Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: February 28, 2022


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 Agenda
February 28, 2022

Zoom Recording


Board members Present: Charles Negaro, Joseph Melendez, Errol Saunders, Babz Rawls Ivy, Chris Hayes, Peter Ludwig, Terri Snell, Monica Maccera Filppu, Beth Klingher, Gioia Connell, Kyeen Andersson, Alexis Smith, Deloris Vaughn, Carly Osborne, Bob Parker, Chris Albert

Staff: Bev Greene, Cherry Pacquette-Emmanuel, Audrey Nefores, Diane Litwin, Joel Tolman, Disha Patel, Kascia Williams, Dylan James 

Public: Patience Christopher, Juan Reyes


Babz called the meeting to order at 5:33 PM.

Public Comment 

There was no request for public comment.

New Business 

Babz moved this agenda item to the beginning of the meeting. Joseph reported that he had done some investigation regarding our expenses in the cafeteria and our meeting certain nutrition guidelines. He expressed concern that we not forget the importance of those guidelines while we seek ways to control spending.

Business Requiring Approval (6:05)  

Charles moved the acceptance of the  Minutes from the January 24th meeting Beth seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Invoices Needing Approval

Errol moved the approval of the following invoices. Bob seconded the motion. The motion was approved.

  • Thurston Foods $7474.32
  • High Tech Facility Service $5,481.24 per month, starting in March- please approve monthly rate until Feb 2023 (rate locked until then)
  • Collinsville Power Equipment LLC $7,654 – Tiller Purchase for the farm, included in the regular 21-22 Budget 

Executive Director Report (6:10) (Monica)

See link above

Audit Committee (6:30)

Deloris reported that the committee had interviewed three accounting firms as potential auditors. The committee’s recommendation is to hire PKF O’Connor Davies. After some discussion Kyeen moved that we accept the committee’s recommendation. Joseph seconded the motion. The motion carried. Betsy will work with the current and the new auditors to begin the transition.

Building Committee (6:30) (Bev) 

The committee prepared the  ATTACHED REPORT. Monica led a discussion around the progress in the talks to expand space resources on campus, emphasizing that parking was the first hurdle in our plans.

Development Committee Report (6:35) (Audrey)

Alexis and Audrey made a presentation to the board concerning this year’s Great Give (May 4th) and our goals of raising $40,000 in this effort with strong board support. Audrey will work with board members to plan our individual outreach efforts. In addition, the board was polled about their preferences regarding a brunch or happy hour event to kick off the public drive for this fundraising event.

There was some concern about the proximity of the Great Give and Rock to Rock this year. 

Finance Committee Report (6:45) (Beth)

Beth shared the Budget vs. Actuals spreadsheet. Monica led a discussion concerning the currently projected deficit and her efforts to reduce spending in discretionary categories.. She has instituted a spending freeze in the High School. Her main concern is the costs over which we have no immediate control, e.g. utilities, health care costs.

Governance Committee Report (6:50) (Bob)

Bob reported that the committee met on the 22nd of February. The discussion centered around prospective new board members and leadership for next year. There was also a decision to seek training for our board regarding the new relationship that will develop working with unionized staff.

School Committee Report (6:55) (Monica)

The committee presented a revised school calendar for this year. Because of necessary COVID closings as well as winter weather there was a need to extend the calendar as presented. Bob moved acceptance of this revised calendar. Alexis seconded the motion. The motion carried.

Executive Session

Bob made a motion to move to Executive Session. Alexis seconded the motion. The motion carried.


Beth moved to adjourn the meeting. Bob seconded. The motion carried. 7:28 PM

Next Meeting: Monday, March 28th 2022

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, January 21) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, January 24th). 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  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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