Friday, October 2, 2009

Resident Council

I’ve learned in the past, that most facilities for the Elderly have what is called a “Resident Council”.

I don’t know exactly how it’s done at other places, but my guess is that through some kind of “nomination process” and election, candidates for the Council are chosen by the residents. Just like here.

I suppose the duties and/or responsibilities at these facilities differ from place to place, but it would seem, at least, that the Council would represent the residents to the Management.

I’m not sure yet, but I think that’s the way it is here.

When Jean and I were here two to three years ago, I was nominated to serve on this Council, but I declined, due to my need to care for Jean.

I no longer have that excuse.

The members of the present Council - three of whose terms expire this year - nominated me again to serve.

I’m not sure I want to be “tied down” in that way, though honestly, I don’t really know what are the duties of the Council members.

I kept saying, “I don’t know. Let me pray over it first.”

The first two who approached me were ladies already on the Council - in fact the two whose terms DO NOT end this year - and I put off both of them - for more time to consider.

Finally in July, they really began to get serious about nominees, since the election is to be held September 22 and 23 - TODAY, actually.

When they sent a man - one of those whose term was expiring - to see me - I had a hard time delaying.

I finally acquiesced, and agreed to serve if elected.

At the August Town Hall meeting (when ALL the residents are asked to meet together in the dining room), those nominated by the present Council members were presented as accepting. One of them, a lady, said she hadn’t really acquiesced.

It was announced that a person could put his or her own name in nomination, providing an additional ten names were signed as joining in the nomination.

There was one of those who right away got the ten signatures.

The “vacillating” lady finally acquiesced, and including me, there are now 6 candidates for the 3 vacancies.

Yesterday, there was a “Meet The Resident Council Candidates” meeting, and all six candidates appeared before a few residents.

We were lined up in front of the residents at the front of the Dining Room, and were asked to state our names, tell of our residence time here, and mention why we wanted to be elected.

Since I was reticent, and was CERTAINLY not going to "campaign", I immediately had a problem.

Fortunately, I was the third in line, alphabetically, to answer. It gave me time to pray and think.

Those before me introduced themselves, told of their stay here, and told why they thought they should be elected.

The night before, thinking about my reticence to serve, I asked the Lord for Guidance in what I was to say. I didn’t want to appear either pompous, or too reticent. I wasn’t sure what to say until I got to my feet.

Since my speech was so short, I don’t have any trouble remembering what I said, which was:

“My name is Mike Maddex, and I ‘started out as a child’. (snickers) I was asked to let my name stand in nomination for this post, and I promised to serve if elected.”

That was it.

The residents were allowed to ask any questions, which no one did.

The present Chairman (if that’s the proper title) told us all the procedures to be followed the next day in the election.

Ballots were to be placed in our “in baskets” beside our doors, and we were to mark them for 3 candidates sometime today or tomorrow, and give them to the Office Manager - Lisa - for processing. We would be notified on Monday at the September Town Hall meeting who the new members would be.

This is the first day of balloting, and the Staff is encouraging the residents to vote - today or tomorrow.

As I think I’ve made clear, I know nothing about the job the Council members are asked to perform, nor the slightest idea who will be elected.

When you read this, down the page somewhere will be the results of the election. I feel it is necessary to present my feelings at this time - before the results are announced.

The ballots were made up by the Activities Director, and look like this:

The election is in God’s Hands.

Thursday: The Staff is still encouraging the residents to vote, and drop off the completed ballots in the office.

On Monday, September 28, at the monthly Town Hall meeting, the winning candidates for Resident Council were introduced: Helen Curry; Mike Maddex; and Paul Bartruff.

After other matters of interest were discussed, the short meeting was adjourned, and the new Resident Council met with Management.

The Council is now made up of: the two continuing members, Diane Mohr and Betty Bohn; plus the newly elected: Helen Curry; Paul Bartruff; and Mike Maddex.

The meeting was brief since the previous Chairman, Diane Mohr, was ill, but an informal discussion was had about some potential matters to be discussed later.

The organization - electing a Chairman and Secretary - was postponed until Diane was able to attend. However, the consensus of the three other members in the meeting is that I should be elected “Chairman”, “President”, “Head Honcho” or whatever,

I asked about a list of the “by-laws”, or other rules governing the Council, and was promised copies later.

On Wednesday, we had our first organizational meeting. All five Council Members attended. I had asked a Management representative to attend, since it was under their auspices that the election was held. and I was elected President, and Helen Curry Secretary.

We preliminarily discussed several topics that we wanted to cover in detail later. A major concern was the poor attendance at the monthly Town Hall meetings of the Residents.

Our next meeting is on Monday, with the regular meeting with the Executive Director scheduled for the following Monday.

Lest it appear that I might bore you with the “Minutes” of our meetings, let me say that this is all I plan to say about them.

Reticent though I was, now that I’m committed, I think I’ll enjoy this activity. Pushy as I am, I hope the residents don’t regret their decision.

I did buy a new edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, and have typed out a proposed agenda for the next meeting.

No comments: