This month, I’d like to present two items of interest to you: (1) vacancy on the commission and (2) how to get legal help – specifically geared toward seniors.

A vacancy exists on the Commission on Aging for the city of Galt.

The commission acts as an advocate for the senior residents here in Galt and reports to the City Council. A member of the City Council appoints commissioners for a 4-year term, and the commission meets on the fourth Thursday of the month from 10 to 11 a.m. in a conference room located inside the Parks & Recreation Building, 610 Chabolla Ave.

If you are interested in applying to become a commissioner – and I encourage you to consider it – please contact the City Clerk’s Office at (209) 366-7130, or via email thubert@ci.galt.us , or in person, 380 Civic Drive.

The Resource Center receives inquiries from seniors regarding getting legal help. In my research on this important matter, I came across an article in the “Seniors and the Law” A Guide for maturing Californians publication, which is funded by the California Bar Foundation.

I encourage you to read the article in its entirety by going to their webpage, 2015_Seniors062615-web.pdf.

This publication has a wealth of information about many legal services, some of which are free of charge for you my fellow seniors.

Here are just a few examples of what I found: Every county has free legal services under the federal Older Americans Act. The programs differ, however, and their criteria for accepting cases vary as well.

These programs typically assist those in the greatest need, such as seniors facing eviction or the loss of public benefits.

If your county’s legal services program cannot assist you, ask a friend, co-worker or business associate to recommend a lawyer, or call a State Bar-certified lawyer referral service.

For an online list of certified referral services, go to the State Bar’s website at www.calbar.ca.gov/lrs (lrs stands for lawyers), or call 866-442-2529 for a recorded message with the phone numbers of certified services in your county.

For more information on finding an attorney, order a free copy of the State Bar pamphlet “Finding the Right Lawyer” (under www.calbar.ca.gov Resources).

Additionally, if you are a California resident age 60 and older, you may get free legal advice by calling the Senior Legal Hotline.

This Hotline provides free legal advice and counsel to Sacramento County residents age 60 and over on a variety of civil legal issues including, but not limited to: (1) Public benefits (Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, food stamps and more); (2) Landlord/tenant disputes; (3) Housing law; (4) debt and consumer issues (debt collection, identity theft, scams, etc.); (5) estate planning; and (6) financial and physical elder abuse.

Any Californian with a pension or retirement plan issue can call for free assistance from the Western States Pension Assistance Project, which has helped recover more than $25 million in retirement benefits for clients.

Here is the contact information for the Senior Hotline: in Sacramento, call (916) 551-2140 or toll-free at (800) 222-1753.

Hotline hours are Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to 12 p.m., and 1 to 4 p.m. The Senior Hotline address is 515 12th Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.

As always, be safe, be healthy, be happy!

Bob Balliet is the chairman on the Galt Commission on Aging.