Remote participation set for annual COA meeting

WESTFIELD-City residents are invited to join the board of directors of the Westfield Council on Aging – virtually – during the annual meeting – conference call slated for May 11.

The meeting will be conducted live beginning at 1 p.m. on Westfield’s community programming Channel 15. Listeners can also view the proceedings online at westfieldtv.org.

Traditionally, board meetings are conducted at City Hall in Room 201 and are open to the public. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all city commission and board meetings are being held remotely at this time.

The agenda notice cites Gov. Charlie Baker’s March 12, 2020 order suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law, and Baker’s March 15, 2020 order imposing strict limitation on the number of people who may gather in one place. Due to these orders, the meeting of the City of Westfield Council on Aging will be conducted via remote participation.

Agenda items on the docket include an election of board officers. Current board members are James Liptak, chair; KerryAnn Kielbasa, vice chair; Elizabeth Boucher, secretary; Barbara Taylor, treasurer, and members William Brown, Eileen Rockwal, and Alan Sudentas.

Liptak, who also serves as a board representative to Highland Valley Elder Services (HVES), will provide a report on HVES, and current Council on Aging services and programs will be reviewed and updates shared.

“Currently, the board is working on a three-year strategic plan, chaired by KerryAnn Kielbasa,” said Tina Gorman, executive director, Westfield Council on Aging. “The board will be reviewing a draft of the strategic plan at the annual meeting.”

Agenda items also include updates on city and state grant budgets, conference calls with Westfield Emergency Management, Personnel, the Massachusetts Council on Aging, and with the Western Massachusetts Council on Aging directors.

Gorman will also present her annual report to the board which details Westfield Senior Center activities and programs in review as well as those that are upcoming.

Gorman added the board conducts monthly meetings on the second Monday of each month at 1 p.m. at City Hall, Room 201, and are open to the public. The next meeting is June 8 at 1 p.m. in Room 201.

“The monthly meetings include updates and discussions regarding various Council on Aging services and programs,” said Gorman. “We may consider expanding or refining a program, developing a new service or program, finances, staffing, and partnerships.”

For city residents interested in reviewing the meeting agenda, visit www.cityofwestfield.org.

Since no in-person attendance of members of the public will be permitted, every effort will be made to ensure that the public can adequately access the proceedings in real time, via technological means. 

“In the event that we are unable to do so, despite best efforts, we will post on the city’s website an audio recording, transcript, or other comprehensive record of proceedings as soon as possible after the meeting,” notes a posting stamped by the Westfield City Clerk on May 6.

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