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Aging Commission considers separating from city

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Roswell lawyer and Commission on Aging Chair Bob McCrea (Lisa Dunlap Photo)

Some members of the city of Roswell Commission on Aging are considering the possibility of becoming an independent group.

Only two of the six appointed members of the commission attended the Thursday meeting where the matter was slated as a possible action item. Without a quorum, no vote could be taken.

According to lawyer Bob McCrea, commission chairman, the topic of separating from the city is being considered after discussions with city staff.

He and Marifrank DaHarb, manager of the Senior Circle and a commission member, said that there have been concerns expressed by the city about the way in which agendas and minutes are being handled.

Roswell City Councilor Judy Stubbs explained that she had been on the council when the commission was first formed in 1997 and acted as the council’s liaison to the group for a while at that time. She encouraged the group to remain affiliated with the city, but she noted that city affiliation did bring some requirements.

“As a commission, there are certain Open Meeting Act (requirements) that the city needs to comply with and then, of course, any auxiliary organization of the city needs to comply with as well,” Stubbs said.

She explained that a commission is set up to serve as an advisory group to city staff, the mayor and the Roswell City Council and that there appears to be some disconnect at the current time between the group and the city.

“The city wants input from those involved with the elderly and those who are serving the elderly,” said Stubbs, adding that it was originally formed to hear concerns about elder care and elder abuse. “I think they are probably looking for a periodic, maybe even quarterly, maybe even twice a year, report, that you found transportation is a real need for Roswell, those kinds of things.”

A person attending the meeting as a speaker on health topics also mentioned that agendas, minutes and reports are often required by funding agencies and grant-making groups.

Stubbs added that she thinks the commission has more “clout” by being associated with the city and is able to utilize some of the city’s resources for publicity, events or facilities.

“It would give you a voice and I think that is the most important thing and why you were created,” she said.

The commission is planning to discuss the matter again at its next meeting, 3 p.m., Thursday, March 21, at the Senior Circle, 2801 N. Main St.