Meeting Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013

Present:  Linda Aumick, Board President – Action Toward Independence

               Allison Johannessen, RSVP Coordinator, Orange County Office for the Aging

               Carl S. Berkowitz, RCLS Board of Trustees

               Robert Hubsher, Executive Director, RCLS

               Mimi Vilord, Rockland County United Way

               Terri Thal, NYS Perinatal Association

               Dan Hulse, RCLS Development Officer & COSAG Chair

               Grace Riario, RCLS Public Services Consultant & Outreach Coordinator

Absent:  Tracy Allen, Adult Services Librarian – Finkelstein Memorial Library

              Jordan Jenkus, Self-Advocacy Association of NYS

              Joann Hargabus, Director of Services – Action Toward Independence

              Janet Dymond, Senior Librarian – Eastern Correctional Facility

              Susan Stockburger, Independent Living Inc.

              Regina Cieslak, Orange/Ulster BOCES Team Lead/Youth Program

              Margaret McDowell, Hudson Valley Chapter NYS Health Care Providers

              Laura LaSusa, OrangeWorks

              Bill Langham – Director, Orangeburg Library – RCLS Directors’ Association

              System Services Committee

              Florence Butler, Rockland County Hard of Hearing Association

Chair Dan Hulse called the meeting to order at 1:35 pm.  Linda Aumick made a motion to accept the minutes of the October 24, 2013 meeting as submitted.  Carl S. Berkowitz seconded.  Motion passed.

Issues & Concerns: Introductions were made around the table.  Linda Aumick explained that the new rules in NY State that non-profit agencies must follow to apply for a grant are quite complicated and very frustrating.  Any non-profit with a state contract must undergo this process.  On many state grants, they hold back 10% of the grant money until all final accounting of expenditures has been submitted to the state.

55+ Guide:  Dan Hulse is reviewing and checking phone numbers and web pages right now in preparation for an updated reprinting of this guide. This will be the first update since 2007.  Mimi Vilord suggested calling 211. Mimi also suggested contacting each county’s Office for the Aging for websites and updates. Linda Aumick said the headings need to be changed. Other council members offered other suggestions as to what agencies and services to add to the guide.

Connections Guide for Corrections:  Mid-Hudson Library System (MHLS) in Poughkeepsie, has decided not to print a hard copy of the list they have right now.  Westchester Library system (WLS) is working on theirs right now, as is RCLS.  These publications will be given to inmates as they are released.  They contain information on job searches, housing, health services, etc., that are in the area where they want to relocate and settle. Robert Hubsher wants to have the 55+ Guide updated first, before focusing on this corrections publication.

Outreach Grant:  The committee made up of Janet Dymond, Terri Thal, Mimi Vilord and Carl Berkowitz, shared the criteria they followed and their reasoning behind the choices they made.  The winning programs are:

  1. Reaching for the Stars – Greenwood Lake Library- Mental health skills building for members of their community
  2. Chester Public Library – Sensory Storytime for children on the autism spectrum
  3. Albert Wisner Library in Warwick – Job Training in the library
  4. Port Jervis Library – GED via the Hub
  5. Newburgh Free Library – Biblioteca Café

     Each grant award will be $1,000 which is the amount established by the RCLS Board of Trustees.  $3,000 of the Outreach grant will be used for these awards.  Grace Rario will be sending out letters to each winning library.

Collaborative ideas:  Grace Riario reported that she has worked with the Ulster County JobWorks for Employment Counseling workshops.  These workshops are also being held in Orange, Sullivan and Rockland counties.

     Westchester and Rockland County Literacy Volunteers are working with Grace Riario on how to fill out an American Citizenship application.  Right now these are only being held in Orange and Rockland counties. 

Announcements:  Linda Aumick and Carl Berkowitz shared that Action Toward Independence (ATI) is a very busy for a small agency.  Parenting classes are at the forefront of their efforts right now.

     Fundraising at ATI is ongoing. Linda thanked Mimi Vilord for introducing her to the Vehicle Donation program.  She is investigating this as a fundraiser. 

     Carl S. Berkowitz shared that a woman is now ATI’s new veteran’s advocate.  He also reported that ATI is working collaboratively with other agencies for housing for low-income individuals. 

Reports:  Carl Berkowitz reminded the group that Eagle Scout candidates’ projects in the Boy Scouts are done to benefit the community as a whole; not just for the Eagle Scout’s local troop or community.  He encouraged COSAG members to contact the Hudson Valley Boy Scout Council when they have a special project at their agency that needs completion.  Carl S. Berkowitz feels that an Eagle Scout candidate and other scouts could assist in helping to meets the needs of the project. 

   Mimi Vilord reported that $250,000 was awarded in grants from United Way of Rockland County.  This was 13 grants to agencies for programs and their collaborators.     Mimi also said that her agency had received money from United Way Worldwide for grants for people affected by Hurricane Sandy.  A dinner will be held next week to reward the helpers for Hurricane Sandy relief.

Terri Thal reported that she is working with the Mid-Hudson Peri-natal Program that now focuses on breast feeding education for nurses, doctors and midwives. 

     Terri also reported that in Rockland County, the rates of homeless and hungry people have skyrocketed. There are more agencies in volved with food drives this year than ever before.

     Terri is also working on a committee in Rockland County that is working against Unite Water Corporation building a de-salination plant on the Hudson River.  Creation of this plant would increase individuals water bills by $400 a year.

Meeting adjourned at 3:35 pm.

Next meeting date – Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Minutes Author: Grace Riario
Committee: COSAG