By Ryan McLaughlin
KITTANNING, Pa. – May is officially Older Americans Month, after a unanimous decision by the Armstrong County Commissioners during their public meeting Thursday morning.
Janet Talerico, the Executive Director of the Area Agency on Aging, brought this proclamation to the County Commissioners Office. The decision to deem May as Older Americans’ Month also came at the perfect time to honor the 50th Anniversary of the Older Americans Act, according to the proclamation. “Seniors are very important in the county,” Talerico said, after the proclamation was adopted. “25 percent of the county’s population is over 60.”
Talerico is planning multiple events for older Americans this May. There will be a Senior Spelling Bee on May 7. “There’s a lot of friendly competition,” she said. There will also be a Senior Art Exhibit on May 20 from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. “Any artist in the county over the age of 60 can display their work,” Talerico said.
Richard Fink, secretary of the County Commissioners, commented on the art show as well. “It’s simply amazing,” he said. “I think I’ve went down every year you’ve had it, since I’ve been in office. It’s amazing the talent that we have and what they do.”
Talerico said that anyone interested in the art exhibit could contact Melissa Facemeyer at 800-368-1066.
Talerico also said that May 13 is going to be Older Americans’ Day at the Area Agency on Aging, as well as a day of recognition for their volunteers. “We encourage people to acknowledge what the senior population has done,” she said.
Talerico added that the stereotype of senior citizens not being active and involved is incorrect. “The stereotypes of individuals not contributing to their society, working in the workplace, those days have long gone,” she said. “The majority of seniors are very active.”
Part of the discussion over Older Americans’ Month turned to the definition and word choice for the proclamation. David Battaglia, Chairman of the County Commissioners, added a personal anecdote to the discussion. “My father is 91, and he talks about the ‘older guys,’” he said.
Several other agreements and contracts were approved at the meeting. Myra Miller, Controller for Armstrong County, brought up three different contracts and agreements, which were recommended by the retirement board. The agreement with Gallagher Fiduciary Advisors, LLC was approved, but only with the removal of the annual renewal. Gallagher consults for the retirement fund, and their new contract went up to $27,000.
Miller also brought forth another agreement in regards to their retirement fund. The agreement was with Municipal Finance Partners, Inc. This company performs actuarial activities for the retirement fund, and their contract went up to $26,400 because of new government legislation that causes Municipal Finance Partners to do more work with retirement funds, according to Miller.
The third and final agreement Miller brought was with Horizon Information Systems, which is a software company that the retirement fund uses. The price has not changed from their $2271.50, but the agreement needed renewed, according to Miller.
A few other agreements or changes were approved, but no major changes occurred. Denny Demangone, Administrator for Children, Youth, and Family Services, needed to update the agreement with Adelophoi Education, Inc. after a name change, and Carmen Johnson, Assistant Director for Planning and Development, needed a change order approved to extend the timeline for the construction on the sidewalk in downtown. All agreements were approved.
The final appointment the commissioners had to decide upon was for Armstrong County Hospital Authority Board. Robert Polcyznksi was up for reappointment, and his reappointment was approved, with his term expiring on January 1, 2020.
At the end of the meeting, Dan Lucovich, Director of Human Resources the Armstrong County Courthouse, introduced Mark Wyant, the Honors Government and Economics Teacher for Freeport Senior High School, and Linda Kuruc, Gifted Support Teacher, and some of their students that attended the meeting on a field trip. “They’re here to take in the opportunity to see how commissioners actually function in the county, along with touring the county facilities today,” Lucovich said.
Lucovich said that the students could wait until the official end of the meeting. Commissioner Battaglia moved to the Public Comment. When none came, the Commissioners motioned to adjourn, and the meeting officially ended.