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 -
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.
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 Directors Report: Brad Williams
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
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
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.
- Public Policy Committee Report:
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
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
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.
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:
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
- Inclusive Education Subcommittee Report:
executive director read the report submitted by Pretik Patel, who is the
Co-chair of the subcommittee. The report is in the packet.
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.