Common Ground Board of Directors: Minutes Sept. 30, 2020

PLEASE NOTE: In order to comply with adjusted CT Open Meeting laws, this Zoom meeting will be recorded and posted on the Common Ground website

New Haven Ecology Project
Board Meeting Minutes
Sept. 30, 2020

The September Board Meeting was recorded in two parts due to an Executive Session: Part 1, Part 2

Board Members: Babz Rawls Ivy, Bob Parker, Beth Klingher, Errol Saunders, Brian Springsteen, Ky Andersson, Peter Ludwig, Monica Maccera-Filppu, Christopher Alpert, Charlie Negaro, Ana Reyes, Terri Snell

Staff Members: Tim Casey, Elena Augusewicz, Emily Schmidt, Kimball Cartwright, Audrey Nefores, Monique Frasier, Deborah Greig

  1. Welcome 
    1. Babz called meeting to order at 5:34.
    2. The meeting was interrupted by Zoom bombers spouting racial epithets at 5:35 and restarted by Babz at the same Zoom link but with the waiting room enabled at 5:58.
  2. There was no public comment at this meeting. 
  3. Business Requiring Approval (5:58)                    
    1. Approve School Nutrition Program Authorized Signatures per form HERE: Ky moved to accept Betsy and Monica as signers for the School Nutrition Program, Seconded Charlie Negaro. Motion unanimously approved.
    2. Minutes from the August 24th Meeting 
      1. Charles moved to approve with the following corrections: Add Babz to attendance list, correct Brian’s name spelling. Bob Parker seconded the motion. Motion was unanimously approved with Kyeen and Ana abstaining. 
  4. Invoices Needing Approval (~6:02)
    1. LaRosa Earth Group $39,410 -Retaining wall, tree removal, pavilion floor (grant funded and previously approved)
    2. Thurston Foods $5507.28 -Food order for beginning of semester
    3. Jamie Renwick Advisors $18,000.00 – Development Consulting 7/1/20-8/21/20 (previously approved contract)
    4. Errol moved to approve all of these expenses as a group, Beth seconded approving all of these expenses. Motion approved unanimously. 
  5. Executive Session (6:05)
    1. Bob moved that we move into Executive session to discuss board expansion; Ky seconded. Motion approved unanimously. 
    2. Bob moved to leave Executive Session; Charlie seconded. The board left Executive Session at 6:43pm. No votes were taken during the Executive Session.
  6. Post Executive Session (6:43) 
    1. Bob thanked Brian Springsteen for his dedication and service to Common Ground and wished him the best for his next steps. 
    2. Bob moved that we charge the school committee with developing a process for filling the teacher ex officio position of the Board and charge Monica with creating a staff task force to develop a process for expanding the Board to include a staff member. 
    3. Seconded by Christopher. Motion approved unanimously with Terri abstaining.
  7. Executive Director Report (6:49)
    1. Program Updates
  8. Finance Committee Report (6:53)
    1. July and August Financials
    2. Finance Committee Meeting Notes
      1. Kyeen noted that it is difficult to compare the general flow of actuals over the course of the current year to the usual year. She reminded the board that that comparison had indeed been added last year. 
      2. Beth acknowledged that that comparison was available last year and it was simply an oversight that it did not get included this year. She agreed that it will be re-added to the financials going forward. 
      3. Next meeting, Betsy and Monica will be presenting budget projections in order to show how Covid has impacted our budget for the year and into the future.
      4. Monica presented an overview that Common Ground was allocated significant money from the state based on covid-related expenses. She explained the broad contours of what those funds were allocated to and how those funds need to be spent down over the course of the year. 
  9. Development Committee Report (7:11)
    1. Feast
      1. Kimball thanked Audrey, Monica, Elena, and Beth for all of their incredible contributions to the success of Feast this year.
    2. Revenue YTD
      1. Kimball reminded us that the Development Committee meets every Tuesday prior to a Board meeting. 
      2. Kimball encouraged board members to keep the momentum up for potential donor meetings with Kimball and Monica, not just asking for donations but building relationships
      3. The End of Year Appeal will be discussed at the next Development Committee meeting
  10. School Committee Report (7:22)
    1. The School Committee has met twice to discuss the proposed new High School Employee Handbook, there are a few more policies that need review and then it will be brought for approval at the next Board Meeting. 
  11. New Business (7:24)
    1. Monica welcomed student Ana Reyes to the Board. 
  12. Adjourn (7:27)
    1. Bob Parker moved to adjourn the meeting. Charlie Negaro seconded the motion. The meeting was adjourned at 7:27pm.

Next Meeting:

Monday, October 26th 5:30 pm- 7:30

Public Comment: 

In order to comply with adjusted Connecticut Open Meeting laws, any member of the public wishing to participate in the meeting must sign up on the Public Participation Sign-up Document. Sign-ups for Public Participation will open at 5 pm on the last business day before the meeting (Friday, June 26th) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, June 29th). Public Participation is limited to 2 minutes per person up to 30 total minutes. Anyone wishing to make a statement to the board can also submit testimony in writing to the Board Secretary: by 5:30 pm on the day of the meeting. All submitted documents will be included in the publicly shared meeting minutes.


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