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NYSILC Full Council Meeting

May 20, 2005
9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Holiday Inn Turf
205 Wolf Road
Albany, New York
(518) 458 - 7250

Attendees:Doug Hovey (Chair), Mel Tanzman (Vice-Chair), Mike Godino (Treasurer), Alexander Wood (Secretary), Sharon Shapiro (Member-at-Large), Bob Gumson (VESID ex officio), Sharon Flom (CBVH ex officio), Greg Jones (OAPWD ex officio), Edith Prentiss, Christine Zachmeyer, Bob Gaffney, Mark Hernandez, Paige Macdonald, Randy Black-Shantz, Steve Lovi, and Christina Curry. Staff: Brad Williams (NYSILC executive director). Public: Tracie Crandell, Denise Figueroa and Melanie Shaw.

Open Forum: No comment was provided.

Minutes,
No minutes were provided in the packet for the March 18, 2005 full council meeting. They will be provided in the packet for the September 8, 2005 full council meeting.

Executive Director’s Report: Brad Williams reporting.

The executive director briefly reviewed the major items from the monthly activity reports for January through March 2005. The activity reports were provided in the packet for review. It was agreed that the update on the voter discrimination complaints could be moved to the Election Reform Subcommittee report.

Treasurer’s Report:

The Treasurer noted how the former office manager had completed the monthly financial reports in the past. The January and February 2005 reports were provided in the packet. The Treasurer thanked the executive director for his efforts with the new temporary bookkeeper to assemble and verify the financial reports. The Treasurer, temporary bookkeeper and executive director spent a half-day yesterday reviewing the financial records and completing a "mock audit." The Finance Committee met to review new fiscal policy. As far as the reports, there were not any line items that stood out as being extraordinarily over or under budget. As a result, NYSILC is on budget. The VESID quarterly expenditure report was submitted in April 2005. To date, expenses are $215,804 dollars, which are about $32,000 dollars under budget at the midyear point.

A member was confused by the change in format of the monthly expenditure reports. The executive director explained that it is still the same format. The reports had to be enlarged to meet the accessible format needs of the Treasurer during this transitional period. A motioned was made and seconded to approve the Treasurer's report. All approved.

Executive Committee Report

The Vice-Chair gave the report. The committee has been extremely active since March. The group met four times by conference call and once in Albany to review a draft fund development plans for NYSILC. The balance of the time was spent on a personnel matter. New fiscal policies are being developed for implementation. The Personnel Committee is working with the Finance Committee to support the executive director and devise a reorganization plan for the staffing of the council. The Personnel Committee must also review personnel policies to determine the need for changes. The executive committee has empowered the executive director to retain the services of a labor attorney to help advise on any necessary changes.
The Personnel Committee also did present the executive director today with an evaluation. Generally, council members are pleased with his performance. The executive director has been recognized not only in this state, but also throughout the country as a leader. The Executive Committee believes the recent struggles over the past few months are going to make the council a lot stronger.

A member asked if the legal fees needed to address the personnel issue was covered in the budget. Was it going to be a major problem for the council? The executive director noted that the lawyer wasn't engaged until late March 2005. There are more than enough funds available to modify the budget to cover the expense. The lawyer is well respected and is cautious with his time on retainer. If it ends up being money spent, it would be money well spent.

The Treasurer added that earlier in the week at the Assembly's Disability Awareness Day, the executive director was honored for his efforts. He was the first recipient of the Dr, Henry Viscardi, Jr. Award.

Consumer Satisfaction Survey:
Bob Shepherd, a former council member, provided a summary of the statewide consumer satisfaction survey. There were seven satisfaction questions developed by a committee five years ago and since revised. The questions are: The staff helped me understand my choices and options, The staff encouraged me to make my own decisions, Overall I was satisfied with the centers staff, I benefited from the information I received, I benefited from the services I used, I would recommend this center to others, and number seven, Overall I was satisfied with the center. Consumers were able to respond with strongly agree, agree, I have no opinion, strongly disagree, and disagree. The survey also includes an analysis of demographic characteristics for respondents that chose to provide the voluntary information. The survey is a federal requirement for the council and is conducted every two years. All state funded independent living centers participate in the VESID/NYSILC coordinated survey. They must also demonstrate a satisfaction level of 80% or better in each one of the seven categories as a contract requirement. Twenty-nine centers did meet the goal on all items. Seven centers did not attain the level. Four centers were close to achievement, while three were significantly below the targets. Overall, there was a 16.7% response rate from 3,123 individuals. The council may want to reexamine the survey along with its distribution methodology for the next survey.

Randy Black-Shantz informed the council that the travel brochure has been circulated to 75% of the hotel/motel industry. The brochure was discussed and included in the March 2005 full council meeting packet. It is on the NYSILC website for review and distribution.

