Town of South Hadley, MA
Hampshire County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council on Aging of the Town of South Hadley 3-14-1988 as last amended July 2014. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Council on Aging — See Ch. 7, Art. I, § 7-4.
The name of the organization shall be the "South Hadley Council on Aging," hereinafter referred to as the "Council," as established by Town Meeting of the Town of South Hadley, Massachusetts on March 14, 1970.
A. 
The statement of purpose of the South Hadley Council on Aging is based on this premise: that the community has a collective responsibility for those who are 60 and over and this population of citizens has the right to participate in determining those matters which vitally affect them, and that there is an important community resource in the experience and skills which the 60-and-over population has to give to its community.
B. 
In accordance with this philosophy, the Council is committed to fulfilling the following functions:
(1) 
To identify the total needs of the 60-and-over population of the community.
(2) 
To act as a provider of information, referral, counseling, nutrition and health needs that will encourage independence, participation and community involvement.
(3) 
To design, advocate and/or implement programs for residents 60 and over in the community.
(4) 
To provide meaningful educational, cultural, social, recreational and volunteer activities that will foster individual growth and serve the life of the community.
(5) 
To educate the community and enlist support and participation of all citizens about the needs of the maturing population.
(6) 
To be responsive to the changing needs of those 60 and over in the community, in cooperative communication with community organizations, agencies and individuals.
The present location of the Council will be at the South Hadley Senior Center, 45 Dayton Street, South Hadley, Massachusetts.
A. 
The duties of the Council members shall be to carry out the Council's Statement of Purpose. The Council shall consist of 11 members, inclusive of the Chairperson. All shall be residents of the Town of South Hadley. Council membership shall be composed of at least 51% elders (persons 60 years and older). Ideally, it shall reflect the make-up of the community-at-large, with representation from areas such as business, clergy, education, medical and social service.
B. 
The Nominating Committee, at the May meeting, shall present potential Council members to the Council. Nominations may be made from the floor. Those candidates approved by the Council membership shall be recommended to the Selectboard for appointment, effective July 1. Additional members may be recommended to the Selectboard when vacancies exist.
C. 
All members of the Council appointed by the Selectboard shall be sworn in by the Town Clerk. The term of office of the Council members shall be for a period of three years. Members shall serve for no more than two consecutive three-year terms or not more than seven consecutive years (including appointments to fill a vacancy). Persons who have served shall be eligible to become Council members again after one year's absence. Members must be willing to accept an office by the third year of their first term or relinquish their position as Council members.
D. 
Honorary members may be appointed by the Council in recognition of meritorious service to the Council and do need to have been a member of the Board.
E. 
Resignations. In the event that a member wishes to resign from the Council, he/she shall notify the Selectboard, Town Clerk and the Council on Aging in writing.
F. 
Attendance. Regular attendance is expected of all members. In the event of three unexcused absences or more than four absences (excused and/or unexcused) per 11 consecutive regular meetings, the Council may request the written resignation of that member through the Selectboard.
A. 
All voting rights shall be vested in the Council members. Each member in attendance shall be entitled to one vote with respect to any question which may come before a meeting of the Council. Honorary members may make suggestions or advise the Council, but will not have voting privileges.
B. 
Unless otherwise stated in these rules and regulations, the vote of at least a majority of the Council members present at a meeting shall be necessary and sufficient to decide any question.
C. 
Quorum. At all meetings of the Council, the presence of more than 1/2 of the present Council membership shall be necessary and sufficient to constitute a quorum for the transaction of any business.
A. 
Number, qualifications, elections and terms of office. The officers of the Council shall consist of a Chairperson, a Vice-Chairperson, and a Secretary. The terms of office shall be for one year with the possibility of renewal.
(1) 
Officers of the Council shall be elected by a majority vote of the members present at the June meeting. The newly elected officers shall take office on July 1.
(2) 
Election of officers to fill vacancies created by death, resignation or other cause may take place at any regular meeting and shall be for the period of the unexpired term of the previous incumbent, except that the office of the Chairperson, if vacated, shall be filled by the Vice-Chairperson for the unexpired portion of the Chairperson's term of office. A new Vice-Chairperson shall then be elected for the remainder of that term of office.
B. 
