at electric vehicles?


PALMER:You know, weíve gone back and forth with that.I think that is something that we are certainly going to start looking at. I think the real issue right now is that we only have the two charging stations.If and fact, we were going to go to electric we would have to look for development of charging stations that would support the kind of fleet that we drive.


McNALLY:I donít think there is a better time than right now to do this.I know a lot of the towns are in the process with NYSERTA to get some charging stations in the towns but also thereís a lot less maintenance on electric vehicles no oil changes.


PALMER: I will say this about the electric vehicles.When you do have to service electric vehicles it does take very specific training.They wonít let you work on those electric vehicles unless you have certifications.Both the Federal budget and the State budget have been emphasizing the build out of the charging stations and I think that was part of what I asked you to do a while back when we did a letter of support for a couple of companies that were looking for the contract at the State level for build out.Thatís for us, Jim Dougan and I have been talking about it for us, the key is having a place to be able to bring the vehicles back and have them charged while they are not in use.The range is there I think typically now they are running between 200-250 mile range for electric vehicle.The initial car cost starts out more but when you consider no fuel and no service then you quickly make that money up.


McNALLY: We have to start somewhere with this program with electric vehicles.You know if we start with two itís not like weíre replacing a whole fleet, if we start with two and maybe use those for the shorter runs where there is a charger up here but I think we need to really consider starting that program.


SCOZZAFAVA: I donít disagree with what Mr. McNally is saying but I mean Public Health Nursing is all over this county and you know, if we donít have charging stations strategically located you know, we maybe towing.


BEERS:They sit over the weekend.I donít know how long they need to charge?


SCOZZAFAVA:I donít disagree but I think itís a little early right now until we get some more stations out there maybe one?I donít know about buying two.


McNALLY:I would just like to see how they perform even if we did buy one and if we use it just for the shorter distances, we donít run it to Minerva but maybe run it in Elizabethtown, Westport grouping and then weíll have the data so the next time we purchasing something weíll have the data whether this is going to fit and it may not work well for us and we may go back.


PALMER:I think eventually weíll get there but I just, you know just finding them is a little hard right now but you know thereís some left over Volts but mileage range on the older ones is not as good as the newer versions coming out so it would be nice.Part of the problem in the car business right now is their so short on materials particularly computer chips that they are not building as many vehicles.In fact, most of the car manufactures have stopped fleet building and they are not even going to build fleet vehicles until 2022 so I think it is something that we need to do and I think down the road, part of the Governorís requirement is that weíre supposed to have a reduction in the use of fuels and those kinds of things and electric vehicles seems to be the easy answer for that.It is on our radar and I think we will go in that direction.Right now I think we need some vehicles that are sitting on the lot ready to do and thatís why we recommended these two for Public Health now.


WILSON:Sounds like what we need though is some information of the plan so we ready.What will be appropriate vehicles for departments and do a trial as to use and suggestion of what infrastructure would we need to put in place here to identify a department thatís got the right sort of route that matches electric vehicles and what we need here and then we can budget for it and plan it because I agree weíve got to move in that direction but weíve got to lay the ground work too where is the right department to run these vehicles, what infrastructure are we going to need to have it and then we can budget for it.


McNALLY:We have to start somewhere.


BEERS:I would just also mention that all drivers keep the car at a town garage, they donít come back to the county.We work our nurses right from their homes to an area thatís closest to them so we donít pay them mileage to come to work back and forth so these cars never as a rule come back and forth from here so having a charging station here but here are many other cars like other departments, DSS that cars are here every night.Iím just kidding but Iím thrilled so you should know that is clearly on the Public Health radar to reduce emissions but these are two Nissan Sentras sitting there, they get tremendous gas mileage, weíve had great experience with them and just to say we surplus a car would be an understatement they put it on the lift and the back end fell off so itís gone.


GILLILLAND:I have been working with Community Resources, with NYSERTA in getting two charging stations in Willsboro.We can probably get Community Resources to coordinate all the towns to have charging stations, the guy will come out and do the surveys.We have them centered at our town hall and the public works department but I will talk to Community Resources and make it all towns.If we can get all eighteen towns in there with charging stations, we are a lot closer to solving the problem.


GIORDANO:Ticonderoga already has a charging station.I donít know if any other towns have?


SCOZZAFAVA:We are in the process.We just got a grant to put two in and itís going to cost the town like $600.00.


McNALLY:Yes, thatís all itís costing us.


RAND:We have six in our municipal parking lot on main street.We didnít have 3-phase power there so they didnít install the rapid chargers but out at the new facility at Mtn. VanHovenburg & ORDA they have a bunch of them.


