Common Ground Board Meeting – June 2014 – Minutes

Present: John Jessen, Mike Doolittle, Babz Rawls Ivy, Jane Lee, Miranda Bailey, Monique Frasier, Wendy Battles, Frank Mitchell, Joel Tolman, Kimball Cartwright, Kyle Siriano, Betsy Sneath, Liz Cox, Melissa Spear, Rebecca Holcombe

Regrets: Bob Parker, Claudia Merson

The meeting opened with congratulations on the first graduation held on Common Ground’s campus.

Minutes: Mike made a motion to accept and John’s voice was the second.  The board voted to approve the minutes.

Business Requiring Approval:
$10,000 Food Corps member payment funded through CT Ag viability grant
$10,800 Corp systems consulting (John Overchuck) Universal Services funded,
Rock To Rock disbursements(CG $25, 300)  $11,853 to NH Parks Services, $16,118.55 to Cityseed, $33,739.23 to URI, $12, 5687 to NH Leon Sister City.

Miranda moved the motion and Babz was the second.  The board approved the motion to pay the invoices and the Rock to Rock pledges to organizational partners.

Budget: Melissa presented qualifying notes for context on the proposed budget.  There are some grants requests with approvals still pending and there is an additional $75,000 coming for afterschool. That revenue will be budget relief and will show some surplus at CGHS.  NHEP still shows some deficit but organization looks good relative to the depreciation.  Budget categories look good except major gifts and that direction is still to be determined with the transition in administration as Kimball becomes Director of Development and Joel focuses on engagement but holds several longtime foundation contacts in his portfolio.

The current document reflects changes that include some program growth with additional students, shift in TAs for 2 full time and one part time and the staffing change of Marvin, Melvin departure, new cleaning time, and Joe’s school schedule.  The community engagement piece of work makes different too. SPED position is not filled though budgeted.  Health benefit numbers are shifting too with risk on our side and onto staff for managing costs.  The agent comes to present next week and accurate/current information will be available.  The budget is a working document so things will certainly change but it is solid enough for us to approve and submit even as details shift.

Mike made the motion to accept the proposed budget for the coming year and Jane was the second.  Participants had some questions about the budget including the depreciation deficit ($40,000?) and scheduled costs for site maintenance.  The board voted to accept the budget.

Director’s Report:  Construction—Melissa read the letter to Gov. Malloy urging funding from the Urban Ag Act for the bond commission and signed by Holder Winfield, Walker, Looney. The next step is the governor sending the request to bond commission.

Contractors for building construction are expected to be in place by Oct 1.  This may be a 9 month construction project the off site work could push the project to completion earlier.  The building foundation should be finished by winter.

School: Liz saluted the students who graduated the previous week and noted that evaluation continues through June 30. The institute will focus on equitable outcomes for students.  Next year we have renewal coming and review/approvals for safety plan and others.  Get ready.

Community Programs:  Rebecca reminded that camp is near and weeks are filling up. There is a transition on program side too as Jesse D. takes over planning and management of weekend and adult programs on July 1.  Everyone is encouraged to check out the farm, which looks great.  Rebecca noted the presence of the Fink Foundation intern and the loss of the goat who had recently died of old age.

Development/Campaign: The department transition and Joel’s new title was the focus with a reminder of summer events—Common Table was a perfect thank you— and the remaining bond commission effort.  A related update was news of staff participation in Beyond Diversity workshop with a few slots remaining.

The meeting ended with a recap of the envisioning work done by staff and board members at events and meetings this past year.  That work will continue for board members at an event/retreat later in the summer.

Meeting adjourned by 7:10.


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