Jerri Glover, City Council Grass Valley

Jerri Glover: City Council

Q: At FREED, we interact with a lot of people who would like to participate in public meetings, but who are unable to get reasonable accommodations for their disabilities. What are some of the barriers that people with disabilities might find in attending a public meeting, and how might reasonable accommodations be provided?

JG:There are a number of barriers that people with disabilities may encounter when trying to attend/participate in a public meeting or public hearing. The first is transportation. Transportation is typically available to get people TO the meeting, but the service terminates before the meetings are over. I would like to see services extended on nights when we have public meetings to offer transportation to those in attendance. If not by the current public provider, perhaps one or more of our local non-profits could partner to offer a shuttle service after the meetings/hearings.

Secondly, simply receiving notice of the meetings and the issues to be addressed may be a challenge. The City’s website is antiquated and does not meet the needs of our disabled citizens. We need to get the website upgraded ASAP. Beyond that, offering an email notification sign up so citizens (disabled or not) could receive reminders about the meetings and a copy of the agenda would be helpful.

Lastly, having a liaison at meetings available to assist disabled participants with any needs they have in finding appropriate seating and with participating in the meeting such as approaching the lectern to address council, etc. would be helpful.

 

Q: The numbers of Americans needing long-term care will more than double, from 12 million to 27 million by 2050. Medicare does not cover long-term care. With the aging of the U.S. population how would you recommend your city or county address its current and growing needs for long-term services and supports?

JG: I think as our population ages over the coming years we, as a City will need to be keenly aware of the needs of this community. It would be lovely if we as a City could partner with our local nonprofits to offer regular meals for our aging population who may not be able to afford in-residence care; partner with local health-care providers to offer monthly health screenings and clinics; and have a list of resources available for the residents of Grass Valley.

 

Q: Independent, low income, housing for seniors and people with disabilities is highly impacted. Many low income facilities have 2 year waiting lists. What types of public policy would you favor in order to ensure older adults or people with disabilities who have fixed low incomes can afford to live near vital community services (hospitals, shopping, social services).

JG: Often the actual building of housing is not up to City Council proper. However, we can do much to assist in creating policies that streamline the processes, fee structure and preliminary requirements for developers that may be interested in creating houses in important service areas. Hopefully this would assist in alleviating some of the backlog. In addition we should pay careful attention to the aforementioned transportation issues so that people not living close to these services still have access.

 

Q: As a regional example, Yuba City neglected the Americans with Disabilities (ADA) requirements when remodeling Plumas Street, a primary district for shopping and restaurants, thus creating barriers for seniors, people with disabilities, bicyclists, women with strollers etc. A complaint was filed with the Department of Justice and Yuba City had to renovate the street again, in order to be in compliance. Good planning and guidance from the top down would have saved Yuba City millions of dollars. How can a city council prevent this sort of thing from happening?

JG: We must rely on our department heads for Public Works and Planning/Land Use to develop plans that comply with ADA requirements. We must also depend upon city staff and our planning commissioners to carefully review applications to make sure we are in strict compliance with ADA. We then, as City Council Members must carefully review plans presented to us and remember to focus on priority questions to ensure compliance.

 

Q: Individuals who cannot drive face barriers in traveling to work, shopping, social events and city council meetings, because of limited public transit options. How might the city work with nonprofits, businesses, as well as cultural or entertainment organizations to enhance transportation options in a rural community? What kinds of transportation options would you like to see in our rural community?

JG: It would be my desire to see our city, local nonprofits and even our for profit entertainment organizations come together and share resources to provide transportation to meetings, social and entertainment events. Those working closely with these issues should be encouraged to voice their concerns and needs to City Council, City Staff and organizations hosting events of interest for individuals who do not drive. We have shuttles that run from central locations to downtown events in Nevada City–we could learn from them in Grass Valley to create the same sort of service with perhaps an extension of the service to centralized drop off locations around the area.