Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: June 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 Minutes

Jun 27, 2022

Meeting Recording

Board Members:
Bob Parker, Babz Rawls Ivy, Monica Maccera Filppu, Charles Negaro, Joseph Melendez, Errol Saunders, Abigail ROth, Carly Osborne, Gioia Connell, Chris Hayes, Beth Klingher, Alexis Smith, Terri Snell, 

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Audrey Nefores, Rebecca Holcombe, Crystal Fernandez, Deborah Greig, Melvin Morales, Bev Greene

Bob called the meeting to order at 5:33


Public Comment (5:33): N/A

Business Requiring Approval (5:33)

Invoices Needing Approval

Babz moved to approve the following invoices, Charles seconded the approval of the following invoices. The invoices were approved unanimously.

  • Blue Flame Oil- $5223.12, end of year payout amount. We are on a monthly budget plan but due to increases this year we had an ending balance of $3591.15  plus the June payment of $1632.00
  • Zangari Cohn– $13,853
  • Corporate Systems Consulting- $9333.00 for annual managed internal broadband contract. Will be offset by $7933.00 in USAC Federal Grant money
  • City of New Haven – RENT – $20,000
  • Elm Shakespeare- $8,000, spring semester instruction

Alexis moved to approve the minutes of the May Board Meeting, Beth seconded the approval of the minutes. The minutes of the May Board of Directors were approved unanimously

Minutes of the May Board Meeting

Executive Director Report (5:37) (Monica )

The Executive Director requests that the  Board continue the  current strategic plan (2019-2022) through June, 2023. The Executive Director will work with the Governance Committee and Management team  to prepare a draft strategic plan for board approval in 2023. 

Errol suggested a two year extension of the strategic plan to allow more time for work on a new strategic plan. Joseph mentioned that a two year extension could make the strategic planning overlap with the 2023 charter renewal, reducing buy-in from high school staff. After a discussion, the board agreed that extending the plan for two years but starting collaborative work in it within the first year would leave space for community buy-in and ample time to plan.

Errol moved to extend the current strategic plan to June 2024, with a strong preference for planning to begin within the first year of the extension. Babz seconded the movement to approve the extension of the current strategic plan to June 2024. The motion was approved unanimously.

Audit Committee (6:06) (Deloris)   

The Audit committee did not meet in June. 

Building Committee (6:06) (Bev) 

The Building Committee did not meet in June.

Development Committee Report (6:07) (Alexis)

Alexis thanked Bob for hosting the Garden Party that was planned by the Development Team to end our fiscal year of fundraising. 

The Development Committee did not meet as a group in June. Audrey had 1:1 meetings with Development Committee members and other board members as the fiscal year came to the close to work on asks, etc.

Finance Committee Report (6:10) (Beth)

The Finance Committee met on June 20th to review Budget vs Actuals as of May 30th, and the final draft of the FY 23 (SY 2022-2023) budget for board approval .  The Finance Committee requests that the Board approve the draft FY 23 budget. The next meeting of the Finance Committee will be on Thursday, August 25th at 5:30 pm.

Joseph moved to approve the budget for the 2023 fiscal year, Alexis seconded the budget for the 2023 Fiscal Year. The budget was approved unanimously. 

The finance committee has decided that the financial policies and accounting manual are in need of updating. They will work on this over the summer, others are welcome to join if interested and can contact Beth. They will bring the new policies to the board for approval sometime next year. 

Governance Committee Report (6:27) (Bob)

The Governance Committee met on June 16th. The discussion centered on board membership, the agenda for the upcoming Annual Meeting, and the Executive Director’s annual evaluation. There will be no July meeting, The next regular meeting will be August 18, 2002. For further information, contact 

Bob announced that Babz Rawls Ivy and Deloris Vaughn will not be returning to the Common Ground board next year. Bob thanked them for their service and contributions to our organizations. 

School Committee Report (6:30) (Monica)

The school committee conferred by email to agree to ask the board to  approve the SY 2022-2023 School Calendar for Common Ground High School. The next meeting of the School Committee will be on Thursday, August 25th at 4:30 pm

Beth moved to approve the 2022-2023 CGHS Calendar, Errol seconded the motion to approve the 2022-23 Calendar. The Calendar was approved unanimously. 

New Business (6:32)

Joseph wanted to know if a system for staff exit interviews is currently set up. Monica said that all exiting staff are offered exit interviews by our HR department. 

Executive Session (6:34)

Babz moved to approve moving into executive session, Charles seconded the motion to move into executive session. The board moved into executive session at 6:35

The board returned from executive session at 7:19 and no votes were taken during executive session. 

Beth moved to renew Monica Maccera Filppu’s contract as the Executive Director for next year with a 4% increase, Alexis seconded this motion. Joseph Abstained. The motion to renew Monica’s contract was approved with one abstention

Adjourn (7:21)

Charles moved to adjourn this meeting. Errol seconded the motion to adjourn. The motion to adjourn was approved unanimously 

Next Meeting: Board of Directors Annual Meeting Tuesday, June 28, 2022 (via Zoom)

Annual Meeting of the Board: June 28, 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 June 24) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday,  June 27 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 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting. All submitted documents will be included in the publicly shared meeting minutes.


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