By Lorri Ooley
With the current unrest towards Sierra Joint Office on Aging, the recent meeting of the governing board, held on Thursday Aug. 28, met with caution and optimism. The board heard from Truth or Consequences Commissioner Kathy Clark, and received its first report from its newly hired executive director, Tony MacRobert.
Prior to entering into business, the board heard from Sierra County resident Jean Bullard, in which she voiced her growing concern over the removal of breakfast from SJOA’s menu. She pointed out later in the meeting her frustration over the lack of action from SJOA in addressing the need that remains.
Clark provided the board with a background to her experience in the field, while also extending the offer of aid of both her experience as well as the support from the elected officials from surrounding cities. She conveyed the concern over the approach the governing board has taken in relation to SJOA’s finances, as she directed questions of whether all the board members are comfortable with the information they are receiving, if the statements and reports are timely, and if they are making financial decisions that are in the best interest.
There remains a concern over the organization’s bylaws, offering a strong suggestion that they revisit and take under consideration to revise the language involving the separate roles between the governing board, advisory board, and the director. Clark clarified that the current status of the bylaws has areas of ambiguity that would have adverse consequences if not dealt with correctly. Additionally, it was suggested for the board to consider drafting a letter to provide the Area Agency on Aging (AAA) Executive Director Tim Armer and Gino Rinaldi, Cabinet Secretary of New Mexico, which would provide a status update and, if necessary, communicate if there are any other areas of ambiguity for the expectations for SJOA to be taking during this period of probation.
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