Committee Reports:

  • Public Policy Committee Report:

    The executive director gave the Public Policy Committee Report. He explained that the minutes were in the packet and outlined the general purpose of the committee, which is made up of the chairs or co-chairs of the different public policy subcommittees. The committee meets once a quarter. The executive director acknowledged significant activity on a variety of issues, but stated that the details would be presented in the different subcommittee reports.

    For the benefit of new council members, it was reiterated that NYSILC's public policy committee is set up to address emerging policy needs, like travel, and provide a forum for the council to discuss and take positions on issues. By October 2005, NYSILC's public policy subcommittees will be transitioning over to the NYAIL. This move is required to secure direction of public policy issues and advocacy action alerts in the control of NYAIL, which has the new responsibility of the Statewide Systems Advocacy Network (SSAN). NYSILC is changing its focus more toward reports, surveys, research, etc. and greater council participation on major SPIL projects (deliverables). The executive director cited the example of NYSILC's obligation to conduct a statewide consumer satisfaction in years one and three. Year one is in progress and close to completion. The new subcommittee would have the opportunity to review the survey and results, consider changes, and help support the project in year three.
  • ADA Committee
    The ADA Committee did not submit a report for inclusion into the packet..
  • Transportation Subcommittee & Travel Subcommittee Reports:
    Randy Black-Schantz gave the reports. She noted that the Transportation Subcommittee is waiting for direction on the transition to NYAIL. She questioned if she would still be chair, or co-chair. NYAIL representatives at the meeting indicated that they wanted as smooth a transition as possible. Similar to the practice NYSILC uses, a committee must be at least co-chaired by one of its members. A non-member could help to co-chair. Randy added that the Travel Subcommittee has continued to increase its contacts as it networks the distribution of the Travel Brochure. The brochure was handed out at the March 2005 council meeting. The executive director acknowledged that the Travel Subcommittee is seen as an emerging need. As a result, it would remain with NYSILC.
  • CDPAS:
    The Chair gave the report. The CDPAS association held it's 3rd annual conference in Albany. Brian McLane, the former assistant deputy commissioner at VESID, gave the keynote speech. About 120 people attended. Overall, the conference was a success. There were several excellent workshops. One focused on the difficulty many consumer directed providers have with Medicaid billing. The Chair ended the report by informing the group that there continues to be no progress related to NYS DOH's promulgation of the draft regulations for the program.
  • Election Reform Committee: Christine Zachmeyer and Sharon Shapiro gave the report. NYSILC collected 92 voter discrimination complaints to date. A report was issued and included in this packet. It is also available on the NYSILC website, www.nysilc.org. The report has been distributed to centers, advocates, and appropriate stakeholders. It was sent to the HAVA Conference Committee members. Assemblyman Cahill made reference to the report at the first conference committee meeting.

    In addition, voting machine testing was arranged at the NYS Board of Elections annual event held in Syracuse in early May 2005. The executive director thanked Christine Zachmeyer and the staff at the Catskill Center For Independence (CCFI) for their effort. ARISE advocates also did a great job at turning out individuals to test the machines, as well as work with Tim Cronin of Howard Schaffer Media Marketing to obtain several media hits related to the event. An executive summary of the results is forthcoming.

    Last, Christine Zachmeyer and Sharon Shapiro took time to describe their Protection & Advocacy (P & A) HAVA grants. The Catskill center (CCFI) covers upstate, while the Center for Independence of the Disabled in New York (CIDNY) is responsible for downstate.
  • Housing Sub-Committee:
    The Housing Subcommittee report gave a review of a survey instrument developed by the group. It is designed to collect specific information about the availability of public housing. This can also be compared to the percentage requirements required by Federal law (5% physical access, 2% sensory access). A distribution plan will be developed when the subcommittee reaches consensus on its final format. The Housing Institute consultants also gave feedback. The subcommittee is waiting for direction on the transition to NYAIL. When appropriate, NYSILC would activate the Housing Institute Subcommittee.
  • Mental Health Subcommittee:
    The Chair acknowledged that there had been some serious debate over support for Timothy's Law (mental health parity) and how it could enable payment for forced treatment under Kendra's law. The Chair reminded members that NYSILC has opposed Kendra's law from its inception...and…it has Timothy's law listed as one of the priorities in the 2005 Disability Caucus Agenda. To address the concern expressed over the CTIONY list serve, NYSILC agreed to provide discussion to fully confirm/resolve its position on both issues. Extended discussion occurred to help define the concerns made on the list serve. Advocates who raised the concern were not able to attend the meeting.

    Mike Godino made the motion to support the Assembly's version of Timothy's law. It was seconded. All approved. Members felt comfortable at this time that they could still support Timothy's law (mental health parity) at the same time they oppose Kendra's law (forced treatment).
  • Inclusive Education Subcommittee Report:
    The executive director read the report submitted by Pretik Patel, who is the Co-chair of the subcommittee. The report is in the packet.

New Business
The executive director read descriptions for NYSILC's different standing committees. This included the new state plan subcommittees. Members confirmed participation on current committees and volunteered for the new subcommittees.

A motion was made to adjourn. All approved.


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