Common Ground’s Board of Directors Minutes- August 2019

Board of the New Haven Ecology Project

August 26, 2019


Board: Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Monica Maccera Filppu, Brian Springsteen, Charles Negaro, Kyeen Anderson, Ilene Crawford, Beth Klingher, Jane Lee, Michael Doolittle, Terri Snell, Errol Saunders

Staff: Kimball Cartwright, Liz Cox, Joel Tolman, Elena Augusewicz, Deborah Greig

Regrets: Kerry Lord, Babz Rawls-Ivy

Bob Called Meeting to order at 5:36

Public Participation: N/A

Business Requiring Approval                      

  • Minutes – June 24, 2019
    • Michael moved to approve the June 24, 2019 minutes, Wendy seconds
    • APPROVED, Kyeen Abstained
  • Revised NHEP Board Bylaws
    • Required for Charter Renewal, last edits were 2015 so Monica updated and made some edits with Bob and Wendy. 
    • Check to make sure language in the Bylaws Purpose matches the Certificate of Incorporation Purpose.
    • Kyeen and Beth unable to see document edits, would like to know what the exact changes were to the bylaws.
    • These should be revisited when members can see the changes. 
    • Ilene moved to approve the bylaws, Beth seconds, Kyeen abstained
  • Student Confidentiality Policy  
    • This is not a required submission to the state, it had to be updated for our own policies. Liz would like to bring this back to the board in the September meeting. It does not include language about contractors//vendors who handle student information. Liz wants to check with the attorney to find out what specifically needs to be in this policy.
  • Accounting Manual
    • Beth stated on page 11 there are documents #2-4 that have not been provided to the board but it says that we are supposed to. They’re supposed to be brought monthly. Beth does not think they should be required and should be removed. Monica agreed to do that.
    • Ilene moved to approve the Accounting Manual with Beth’s suggested revisions, Kyeen seconds
  • Employee Handbook
    • Monica noted the changes that she made, under “What We Do” she had all of the department heads update their portion. She took gendered language out of legal marriage section. She also removed references to specific clothing items in the dress code section. She removed the term “business secrets”. She also updated the language around the “hourly staff members get compensated for cancellations due to inclimate weather” this had not been the reality so she rewrote it to be accurate. 
    • Ilene moved to approve the Employee Handbook, Michael seconds
  • Resolution: ED authorization to sign contracts on behalf of Common Ground
    • Beth moved to approve the resolution to authorize the ED to sign contracts on behalf of Common Ground, Jane seconds
  • Resolution: Authorizing check signers on behalf of Common Ground 
    • The goal of approving this resolution would be to update the policy to include the new treasurer
    • Approve checking account signers
      • Add Monica Maccera Filppu and Beth Klingher
      • Remove Jane Lee
      • Continue Bob Parker, Wendy Battles, Betsy Sneath, Liz Cox
        • Kyeen moved to approve the resolution as amended with Monica Maccera Filppu and Beth Klingher, Wendy seconds
        • APPROVED
  • Invoices needing approval 
    • Approval of Corporate Systems Consulting (John Overchuk) invoices:
    • Chromebook Lease Year 3 of 3 for 70 laptops and insurance; $8050
    • Chromebook Lease Year 2 of 3 for 70 laptops and insurance: $8400
    • Chromebook Lease Year 1 of 3 for 75 laptops: $9375
    • Approval of Agilix Labs invoice for Buzz Hosting $5785.00
    • Rock 2 Rock Organizing Partner Payments
      • New Haven Parks: $11,357.45
      • URI: $30,348.24
      • NHLSSP: $14,980.76    

Michael moved to approve paying the invoices, Kyeen seconds 

Organizational Updates    

Executive Director Report (onboarding plan)

Liz stated that we received additional student seats and are now at 225. The biggest challenge of the beginning of the school year is the loss of CGHS alumni, Chris Franco, this summer. Students and Staff are still working through this grief. 

Status of Monica’s onboarding plan

    • Things have been going well and Monica is on track. She has had one on one meetings with board members, direct reporting staff, additional staff and community members. She is turning the corner this week and planning how to start applying what she has learned and working on the strategic plan that was developed. Hoping to start on this for Oct. 1st. Looking to make the organization more financially sustainable and work toward equitable pay. Monica requests that the Board focus on diversifying and adding more people with finance background.
    • Technology changes: All board members will now have a secure NHEP email address so that they can access the new Board of Directors team drive. We will be using these emails going forward because they should be public information. 

Old Business

  •  Charter Renewal Process Updates
    • We have a submission due on Sept. 6 that includes what we approved tonight. We have been getting pieces together for the site visit on Sept. 24, we do not know when public hearing is yet. There will be a board focus group on Sept. 24th so people should hold that date. There will also be a family focus group and teacher focus group. Will update the board with a more specific schedule, what we have now is a sample schedule. Most likely between 12:00-3:00pm. The finance committee is meeting earlier that day.  There are 12 schools going through renewal, the state is slightly behind with giving out information. 

Annual Meeting Business

  • Board Officer Appointments
    • Jane Lee is leaving the board so we need to accept her resignation
      • Wendy moved to approve, Bob seconds
      • APPROVED
    • Wendy and Bob to continue as Co-Chairs
    • Errol to serve as secretary
    • Beth to serve as treasurer
    • Brian to be teacher representative
    • Terri to be parent representative
      • Ilene moved to approve the slate of officer appointments, Michael seconds
      • APPROVED
  • Appointment of ex-officio members to 1 year terms
    • Michel, Beth, Bob, Wendy expire 6/20. They have the option to renew or leave the board.
  • Board members to complete background check authorization and personal data forms. 
  • Board members to sign conflict of Interest Statement (per Conflict of Interest Policy)
  • Board meeting dates
    • 4th Monday  of each month at 5:30
      • September 23rd
      • October 28th
      • November 25th
      • December 16th
      • January 27th
      • February 24th
      • March 23rd
      • April 27th
      • May 25th
      • June 22nd (Annual Meeting)

Meeting Adjourned by Bob at 7:25pm

Next Meeting: September 23, 2019, 5:30 PM



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