Chairperson. The Chairperson shall preside at all meetings, appoint all committees, and be an ex-officio member of all committees. The Chairperson may act as the spokesperson for the Council in its relations with Town officials and the public.
C. 
Vice-Chairperson. During the absence or disability of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chairperson shall exercise all the functions of the Chairperson and, when so acting, shall have all the powers of the Chairperson.
D. 
Secretary. The Secretary shall prepare minutes of all the proceedings of the Council meetings and maintain attendance records of Council members.
A. 
Standing committees of the Council shall include: Nominating; Planning and Finance (Budget) and Policy.
(1) 
Nominating Committee. This committee shall present a slate of candidates for office at the May meeting or when a vacancy should arise. When a vacancy should arise, a candidate will be sought to fill the slot as soon as possible.
(2) 
Planning and Finance Committee (Budget). This committee shall develop long-range plans in accordance with the philosophy and purpose of the Council. The committee shall also assist the Director in reviewing the availability of grant monies and make recommendations to the Council for the utilization of these funds. The committee shall also assist the Director in developing and presenting the Annual Budget. It shall also assist in any other financial matters as requested by the Director or Chairperson of the Council.
(3) 
Policy. This committee shall develop Council Rules and Regulations, as well as a Policy and Procedures Handbook. The Rules and Regulations and Policies shall be reviewed and updated at least annually. Any recommendations for changes must be presented to the Council.
B. 
Other committees. Other standing and ad hoc committees may be added by the Council as deemed necessary. Each shall have a written statement of purpose or function.
(1) 
A representative from each standing and ad hoc committee shall report on its meetings at each regular Council meeting.
(2) 
All committees shall consist of a minimum of three members, including a chairperson. A member may serve on more than one committee. Honorary members may also serve on committees as requested by the Council Chairperson. It is required that each Council member serve actively on at least one committee annually. Members authorized to represent the Council or Town on the boards of other agencies, such as PVTA or WestMass ElderCare, shall be recognized as fulfilling a committee obligation, provided reports are made regularly to the Council.
A. 
Regular meetings. Regular meetings of the members of the Council shall be held once a month on the second Monday with the following exceptions.
(1) 
When the second Monday falls on a legal holiday, the meeting scheduled for that day shall be held the Monday following the holiday.
(2) 
When special circumstance so require.
(3) 
No meetings in August, unless special circumstances arise.
B. 
Special meetings. Special meetings of the Council members may be called at any time by the Chairperson, or the Secretary, if requested by a majority of the members, with 48 hours' due notice to each member of the Council and with proper notice posted at Town Hall.
C. 
Rules of order. The rules contained in Robert's Rules of Order, Revised, shall govern this Council in all cases in which they are applicable and are consistent with these rules and regulations.
A. 
These rules and regulations or any section thereof may be amended or repealed by a two-thirds vote of the Council at any scheduled meeting. Written notice of such proposed changes shall be presented to each member of the Council at least 10 days prior to the meeting at which proposed changes shall be submitted to a vote.
B. 
Proposed changes in rules and regulations should come as a recommendation of the Policy Committee to the Council.
A. 
The effective date of these rules and regulations shall be the date adopted by the Council on Aging and by the Selectboard (3-14-1988). Revisions adopted by the Council on Aging have been approved by the Selectboard.
B. 
The Council shall make copies of these Rules and Regulations and Policy Handbook available to each member of the Council, the Selectboard Office and the Town Clerk. An annual review of the Rules and Regulations and Policy Handbook shall take place at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Council.
Council programs and activities are intended solely for South Hadley residents 60+ years of age unless otherwise indicated. Non-Town residents and/or non-senior citizens may participate on space-available basis, provided they have the permission of the Director, who shall consult first with the instructor/leader of the program. Participants needing assistance with personal needs and/or mobility must be accompanied by someone capable of performing these tasks throughout their visit to the senior center. The Director reserves the right to assess and determine if the situation is potentially hazardous to the participant or others and shall act accordingly.
Council members are expected to refrain from personal attacks and innuendoes concerning Council members, staff or other Town personnel. The courtesy of attentiveness and quiet is expected during the meeting. Problems concerning Council on Aging programs, activities or staff should be reported to the Director or Chairperson of the Council. If it is deemed necessary to bring an item before the Council, a request should be submitted in writing to be placed on the agenda before the Council meeting. The Chair will determine priorities among the agenda items.
