James F. Scafide Nominated to Central Coast Commission for Senior Citizens

Local Attor­ney Iden­ti­fies Elder Abuse As Top Issue

SANTA BARBARA– June 30, 2014. The Santa Bar­bara City Coun­cil nom­i­nated James F. Scafide, of Scafide Law Firm, to the Board of Direc­tors of the Cen­tral Coast Com­mis­sion for Senior Cit­i­zens. The two-year term com­mences July 1, 2014. In his appli­ca­tion for the appoint­ment, Scafide out­lined what he believed to be the num­ber one issue fac­ing senior cit­i­zens: elder abuse. “”When we think of elder abuse, we often think of phys­i­cal elder abuse. This is a very, very impor­tant issue.”

”But an often hid­den and more preva­lent issue is finan­cial elder abuse, where preda­tors take advan­tage of seniors and steal from them the very resources they need for sur­vival. Often these types of abuse remain unre­ported. For one, often­times the vic­tims remain unaware of the fraud until well after the fact. Also, many vic­tims feel shame from being taken advan­tage of. We have to edu­cate and empower senior cit­i­zens to speak up and seek resources to address these issues of elder abuse.”

”We owe so much to our senior com­mu­nity,” Scafide said. “What­ever we may accom­plish in life, we are largely stand­ing on the shoul­ders of those who came before us. To them we owe a tremen­dous debt of grat­i­tude and I am appre­cia­tive that City Coun­cil unan­i­mously voted to give me the oppor­tu­nity to serve in this impor­tant function.”

”In my work with seniors in the areas of estate plan­ning and real estate law, I’ve encoun­tered a num­ber of indi­vid­u­als who unfor­tu­nately have been the vic­tims of finan­cial elder abuse. There are sub­stan­tial steps that we can take to pro­tect seniors from these types of elder abuse. It is my goal to bring these resources to the senior cit­i­zens of Santa Bar­bara. I wel­come the oppor­tu­nity to work with the Com­mis­sion in fur­ther­ing their efforts to bring this issue to the fore­front so that, through aware­ness, we can reduce this threat to these cher­ished mem­bers of our community.”

”I am truly hon­ored to be selected to be the voice of the City of Santa Bar­bara on the CCCSC Board of Direc­tors,” Scafide said. “I embrace this oppor­tu­nity to serve the pub­lic and to work to bring to the fore­front issues fac­ing senior mem­bers of our com­mu­nity, includ­ing the issues of vio­lence against elders and steal­ing from elders.”

Scafide, an attor­ney with Scafide Law Firm in Santa Bar­bara, has a long his­tory of pub­lic ser­vice. He served as a City Coun­cil­man and Mayor for the City of East Liv­er­pool, Ohio, and as a Divi­sion Chief for the Mass­a­chu­setts Attor­ney Gen­eral. Scafide’s legal prac­tice areas include Busi­ness Law, Trusts and Estates, Real Estate Law, Land Use, Civil Lit­i­ga­tion, and Immi­gra­tion Law.

Scafide, 53, a res­i­dent of Santa Bar­bara, attended Santa Bar­bara City Col­lege and grad­u­ated with a Bachelor’s Degree from Kent State Uni­ver­sity. He holds a Mas­ters in Pub­lic Admin­is­tra­tion from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Gov­ern­ment, a Juris Doc­tor­ate (magna cum laude) from Boston Col­lege Law School, and an LL.M. from Har­vard Law School. Scafide also teaches at the Santa Bar­bara Col­lege of Law.

The Cen­tral Coast Com­mis­sion for Senior Cit­i­zens is a non-profit, pri­vate cor­po­ra­tion incor­po­rated in 1975 and des­ig­nated by the Cal­i­for­nia Depart­ment of Aging as an Area Agency on Aging for Plan­ning and Ser­vice Area 17 (includ­ing Santa Bar­bara and San Luis Obispo Coun­ties). The Com­mis­sion is gov­erned by a Board of Direc­tors with 12 mem­bers, five of whom are appointed by the fol­low­ing orga­ni­za­tions: San Luis Obispo County Board of Super­vi­sors, Santa Bar­bara County Board of Super­vi­sors, Santa Maria City Coun­cil, San Luis Obispo City Coun­cil, and Santa Bar­bara City Coun­cil. Seventy-five per­cent of the Direc­tors are 60 years of age or older.

An Advi­sory Coun­cil com­posed of 30 mem­bers advises the Board of Direc­tors on all mat­ters relat­ing to the plan­ning and admin­is­tra­tion of the Area Plan and acts as an advo­cate for older per­sons. The Coun­cil devel­ops an Area Plan to guide the oper­a­tions of the Area Agency on Aging. At least 51percent of the Coun­cil is com­posed of older per­sons. The objec­tives of the Agency are to develop a com­pre­hen­sive and coör­di­nated sys­tem for older per­sons as pre­scribed by the Older Amer­i­cans and Older Cal­i­for­ni­ans Acts. In accor­dance with the Older Cal­i­for­ni­ans Act, the gen­eral func­tions of the Com­mis­sion are:

  • Mak­ing pol­icy deci­sions in car­ry­ing out the func­tions of plan­ning, pool­ing, and coör­di­nat­ing the man­dates of the Older Amer­i­cans Act.
  • Assess­ment of needs and ser­vices that ben­e­fit senior citizens.
  • Oper­a­tion of senior employ­ment program.
  • Coör­di­na­tion of exist­ing pro­grams, ser­vices that serve older persons.
  • Devel­op­ment of resources and funds to expand ser­vice deliv­ery system.
  • Mon­i­tor­ing and assess­ment of senior programs.
  • Advo­cacy.
  • Health insur­ance counseling.
  • Com­mu­nity education.

For more infor­ma­tion, tele­phone James F. Scafide at Scafide Law Firm, PC, 805–651-3021, email jim@scafidelaw.com, or visit www.scafidelaw.com

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