January 16, 2013
Watertown Commission on Disability
Wed., December 19, 2012
After a short holiday celebration including a light supper, the meeting was called to order at 5:43 p.m. by Chair Kim Charlson.
ROLL CALL- Kim Charlson, chair; Councilor Steve Corbett; George Donahue; Anne Doughty; John Hawes; Judith Herzberg; Fred Isaacs; Carol Menton; Jeanne O’Connell, WCOD Intern; Gayle Shattuck, Town Personnel Director and ADA Coordinator; and Carol Wilson-Braun. There were no guests.
CHAIR’S REPORT- Kim first asked Steve to report on the meeting of the Friends of the Riverfront Stewardship group last night. He stated that the overall project was projected to cost $1.6 M and that $220 thousand was committed locally. The design is complete and “shovel ready”. It has been divided into four phases, and the Braille trail will be in the first phase. Unfortunately, it has not been included in the 2013 capital budget for the state, but there is a lot of support for the project. There are other funding opportunities, such as the transportation fund and the playground fund, and there is a federal matching fund program that could work out. The state people want them to apply for it. The Solomon Foundation has committed $150-200K, according to Mr. Nolan. They are also working on a Greenough Blvd Greenway project. Kim reported that she hasn’t been able to complete the annual report yet, but will in the next ten days when she has some time off. Kim announced Anne Doughty’s resignation from the Commission because of moving away, and recognized her time of service and particularly her work on the Art Exhibit, and presented her with a plaque on behalf of the Commission.
MINUTES- It was MOVED, seconded and passed unanimously to accept the minutes from November as corrected. Copies of the minutes may be requested from the Town Clerk’s office.
TREASURER’S REPORT- It was MOVED, seconded and passed unanimously to accept the Treasurer’s Report for November. Copies of the Treasurer’s report may be requested from the town’s ADA Coordinator in the Personnel Office.
a) Art Exhibit- Anne recommended that this should be an annual event. Gayle will call Amy Lambert at the library to set up next year’s dates. One more person’s artwork still needs to be picked up from town hall. Anne will call them tomorrow. George’s sister bought some paintings from an artist from Brockton and there was interest from someone in Nick Morse’s paintings.
b) Plans Review- John reported that 192 Pleasant St will be addressed at the next Planning Board meeting.
c) Closed Caption- Gayle stated that there will be a public meeting at cable access this Friday at 6 p.m. for discussion and vote to appoint an executive director. Hopefully this person will be on board for Feb or March to come to a Commission meeting. Stefanie said she wanted advance copies of Town Council committee reports, as the rate of talking is too fast for her when the councilors are reading their reports, especially when names are mentioned. Gayle will talk to Valerie, who provides clerical support for the town council. Their next meeting is Jan 8th. Carol M. mentioned that the Cambridge COD is interested in how we are proceeding with the pilot project. Michael Muehe is a contact.
d) Safety and Access- Kim is following up from Brian Coppola, a guest from last meeting. She received his letter and has contacted the DPW. Gayle contacted the DPW re Summer and Mt. Auburn signals, and Mr. Mee suggested we compare the other three corners, whether they were doing the same thing or different, and then he will address the issue. He said that if there was no standard for vibrating signals when the signals were installed, then it has to wait until a major upgrade is scheduled. If they were in the original plan and aren’t working, then they will be repaired. Kim stated she was fairly certain that they did originally vibrate 8-10 years ago. Kim stated that the DPW is putting out a bid for a new contractor, so those projects are delayed. Mr. Mee is being invited to our next meeting in Feb or March.
e) Emergency Preparedness- No one from the Commission went to the meeting. Kim will try to get updates.
f) Enhanced 911- Jean will follow up for more info.
g) Website Stats- George is putting the restaurants on the website. He will cross reference for handicapped parking and restrooms, and will complete this by January.
h) Restaurant Guide- Kim said the guide is at the printer, and the Braille version is being printed as well. Some will be mailed to Braille readers from the library. Most print copies will be kept at town hall.
i) Special Ed- Fred said that the December meeting was on accessing Mass Health, and attendance was low. There has been no report yet on usage of the ipads and ipods in the schools. Fred is asking the leaders of the project to put an article in the Tab, to increase publicity.
a) UCPA DOCUMENTARY- Carol M met with UCPA photographers. The screening will take place Feb. 28 from 6:30-8:30 in the WSB room at the Library, and there will be refreshments. A snow date needs to be selected. Kim had questions about publicity and Carol M said that the producers of the film have professional publicity. George will blog it on the Watertown Patch. It was suggested that Perkins and Sped Pac can advertise the event.
b) Social Service Coordinator position- Kim thought there might have been a meeting yesterday. The name of the position is being changed to Community Social Resource Coordinator. She will get an update from the committee for our next meeting.
c) Donations to food pantries- Gayle said that payment was waiting for the official approval of the last minutes to authorize the donations. George will post it in the Patch and on the website when finalized.
d) Handicapped Parking Locations- Jean will obtain extra-large copies of a town map by Giddeon to use. There will be one sign per parking space, just for street parking, not private spaces or lots. Waltham lists locations ad addresses. George asked what we were looking for: signs, obstructed lines? Kim thought this was a 2-tiered project- 1) assess spaces and make recommendations, and 2) prepare listing of locations.
NEW BUSINESS- There was none.
The next meeting will be on Wed., January 16th, 2013.
It was MOVED, seconded and voted unanimously to adjourn at 6:48 p.m.
These minutes are recorded and respectfully submitted by Carol Wilson-Braun, Secretary.