Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: Oct. 24, 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

Oct. 24, 2022

Meeting Recording


Present: Monica Maccera Filppu, Alexis Smith, Abigail Roth, Terri Snell, Charles Negaro, Carly Osborne, Errol Saunders, Chris Hayes, Kyeen Andersson, Peter Ludwig

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Joel Tolman, Iris Jiminez, Bev Greene, Cherry Paquette-Emmanuel, Crystal Fernandez, Deborah Greig,  Rebeca Holcombe, Dylan James 

Public: Ruben Felipe, Kara Neidhart, Cassandra Gallion


Alexis called the meeting to order at 5:34pm

Public Comment (5:34): No Public Comment

Business Requiring Approval (5:34)

Minutes of the September Board Meeting 

Charles moved to approve the September Board of Directors minutes, Abigail seconded the approval of the minutes. Minutes were approved unanimously

Invoices Needing Approval

Charles moved to approve the following invoices, Kyeen seconded the motion to approve all invoices. The invoices were approved unanimously 

  • Agilix- Buzz learning platform license, $5785.00 (budgeted expense)
  • Zangari Cohen- legal fees, $13,486.25 (budgeted expense)
  • Thurston Foods- Oct food for lunch/breakfast, $11605.30 (budgeted expense)

Executive Director Report (5:38pm) (Monica)

Monica introduced Ruben and Kara from the CT Charter Schools Association (CTCSA). They presented a slideshow to the board which is linked in the ED Report above. 

Audit Committee (6:11pm)  (Goia)

The Audit committee will schedule a meeting in November to review the draft audit. Betsy will coordinate this with audit committee members.

Building Committee (6:12pm) (Bev) 

The Building Committee is on pause because there are no current building projects requiring board approval. The Management Team will continue to collaborate internally on Site and Facilities issues and will re-convene the Board Building Committee as needed. 

Development Committee Report (6:13) (Charlie) 

The Development Director (Audrey) and Chair of the Development committee (Charlie) met on October 19th to make plans for the Development committee in FY 23 and end of year fundraising. Charlie let the board know that Audrey hired Lauren Ruotolo as a grant writer. Audrey is finalizing the numbers for Feast and said that it was very successful. The next big initiative is the end of year campaign that will go out at the end of December, they will be reaching out to board members for support. Charlie said that Audrey plans to host a board holiday party where board members can personalize letters to donors. Charles said that Audrey will be reaching out to board members when she’s back from vacation. 

Finance Committee Report (6:20) (Monica)

The Finance Committee met on October 21st to review Budget vs Actuals through September 30th  and EOY projections. The Finance Committee will meet next on Tuesday, October 22nd at 4:00 pm 

Monica explained that she and Betsy are in the midst of budget reviews with department managers. This helps us clean up the budget and adjust projections as needed. 

Governance Committee Report (6:39) (Monica)

The Governance Committee did not meet in October but will meet again on Tuesday, November 15th at 1:30 pm. 

School Committee Report (6:39pm) (Monica)

The School Committee did not meet in October. The Board members on the School Committee will be conducting a Special Meeting of the Board for a student disciplinary hearing in Executive Session at 4pm on October 27th. This meeting has been publicly posted and involved families have been notified. 

Patience Christopher was recently elected by her peers as the new student board member alongside Chris. She will be voted in at the next meeting. 

New Business (6:44pm)

No new business

Executive Session (6:44pm)

Kyeen moved that the board enter into executive session, Errol seconded the motion to enter executive session. The move was approved unanimously at 6:45pm. 

The board returned from executive session at 6:47pm

Adjourn (7:30)

Charlie moved to adjourn the meeting, Peter seconded the motion. The move to adjourn was approved unanimously

Next Meeting: Monday, November 28, 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, October 21) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, October 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 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting. All submitted documents will be included in the publicly shared meeting minutes.


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