Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: Aug 29, 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

August 29, 2022 

Zoom Recording

Present: Bob Parker, Monica Maccera Filppu, Beth Klingher, Abigail Roth, Carly Osbourne,  Charles Negaro, Errol Saunders, Peter Ludwig, Terri Snell, Alexis Smith, Gioa Connell, Chris Hayes

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Audrey Nefores, Ana Rosa, Bev Greene, Shenequa Sturgis-Nash, Dylan James, Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe, Cherry Paquette-Emmanuel, Mark Loalbo, Crystal Fernandez, Deborah Greig 


Bob Called the meeting to order at 5:34pm

No public Comment

Public Comment (5:30) (two minutes per person for a total time limit of 30 minutes, or by email; see instructions below) Sign up for Public Participation HERE

Business Requiring Approval (6:00)

Minutes of the June Board Meetings  June 27, June 28

Charles moved to approve the June 27 Board of Directors Minutes, Beth seconded the motion to approve the minutes. The Jube 27th Board of Directors Minutes were approved with Peter Abstaining.

Charles moved to approve the June 28th minutes, Alexis seconded the motion to approve the minutes. The Jone 28th Board of Directors Annual Meeting Minutes were approved with Errol and Peter abstaining. 

Invoices Needing Approval

Errol moved to approve all invoices, Peter seconded the motion. The motion to approve all of the following invoices was approved unanimously.

Zangari Cohn  $30,141.13 (includes June and July Services)

Corporate Systems Consulting $33,120.00 Student Chromebooks, $32,000 of this will be offset with ECF USAC Money

Corporate Systems Consulting  $9,490.00 new Staff laptops to replace old/broken hardware

Cedar Structures $25,000 custom outdoor classroom using CDBG money (Approved by city); no invoice yet as the structure has not been built.

HAFSCO $21,597.80 New walk in Cafeteria Freezer installation. Was approved with 8 Yea votes from board members and approval from the Finance Committee via email. Had to be approved in advance of this meeting to begin work and order parts before the start of the school year. 

Executive Director Report (6:30) (Monica )

Monica gave a general overview of some staffing changes and tech updates in the school. The state released a report about learning loss over the pandemic. CG has some challenges but our pandemic learning loss is not as significant as other local schools. All that data is publicly reported by the state. We are currently mask optional based on the decision made by the City of New Haven for NHPS.

Audit Committee (7:00)   

The Audit committee did not meet in July or August. The Audit is in progress now and we will have a draft audit to start reviewing by October 1. 

Building Committee (7:00) (Bev) 

The Building Committee will meet in September with water management experts from NRCS to review their recommendations for site improvements to manage water run-off. 

Development Committee Report (7:00) (Audrey)

Audrey shared a powerpoint about the upcoming Feast from the Fields. It’s Sept. 17 and Sept. 18th. She encourages the Board to use this time to bring friends, family, and professional connections to campus and to get to know CG.

Finance Committee Report (7:05) (Beth)

The Finance Committee met on August 25th to discuss the audit timeline and process for revising finance policies and procedures. The Finance Committee will meet again at 5pm on Tuesday, September 13th. 

Governance Committee Report (7:15) (Bob)

The Governance Committee met on August 18th. Topics included potential new board members and several new items to be considered for future bylaws revisions. For further information, contact Bob Parker

School Committee Report (7:15) (Monica)

The school met today, August 29th, to review the SY 2022-2023 Student Handbook and recommend it for board approval as well as to discuss School Committee membership and the teacher member of the board. 

Beth moved to approve the School Committee’s recommendation to approve the Student Handbook, Errol seconded the motion to accept this recommendation. The motion was approved with two opposing votes. 

New Business (7:20)

Executive Session

Peter moved to enter into executive session, Alexis seconded this motion The board entered into Executive Session at 6:45pm

The board returned from Executive Session at 7:09pm

Bob asked the board to vote on how meetings through December will be conducted

Abigail moved to continue having September through December meetings on Zoom. Alexis seconded that motion. The motion to continue meeting on zoom was approved unanimously. 

Bob stated that he will move forward with conversations with Enroue Halfkenny who has offered a listening session for the board and for individual board members in his role as Environmental Leader in Residence. This would be a retreat style session and would not be a public meeting. 

Adjourn (7:30)

Peter moved to adjourn the meeting, Charles seconded the motion to approve. The meeting was adjourned unanimously at 7:15pm

Next Meeting: Monday, September 19th 2022 at 5:30 pm via Zoom

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, August 26th) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, August 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  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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