A. 
Anyone who is not satisfied with a decision or action of any Council on Aging staff member should first discuss the problem with the Director. If the problem is not resolved, the matter should then be taken to the Chairperson of the Council. If there is still no resolution, for non-employment issues the Board could be contacted; for employment issues, the South Hadley Personnel Officer could be contacted.
B. 
On matters of interest or concern to the Council, the Chairperson and/or the Director shall represent the Council before the Selectboard or other Town officials. Council members should report to the Chairperson or Director any problem which they think should be brought before the Selectboard or other Town officials. Under special circumstances, the Chairperson may designate some other Council member as spokesperson.
The Nominating Committee should have a minimum of three members and should consult with, but not be bound by, the Council Chairperson before finalizing nominations. In nominating individuals for Council membership, the committee should be mindful of the statement in the rules and regulations that "Council membership shall reflect the make-up of the community-at-large . . ." With the exception of the replacement of officers, as needed, the Nominating Committee should make nominations to fill vacancies for Council membership, when needed. Nominations should be included in the agenda packet for the meeting and should state briefly the candidate's qualifications and history of Council activities. Along with May nominations, the Nominating Committee should present a table giving the terms of continuing members. The slate of nominations for the annual election of officers should be included in the agenda packet for the June meeting, and should state briefly the candidates' qualifications and history of Council membership.
Each standing committee shall select its chairperson for a period of one year, with the option of renewal. If the members of a standing committee cannot reach a consensus regarding the selection of its chairperson, the Chairperson of the Council shall make the decision. When the Chairperson of the Council appoints an ad hoc committee, he/she may appoint its chairperson or direct the committee to do so.
In the event of inclement weather, the Director has the authority to make the decision regarding the operations, namely meals and transportation, of the Senior Center and will notify local television stations 3, 22, and 40. The office will be open and staff shall report to work unless Town Hall is closed.
A. 
The South Hadley Council on Aging will provide transportation for senior citizens to and from the Senior Center and its activities from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday (with the exception of holidays and "snow" days). The following are the rates per person:
(1) 
COA/Senior Center Activities, $0.75 each way.
(2) 
Within South Hadley, $1.25 each way.
(3) 
Chicopee/Granby/Holyoke/Hadley (special trips), $3 each way.
(4) 
Outside communities (special trips), $5 each way.
B. 
Calling the Council on Aging office, at least 24 hours before transportation is required. A week of reservations may be made with one call, but one must call the Council on Aging if it is necessary to cancel.
C. 
Riders should be ready 15 minutes before scheduled pick-up time. Transportation is door-to-door. According to COA policies, a driver may not enter a building to assist a passenger. It is suggested that passengers needing a cane, walker or wheelchair for stability, or anyone needing assistance, have someone accompany them. Persons needing assistance from their door to the van must have the walkway, stairs, and/or ramps clear of ice or snow. Ramps should have safety strips. The Council reserves the right to refuse transportation if the area is not clear or if there is a dangerous situation.
D. 
In addition to 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday transportation, the South Hadley Council on Aging may be able to provide transportation for special functions with volunteer drivers. These may include church, special and mall trips. A minimum of five passengers is required for transportation requests of non-COA scheduled activities beyond normal COA hours of 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. A one-week notice must be given for all special trips not scheduled in the COA monthly calendar.
E. 
The Council on Aging reserves the right to deny transportation to individuals they deem inappropriate for the trip (e.g., someone who may wander cannot go on a mall or similar trip without a companion so that they will not get lost).
F. 
Driver training with the regular staff driver is required before staff or volunteers may drive the minibus. An on-the-road evaluation will be required. Anonymous passenger evaluations of both paid and volunteer drivers will be done annually. Categories of the evaluation will include safety, courtesy, speed and following motor vehicle regulations.
G. 
In-Town transportation may be provided Monday through Friday if the schedule permits, with 24 hours' advance request. The current van can only accommodate one power chair; therefore, the first person to make a reservation is given priority.
A. 
