News & Articles

September Special Election Town Meeting

September Special Election Town Meeting

The September Town Meeting was held at the Coleman/Gromack Auditorium of the Venture Center on Monday September 28, 2015. Present was Jennifer, the President, Meagen the VP, and cabinet members, Lee and Ryan. Terry Freson acted as the group’s Facilitator and Dan Lukens took notes. Approximately 60 voting members of the Council would be in attendance though some arrived late.

The call to order from the President came at 6:50PM and after greeting everyone, Jen made an introductory opening statement in which she briefly mentioned the primary election that had just taken place the week before. She then opened the floor up to members of her cabinet.

Lee used his time to offer a few personal laments. “It was not a great summer for me,” he said sadly. Someone messed me up.” His references were apparently related to his love life.

Ryan had a few questions for Executive Director, Dan Lukens and these related to the election and several points of order. The two went back and forth and there was some apparent misunderstanding. For each of the Director’s answers, Ryan would indicate that that was not what he meant. Lukens indicated that he would be glad to clarify any points in the election process for Ryan after the meeting.

With the conclusion of Ryan’s statement, Dan Lukens took the floor to help conduct the election business. “The primary election last week resulted in very close balloting,” Lukens said. “All of the candidate did very well. They all ran great campaigns but it was a primary election run in order to narrow the candidates to two finalist. They are: Meagen and Don.” Lukens went on to explain that, as the group was aware, that a ballot was sent to all of the residences with instructions for each person to vote for one candidate. He further explained that the final election for President would take place at the November Town Meeting and that time would be afforded in all of the meeting leading up to that meeting for the candidates to speak. He also spoke to the importance of the election.

“The President is your elected official who represents you. That is important,” Lukens said.

The floor was then open to the candidates to offer a few words.

Meagen acknowledge all of the primary candidates. “You all did a great job,” she said.

“Thank you for voting for me. If you vote for me (in November) I will do some wonderful things. I will bring the Yankees to Camp Venture. I will get the staff a raise,” she asserted forcefully. “They deserve it,” she continued.  “The staff love us and we love them,” to which, the room rose in applause.

Don also acknowledged the primary candidates. “ Every candidate did a great job and gave it a great run. Everybody here has a place in my administration and a role in working with me for the future. I want to bring energy and greater participation to this group so we can do more,” he said with thoughtful confidence. The room again rose in applause.

Jen then opened the regular session of the Town Meeting.

Jennel was the first speaker and she addressed the group like a revivalist preacher. “I love my staff and I pray for them,” she said. “Amen!”

The group applauded for her.

Tom offered an introduction, talked about his career at Macy’s and discussed the coming holiday shopping season. He then moved on to some questions for the Director.

“When are we going to get the pool open,” he said directing his question to the Director.

This opened the floor to Dan Lukens.

“The pool has to be staffed by two lifeguards to meet the safety requirements and we can not afford to do that for one or two swimmers.” Lukens then suggested that he would review the pool times and see if he could come up with a viable plan to offer some pool time.

Tom also asked about the Halloween and the Christmas Parties. His question open the floor to Terry Freson.

“The Halloween Party will be Sunday November 1, and the Christmas Party will be December 12, she announced.

Merlin talked about the talent show and the group clapped for him.

Jeff introduced himself with his usual boyish enthusiasm. “I am starting Olympic and Touching Bases. I am doing well at home and at my job,” he said confidently “Thank you!”

David L. said that his house was getting a new van. He also asked the Director to get him a freight truck.

Pradeep complained that the summer was over and that he had not done much swimming. He also complained about having mentioned Yoga as an option. His question again opened the floor to the Director.

“The agency can not have the pool open for one or two swimmers or hire a Yoga teacher for one or two participants,” Lukens said. He suggested that Pradeep should again speak with either his service coordinator or the house staff about joining the community Yoga group that was in the neighborhood and the health club near by that has a pool.

Randi said that she loved her staff and her boyfriend too.

Mike S. introduced himself and talked about the Rangers. He mentioned the talent show and the room rose in applause. In acknowledgment of his amazing performance the group came to their feet.

Mike C. also mentioned his segment of the talent show and talked about his time with family. He was similarly acknowledged by the group with ovation.

