Senior Center responds to volunteers’ concerns | NevadaAppeal.com

Senior Center responds to volunteers’ concerns

Staff Reports

Carson City Senior Center’s governing board has responded to grievances in a five-page statement in a special edition newsletter.

The statement, signed by the governing board members, encourages constructive criticism and open dialogue as an essential method to improve the center and meet the needs of the community.

“This is our effort to address their concerns,” said Chairman Bob Kennedy. “It’s our best effort to bring complete honest answers to the concerns of those seniors who brought the questions to the governing.”

During a Nov. 5 meeting, about 50 seniors aired a wide range of grievances at the Carson City Senior Citizens Center in a special meeting with the center’s governing board, advisory board and two city supervisors.

Issues included staff attitude, lack of parking, quality of meals served in the dining room, condition of the pool hall, accounting for funds, expansion of the center’s facility, and an allegation that a staff member made inappropriate remarks to a volunteer.

“We hope that this response will answer their issues, and bring closure to this dilemma,” said Kennedy. “We’re always open and our intent is to be open to anyone.

“And as I think that document says there is always an open-door policy with the director (Jamie Lee).”

The complete text of the governing board’s statement is included in today’s Nevada Appeal on Page C6. Here are excerpts:

Staff attitude:

“Our director has now returned to work on a part-time basis.

“As a result of this meeting and our subsequent work sessions, the staff, the advisory council and the governing board have instituted a number of changes and clarified areas where concerns were expressed.

“We feel that the staff has consistently maintained an openness and accessibility to listen to concerns and to hear the needs of the participants. Our director has and will continue to have an open door for seniors.

“Our staff has renewed their commitment to maintain a positive demeanor and caring attitude with seniors and other staff members.

Communications:

“When a participant has a concern, the first step should be to speak with the appropriate staff person, the senior services manager, the director or members of the advisory committee. We also have a suggestion box, which is checked daily. If this does not result in an adequate resolution of the concern, then the participant can file a written concern or complaint. The staff will respond to all signed, written suggestions and complaints. This has been the policy in the past and will continue to be so.

“If a participant is not satisfied … the advisory council have established a regular meeting on the second Tuesday of each month at 9:30 a.m. to hear comments, questions or concerns from seniors on any aspect of the operation of the center.

Financial:

“The primary fund raiser for 1999 was the golf tournament which was organized and spearheaded by California Federal Bank. A major staff effort was required for this new fund raiser, which netted $13,291 for the center.”

Meals:

“… we recognize nobody will be satisfied with every meal. Our staff is committed to providing a good, nutritious, hot meal for every participant, every day. If a meal is not hot, the participant is urged to bring it back and be given a new meal without question. A daily temperature log of all food being served is kept, and regular, unannounced inspections are made by the health department.”

Pool Room:

“Now the pool players have determined that they do not wish to spend their money to enlarge the doorway.

As a result, we have accepted the pool players’ request not to proceed with this expenditure of pool room funds.”

Parking:

“… between the center itself and the adjacent rehabilitation facility technically exceeds the required number of spaces. However, parking is crowded during peak periods, particularly at meal time.”

Kennedy said anyone who has concerns after reading the newsletter may speak with any of the governing board members.

“Since this issue has been brought to the attention of the community through the local newspaper, we hoped that the newspaper would share with the community our answers to these concerns,” he said.