Congregate meals. Luncheon is regularly served at the South Hadley Senior Center Monday through Friday, except on holidays and "snow" days. In order to be eligible for the meals program, a person must be at least 60 years of age or the spouse of a participant. Because the program receives financial support from WestMass ElderCare (WMEC) through Federal Title III funds, participants must fill out a nutrition application for WMEC. Guests of a senior participant will be allowed to attend lunch if reservations are made on time and space allows. The COA reserves the right to serve a meal only to senior participants. A donation of $2.25 per person/meal is suggested. Staff and all guests under 60 must pay $3 for all meals. Reservations and cancellations can only be made at the office. Reservations should be made by calling or stopping by the Council on Aging office at 538-5042 by 12:00 noon of the previous day, or earlier. The earliest date for reservations for all special luncheons will be announced in the newsletter. "Daily participants" are defined as participants who attend the lunch site on each day that it is open and can sign up for the entire month upon their request. "Occasional participants" are participants who attend on an irregular basis and must make reservations or cancellations with the Council on Aging office. Cancellations should be called in to the COA office by 4:00 p.m. on the previous day for which a reservation is being held. Meals will be served at 11:45 a.m. until 12:15 p.m., cafeteria style. Those who are unable to serve themselves will be served by a volunteer. The meals at the Senior Center are to encourage socialization as well as nutrition. Therefore, seating is on a first-come basis. No seats shall be reserved, with the exception of the volunteer table and birthday/anniversary table at those parties. No food shall be taken from the dining room, with the exception of your own serving of milk and fresh fruit which is served for dessert. This is a regulation of the federal nutrition program.
B. 
Hot meals on wheels. Luncheon is regularly delivered from the South Hadley Senior Center to eligible South Hadley recipients Monday through Friday, except on holidays and "snow" days. In order to be eligible for the meals program, a person must be at least 60 years of age, homebound (cannot go out without assistance), and have no one at home to prepare a meal. Because the program receives financial support from WestMass ElderCare (WMEC) through Federal Title III-C funds, WMEC must approve referrals. Referrals may be made to the South Hadley Council on Aging or directly to WMEC. A donation of $2.25 per person is suggested. The program cannot accommodate special dietary needs except for low-salt substitutions and diabetic desserts. Occasional substitutions may be made if a food allergy or dietary restriction is specified by WMEC Intake Referral or by a letter from a doctor. Meals will not be delivered when walkways and/or stairs present a hazardous condition. Weekend frozen and/or snow pack meals are available to those authorized by WMEC.
The South Hadley Council on Aging has a variety of orthopedic equipment (wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, etc.) which may be loaned to any South Hadley resident upon completion of a form stating they will be responsible for the item, its repair, or its replacement, if not returned. Maximum loan of equipment will be for a period of three months. This may be extended under extenuating circumstances after review by the Council on Aging Director and Social Service Coordinator.
All personnel evaluations shall be treated as confidential. Records of these must be secured and made available only to authorized individuals.
A. 
Evaluation of staff other than Director. The Director will evaluate each staff member responsible to him/her annually. At that time, the prior year's evaluation will be reviewed to see if goals and objectives have been met. The evaluations will then be submitted to the Personnel Officer.
B. 
Evaluation of the Director. The Town Administrator is responsible for the evaluation of the Director. Council on Aging Board members are welcome to submit comments to the Town Administrator.
A. 
General harassment policy. It is the policy of the Council on Aging to provide an environment free of harassment. Harassment of or by employees, members and others will not be tolerated. The definition of "harass" (source: Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary) means to annoy persistently. Any incidents of harassment of or by employees, members and others will be reported to the Director and/or the Council Chairperson for appropriate action.
B. 
The Senior Center is host to programs for senior citizens and their guests. To ensure that it remains a friendly and welcome environment, the following will not be tolerated:
(1) 
Sexual Harassment Policy: making unwelcome sexual advances, whether they involve physical touching or not. Making sexual epithets, jokes, written or oral references to sexual conduct. Gossiping about one's sex life. Commenting on an individual's body or about an individual's sexual activity, deficiencies or prowess. Displaying sexually suggestive objects, pictures or cartoons. Unwelcome leering, whistling, brushing against the body, sexual gestures, suggestive or insulting comments. Making inquiries into one's sexual experiences. Discussing one's sexual activities. This sexual harassment statement has been approved by the Council on Aging and the Selectboard. (Source: Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, model sexual harassment policy.)
(2) 
COA employees are subject to the Town of South Hadley Harassment Policy.