SCOZZAFAVA:We just ordered two Teslas for our police department.(laughter)


GIORDANO:I guess just to piggy back on what Mr. Gillilland said, maybe a logistics sort of analysis for the department of health, average mileage especially since they are not returning back for any department for what Mr. McNally was interested in exploring.


BEERS:Sure.Dan whatever you ask I will get that information to you.


WINEMILLER:Yes, I was just wondering what kind of vehicles do you plan on purchasing?


BEERS:Nissan Sentras.They go out to bid.These guys get the lease amount, itís a basic car and we usually always chose the lowest bid so Nissanís came in this time we ran Ford Focusí for years but theyíre not available and itís a local dealer right?


PALMER:Yes, itís out of Plattsburgh.


WINEMILLER:Did you say Linda I just want to make sure I understood the nurses actually take the cars home?


BEERS:So they donít they take the cars to a municipality lot so in Schroon Lake we use the town and every one of your towns ifyou have one of our nurses that live there their car is parked in something that is a county lot, something county owned and we have a list of where all of them are so the nurses have to leave their own home, drive their car to that spot, that car does not sit in their driveway they sit in municipal lots in Keene thereís one, Schroon Lake, Lake Placid has one so yeah.


WINEMILLER:Okay so they have a mileage log?


BEERS:Yes, absolutely.


WINEMILLER:Perfect thank you.


BEERS:Your welcome.


McNALLY:So if the municipalities all have charging stations at their town buildings just makes this plan more viable because we will have the charging stations in every town.


PALMER:Yeah, again the State had actually put out a bid.It was like three months ago for firms that were supposed to coordinate the build out in upstate New York for charging stations and part of that was you guys authorized me to do a letter of support to one of those groups, and part of that was that they were supposed to once they were awarded this were supposed to come back to all of us and start the build out process so that we would be locating these chargers in the appropriate locations for travel.And again, it depends on the type of charger they chose thereís fast charge which literally can put almost a whole charge on your vehicle in less than an hour and then thereís 220 charge which is about five hours-time for an electric vehicle and 110 is you might as well go park it home and forget about it because itís just not going to charge but you know there is the technology out there and again, like I said even for most of our departments, they donít travel more than 300 miles a day so if you get an electric vehicle that has that two to three mile range youíre probably going to meet your needs.


GIORDANO:Any other comments, questions on this discussion?


MONTY:Should we amend the resolution to say, DSRIP funds instead of budgeted funds since it wasnít budgeted?


PALMER: Yeah, I think that should end up in there that it is coming from DSRIP funds.


BEERS:It does, the balance of it comes from the account of 41894 54DSRIP but you want it in the verbiage?


PALMER: Yes, weíll just make sure Dan gets it in.


BEERS:Thank you.


GIORDANO:No more discussion on this topic, all in favor signify with aye, anyone opposed Ė so carried.


BEERS:So Iím just really quickly go over my report you have in front of you.The amount change all the time.Weíve had several pods and I really want to call your attention to the upcoming ones so in Keene Valley we were very successful we had over 200 doses.We did not make that mark. We have been missing the mark every week Essex County is allotted this time, 200 doses and we have been unable to give 200 doses in arms.We advertise, on the radio, weíre everywhere. We also have free transportation and now I think weíre the only county in the State that is allowing walk ins.So just to give you an idea of what that means thereís a lot of people that donít like planning they feel like hey, if Iím in the area we took 20 people, 20 extra vaccines in Keene Valley for people that walked in that day so it was really successful so weíre going to continue to go with that and weíre really happy and glad that we did that.

The next thing that Iím talking about is Remembrance Day many of you were there, it was a beautiful event.So I do want to remind you, Iím sorry about we will be in DPW is our first drive thru clinic thank you so much to Jim Dougan for all of the efforts that involved in doing that and then weíre going to be in Jay and then weíre going to be at the Knights of Columbus in Moriah so we are going to start moving flashing signs at each one of those locations this week, saying these events are coming up and then after that our hope is to go to Ticonderoga next.Weíre really using data so thereís a map showing what towns and where we stand on them just to give you an idea Lake Placid is at 52% overall in Essex County weíre doing really very, very well so Ticonderoga is at 24% right now, Crown Point 27%, Olmstedville is lower than I would like but a lot of them came to the last clinic so this data is from 4/4 youíll see it though significantly with the clinics that weíve done already.So I call your attention to that.So we are running two clinics every week, we do a first dose and a second dose so we have at least three to four hundred doses in an arm every single week from the folks that we use.God Bless our MRC because we couldnít do it without our Medical Reserve Corp and if you are just wondering, the MRC contributed 1814 hours for less than 20 pods we put on with an economic impact of $69,531.88, that this county didnít pay for and these nurses volunteer time and time again.We average 18 volunteers so again, we have two clinics going on a first dose, a second dose and then we thought we would add rabies into that so our first rabies clinic is in Moriah.Last year we had an intermittent mixing we had some that were really, really well attended and others not.Many counties didnít even do it last year and we did so weíre moving forward so please encourage your surrounding towns to move that forward so everybody goes to the ones that we have.Secondly or thirdly or fourthly itís tick season so be aware and then I would like to call out Essex County, the State was asking for anybody to do home care sorry, home bound population people are starting to do it now.I think we are second or third in New York State to do our homebound population and thatís because we havecertified home health agency and Article 36, Jenn Newberry and her team was recognized here at the Home Care Association of New York State and targeted in an article how Essex County did their homebound people who were struggling and trying to figure it out and we had already done it and now we are asked by many including the State to talk about how and then lastly our WIC Department Ė out of 127 applicants received funding for a grant to provide food and Iím sorry, recipes and activity cards and jump ropes and stuff to all of our WIC participants and then one more thing. Today at NACo which is the National Association of Counties asked myself and Krista Berger to do a webinar so weíre working with the nation on homeopathy and private partnerships and doing a power point presentation to I donít know exactly how many people will log on but itís across the United States of America because Krista Berger and her department has been recognized for finding free money.Thatís my report.