Trisha said that she lived at Venture South and said that she loved her friends there and the staff. (Note that Venture South was renamed Murphy House).

Lisa told the group how happy she was to have seen her family, “We had a big family party and all my family came. I was so happy,” she said. “I love you all.”

Zac talked about the talent show. “I would like to congratulate everyone who was in the talent show and thank every on who came for supporting us,” he said. The room came to their feet in ovation for Zac and, presumably, for his wonderful performance.

John used his time to acknowledge everyone on the dais including the sitting president, Jen, and also Meagen, Ryan and Executive Director, Dan Lukens who was busy taking notes. John then moved on to discuss the performance of the New York sports teams. “The Yankees won,” he announced to the applause of the room.

Billy talked about his recent travel. “I went on vacation and stayed at a hotel in Virginia. My family and I went on to North Carolina where we stayed at a condo,” he continued. “We met some people from California there. I also went on vacation with my Venture friends and we went to Hershey Pennsylvania.”

Tasin said that she was working and doing well at her job. “I also went to Hershey. It was great.”

Jeff used his time to talk about Amanda. Amanda seemed less than flattered by the attention.

“Yesterday my country, Korea, celebrated Thanksgiving,” Robert announced. Robert also talked about the New York teams and the room responded with warm applause.

James announced that he had gone on vacation to the beach.

“I am work hard at my job at Target,” Bernadette said. “Next Friday I am getting a raise. Bernie also talked about being in the talent show and said that she was so happy that her family came to the performance.

Peter talked briefly about a girlfriend named Rose. He showed off some pictures of past parties and offered his congratulations to the candidates.

Judy told the group that she had been to the Shriners Circus. “There were lions and performing dogs and everything,” she said. “It was great.”

Suzie, speaking in a child-like voice commanded the group to be quite. “My mom is away on vacation,” she said forcefully.”

Steven M. said hi to the group and introduced himself. “I have had a lot going on over the last 4 months. I moved to the Lukens Center,” he said on a positive note. “They did not hire me back at Barnes and Noble and that’s their loss,” he said and the room rose in applause.

“But I got a new job at Burger King and that’s good. I like doing my thing. I like living in my apartment and being independent. I like time with my family too.” Steven, perhaps because he is new to the group, received a rousing and very welcoming ovation.

Richard told the group that he was moving to Murphy house.

Eileen approached the front and addressed the group in her characteristically affable way. “I was in the talent show and I sang a song from Frozen.” she said and the room clapped for her.

Dana bounced to the front of the room and, wear a smile from ear to ear, told the group that she loved them very much.

Suzie T. reminded the group of the recent passing of their much-beloved friend, Barbara. “I hope God will watch over her and keep her.” she said. “She was a good person and we will miss her.”

Glen said that he was moving soon to the Lukens Center.

Marie asked the candidates to consider her for a Vice presidential appointment. She said that she had gotten a good check at the work shop and said that she enjoyed performing in the talent show.

Mike Y. talked about his house and announced that he was going to the Another Step day program.

Kathleen said that she liked the new program Creative Venture and said she also enjoyed bowling. “My brothers took me out and I started to cry because I was so happy to see them,” she said.

Angel strutted to the from of the room looking very pleased with herself. “I went to my cousin’s wedding. It was beautiful and I has so much fun,” she said.

Angel was the last speaker and with the conclusion of her statement Dan Lukens took the floor again and asked that the candidates, Don and Meagen join him. “This election is important,” he said again. “Your President represents you to the agency and to the world- be involved and choose well!”

Jen adjourned the meeting at around 8:10 PM.

It was dark outside already when the meeting closed, a sign that the warmer days of summer were over and that the winter was coming. In between though, there was the fall with Halloween, Thanksgiving and an important election. There was excitement for the days ahead and a good feeling among the group. They had had their say and the future held the promise of renewal. Today was a very good day to be an engaged and active member of this very special family of friends.

Page 1 of 1 pages for this article


Advanced Search

Mailing List

Enter your email address to join our mailing list.

2008 Rockland County Autism Symposium Venture Foundation Address
Follow us on Facebook! LinkedIn