Winters Senior Commission approves shift in leadership

Cheryl Sandoval (left) is the new secretary and Tina Lowden is the new vice chair for the Winters Senior Commission on Aging. Photo by Crystal Apilado/Winters Express

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The Winters Senior Commission on Aging (WSCA) voted in new leadership at their third meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 8. Following a unanimous vote, Tina Lowden was moved to Vice Chair and Cheryl Sandoval was moved to serve as Secretary after the resignation of former Vice Chair Marie Rojo-Heilman. City Clerk Tracy Jensen reported Rojo-Heilman had a conflict with another commitment that would prevent her from serving on the WSCA. Wally Pearce was also approved to shift to a voting member from his position as Alternate. The City of Winters will be communicating details to the community to fill in the vacant Alternate position soon. Collaboration with senior-focused agencies Chair Debra Palmer followed up on discussion from their December 2019 meeting which focused on creating partnerships and collaborating with other senior-focus groups. Palmer communicated with Supervisor Jim Provenza regarding the addition of a spot for Winters on the Yolo County Commission on Aging & Adult Services. According to Palmer, Provenza said due to a recent change in the county’s commission would allow for Winters to send a representative from the WSCA to serve alongside representatives from Woodland, Davis and West Sacramento. Pearce is currently serving on the Yolo County committee as a District 2 representative (term expiring Jan. 30, 2021). Commissioner Marianne Boyer is also serving as an At-large committee member (term expiring Jan. 30). Boyer said that her At-large position served as a spot for Winters when the city didn’t have an agency focused on seniors. Although her term ends at the end of the month, Boyer said Winters would have a bigger voice with three community members serving at this month’s meeting. In response to concerns on have too many bodies on the Yolo County committee Palmer said they value having different input from multiple individuals from multiple backgrounds and experiences. She compared it to their own commission saying even though sometimes it was harder to come to consensus, they still have enough people on board to represent the community in the event of an absence. Palmer volunteered to serve the one-year term as the Winters representative on the Yolo County Commission on Aging & Adult Services. Disaster Preparedness & Emergency Response Palmer tasked commissioners to investigate into the six issues listed in the Suggested Plan of Action for Local Aging Commissions in Yolo County. The “Emergency Preparedness Recommendations” were presented in a final document to the Yolo County committee by the Disaster Preparedness Subcommittee of the Yolo County Commission on Aging & Adult Services. Palmer said she’d like to see their group do a SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis on where the City of Winters stands on the six areas listed which included: a Voluntary Special Needs Alert Program (SNAP); a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) program; suggested questions to ask local public safety and law enforcement agencies; OES Train the Trainer programs; Assisted living facilities and other licensed residential care facilities; Emergency Supply Kits and if the city can provide generators and other emergency supplies in an emergency event and/or evacuation.  Community member Kate Laddish, who served on the Disaster Preparedness Subcommittee, told WSCA Commissioners she was excited they were going to be looking into the recommendations. She said she helped to write the recommendations following a situation in Winters during the 2018 County Fire that occurred in the area. “One of the questions is, ‘In the event of an emergency, are you able to evacuate on your own or do you need assistance?’” Laddish said. “ When there was mandatory assistance, that mechanism didn’t go into play.” According to Laddish, during the County Fire when some of Winters was given a mandatory evacuation order there were community members who were unable to evacuate on their own, and they weren’t contacted to see if they needed assistance either. The Commissioners each took on one of the areas of recommendation and will provide updates and have a final presentation on their findings at the WSCA’s April 8 meeting. Winters Elder Day Pearce, who serves on the Winters Elder Day Council, said the 2020 Winters Elder Day celebration will happen on Saturday, June 27 from 2-4 p.m. The Winters Elder Day Council is looking for individuals living in Winters who are 90 years of age or older who have not yet been recognized.  According to Pearce, 27 Winters elders have been recognized so far. On Elders Day the entire community is invited to gather together to hear stories from our elders’ life experiences and to come celebrate them. 2020 Census Lowden and Boyer will attend an informational meeting for the upcoming 2020 Census and report back to the group. The goal is to work with other Winters agencies to get the word out and provide an opportunity for seniors who live in rural areas or who speak English as a second language to take the 2020 Census. Commissioners plan on reaching out to other local organizations, churches, city committees, businesses and boards of directors in hopes of trying to reach more seniors.  “If we don’t get an accurate representation, our seniors lose funding,” Palmer said. “Working with any groups ups the potential to get a more accurate representation of seniors on the census.” Local senior facilities updates Palmer reported she spoke with Dan Maguire, City of Winters Economic Development and Housing Manager, regarding a status update on a senior affordable apartment complex. According to Palmer’s report a building permit was issued and the City expects construction to begin early 2020. She also reported that funding for a senior community building would mainly rely on grant funding, and the City is in the process of exploring how to apply for grants electronically.]]>

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