GIORDANO:Thank you Linda.Any questions for Linda?


WINEMILLER:So, I just wanted to know Iím assuming and thatís why I want to clarify so Kinneyís and Walgreens and you know, all the drug stores and things that are doing the Covid vaccines that information is given to you and thatís included in your report?


BEERS:Yes, when I talk about the vaccination rates yes.I think, Shaun can you send those maps out and whatnot, I think we shared the ones before.There is a link that talks about exactly who so in Essex County is vaccinated. We have over 200 doses a week.Hudson Headwaters is doing over 200 doses a week.Kinneys is doing 100 doses a week.Walmart in Ticonderoga recently is getting J&J not consistently but itís not even out yet but they have some and itís 100 doses a week and Walgreens is not doing that in Ticonderoga they are not vaccinating they were given the nursing homes and that event is over so we, as a rule have eight to nine hundred doses of vaccine oh, Adirondack Apothecary they have three branches and they are doing over a 100 a week so I figure seven to eight hundred doses a week every week come out of all of our organizations thatís not to mention Adirondack Medical Center has also been doing it, ECH does it also sporadically so we consistently we have eight to nine hundred doses coming out of Essex County for population.Just to give you an idea, at last count there is 37,459 people of them only 32,150 are eligible because no one under 16 so you have to take them off out of that population right now, 47.67% of the people in Essex County have their first dose of the vaccine and thatís pretty high.


WINEMILLER:So is Clinton County, for example the airport in Clinton County you know they maybe vaccinating people from Essex County youíre getting that data as well?


BEERS:Yes, I see it all.




BEERS:It goes by zip code so wherever you live I donít care if you get vaccinated in New York City Iíll see it.


WINEMILLER: Thank you.


BEERS:Your welcome and on that note thereís two vaccination sites a mass vaccination that gives Pfizer 16 and over so 16 and over can only be done by Pfizer and thereís one in Clinton County and now one in Warren which is phenomenal and then one is at the Sears and Roebuck in the Aviation Mall and itís really good so if you want to get anybody 16 and older you can go there or anybody and if you want to do anybody 18 or older we use Moderna or J&J both are only 18 and older.


GIORDANO:Alright, thank you Linda.Any other questions for Linda?None, okay.Thank you. Moving onto Krissy Leerkes with Office for the Aging.




††††††††††† The next item on the agenda was the Office for the Aging with Krissy Leerkes reporting as follows:


LEERKES:Good morning.So just to play off Linda in talking about vaccines I encourage any of you whether itís your staff, any of your constituents if you ever have a question finding a vaccine have them give us a call we are stalking every vaccine site all day, every day.I feel thatís what we are doing in our sleep but if somethings not open we continuously check because as cancellations come in those appointments become available and just last week we were able to get people in that same day or the next day and I do want to applaud Linda and her team for all their vaccination efforts theyíve been excellent team player with us and we thank her for it.

So before I get to my report just a couple of updates.In February I asked for permission to apply and accept if awarded a grant out of Adirondack Foundation for the special and urgent needs fund in the amount of $10,000. We were awarded that grant so weíre very excited about that.

In my report youíll see that weíre looking for RSVP volunteer drivers.Our volunteer workforce for our transportation program is very aged and unfortunately they are losing those individuals.Just last month, we lost one of our long term volunteers that logged I believe over I think forty-three or forty-four thousand miles in his personal vehicle bringing back and forth older adults to medical appointments so Iím working with RSVP right now weíll get some flyers out there and do some media because we need those volunteers.

Weíre working again this year with Cornell to implement our container garden program. So for those who are not familiar itís just basically a garden in a bucket that we deliver to individuals who may not be able to obtain a larger garden whether itís their health or maybe they are living in senior housing so just again, another opportunity.

Weíve been talking for about a year over a year now on our creative aging and arts program that we were going to implement last April that obviously went downhill now we are going to be doing that virtual so we just completed the survey and we will hopefully start to implement that program end of May early June.

We have a new intern that starting tomorrow so weíre very excited about her coming in just to learn about Aging and all the services that we provide and in addition to the electric vehicles just to put it out there, we our Nutrition Program that we contract out has at least ten vehicles in their fleet at any given time.They are all housed in Westport at the new building at the fairgrounds those vehicles are at least 150 potential miles a day so thatís something that we would potentially look at obviously with Mr. Palmerís permission.

You have my report and I do have two resolutions, the first is to proclaim the Month of May 2021 as Older Americans Month and attached to that resolution youíll just see a sample proclamation.




GIORDANO:Any discussion?All in favor, anyone opposed Ė so carried.Thank you.


LEERKES:And my last resolution is just to accept additional Covid 19 stimulus funding in the amount of $20,346.00.




GIORDANO:Any discussion?All in favor, anyone opposed Ė so carried.Thank you.


LEERKES: That is all I have unless anyone has any questions?


GIORDANO:Any questions for Krissy?


MONTY: I just wanted to echo the gratitude that I have for Krissy because of things she did for me last week I am now 100%, the Town of Lewis staff is vaccinated and Krissy did kind of last minute thing, convinced the last person and the next thing I know we have an appointment that same day.I canít thank you enough Krissy for what you and your staff are doing itís just amazing.Itís a team effort and what they are doing there, your group is amazing.Thank you.


LEERKES: Thank you.


WINEMILLER: I just have a question Krissy.On your flyer it said about looking for the volunteer drivers and it says, anyone 55 and older so they have to be 55 to volunteer to drive?


LEERKES:Yes, so how we work our volunteer program is all the volunteers that we use are RSVP volunteers and they are going under a new name AmeriCorps Volunteers of Essex County so those individuals in order to be eligible they have to be 55 and older thatís just their guidelines and in turn, they go through a very, very extensive background check.I think itís 38 plus years they go back of everything that person has done because at the end of the day weíre putting the most vulnerable individuals into their vehicles so itís looking at everything for them in that background check and the other really positive note since they are RSVP volunteers they do get an additional like a liability insurance if and fact they were ever involved in a motor vehicle accident while they were acting as a RSVP volunteer they do get additional insurance to cover for anything that would potentially not be covered or if they were not at cause of the accident or somebody else was uninsured that insurance would help kick in to help offset any costs.


WINEMILLER:Okay great.Do you have need for volunteers that are under 55?


LEERKES:So I would say in regards to the transportation no but because we wouldnít have another avenue to get that background check that I am aware of but I will look into that but we have a really great working relationship with RSVP, we have all policies and procedures in place but thatís not to say thatís not to be explored.If Covid 19 has taught me anything thereís so many people in our community that want to help out.For me, I just have to be extremely cautious because we are dealing with the most vulnerable and isolated individuals and Iím not going to put somebody that I donít have a background check into one of these homes or a client into their vehicle without getting some background on them.


WINEMILLER:Absolutely and again, Krissy thank you so much for you and your staff, you and Linda everything you guys have done. Thank you so much.


LEERKES:Thank you.


GIORDANO: Anyone else with any other comments?


McNALLY:This is just a general comment Human Services Committee seems to run over every month on our meetings.In consideration of our department heads and our guests I would like to see if we can move their committee to the end of the agenda for the daily agenda because whatís happening is the department heads are very busy and they are coming over at ten and they are not getting able to speak until twenty after or ten thirty whatever the case may be.It just makes sense to me that we can allocate the time better.


GIORDANO:Yes, that is something the Chairman can explore.I donít know if itís just Covid but youíre right there has been a lot of run over time.


McNALLY:Especially with Covid.




McNALLY:Department heads arrive at a certain time and they are always waiting.


GIORDANO: Okay I just want to echo everyone elseís thoughts thank you to all the department heads and Human Services Department heads and all the department heads throughout the county itís hard to believe itís been a year going through all this and itís just amazing just the amount of collaboration and it seems so many challenges across the board very seamless in many cases and it just goes to show all the hard work and effort that is going on behind the scenes to make sure that our population stays staff and we can get through all the different challenges we seem to encounter.With that, if there is nothing else before the Human Services committee we are adjourned.


††††††††††† As there was no further discussion to come before this Human Services Committee it was adjourned at 10:15 a.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Judith Garrison, Clerk

Board of Supervisors