Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: Nov. 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

November 28, 2022

Meeting Recording

Present: Bob Parker, Monica Maccera Filppu, Errol Saunders, Beth Klingher, Peter Ludwig, Abigail Roth, Kyeen Andersson, Patience Christopher, Chris Hayes, Charles Negaro, Carly Osbourne

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Dylan James, Rebecca Holcombe, Bev Greene, Audrey Nefores, Iris Jiminez, Deborah Greig, Cherry Pacquette-Emmanuel

Bob Parker Called the Meeting to order at 5:34pm

Public Comment (5:34) 

No public Comment

Business Requiring Approval (5:34)

Abigail moved to approve the October board meeting minutes, Peter seconded the motion to approve these minutes. The minutes were approved with two abstentions.

Minutes of the October Board Meeting

Beth moved to approve Patience Christopher as the second student board member. Peter seconded this motion. The motion to  approve her board membership was approved unanimously. Chris Hayes also supported this movement

Invoices Needing Approval

Kyeen moved to approve all invoices listed below, Beth seconded the motion to approve invoices. Invoices were approved unanimously.

  • Zangari Cohn $9,809.75, Legal Fees
  • Powerschool $5,350.00, Kickboard Classroom behavioral support software subscription on top of regular powerschool subscription
  • Thurston Foods $11,088.77, cafeteria food for students including Thanksgiving

Executive Director Report (5:46) (Monica)

Monica encouraged board members to read through the full linked report if they hadn’t already. It includes lots of departmental updates and a new promotional video about the school.  

Audrey went over the upcoming activities that the Development Team is engaging in right now and how she is counting on the board to support end of year fundraising. LINK to presentation 

Audit Committee (6:00)  (Monica)

The final audit is still in progress with no firm completion date (other than December 30th deadline). Betsy will schedule a committee meeting for the week of December 12th in anticipation of its being ready for review by then. 

Building Committee (6:01) (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. 

Bob stated that the building committee portion of the meeting does not need to be listed in future agendas since there are no current projects being planned. 

Development Committee Report (6:01) (Charlie) 

The Development Committee will meet 11/30 to discuss progress towards our annual fundraising goals, our EOY appeal, and our annual Board Holiday Gathering happening Dec.5th from 6-7:30 PM.

Finance Committee Report (6:02) (Beth)

The Finance Committee met on November 22nd to review Budget vs Actuals through October 31st. The Finance Committee will meet next on Tuesday, December 15th at 5:00 pm 

Beth said there are two major changes since the last meeting. On the budget vs. actual tab there is a change to restricted net assets. Because accountants require it on the accounting statements our auditor recommended we move last year’s restricted net assets to the bottom of this report. We relabeled row 53 to add the projected net assets, it will be updated when we actually get the money for next year. This does not change the bottom line. 

The second change suggested by our auditor is seen on the assets and liabilities tab. We’ve removed inter organizational transfers to show a more accurate view of accounts payable and receivables.

Monica explained that we estimate the medical costs on this report, at this point in the year we are ⅓ of the way through. It’s tempting to look at actuals to project the rest of the year but we should not do that because benefits actually just started Oct.1. We will get a better estimate in January so we leave it flat until we have more information. 

Governance Committee Report (6:09) (Bob)

The Governance Committee met on November 15th to discuss new board member recruitment and onboarding as well as Executive Director Goal-setting and the strategic planning process. The committee will next meet on December 6th at 1:30.

School Committee Report (6:11) (Monica)

The School Committee did not meet in November as there were no agenda items.  

New Business (6:11)

No new business

Executive Session ( 6:11)

Abby moved that the board enter into Executive Session. Kyeen seconded this movement. The board voted to enter into executive session unanimously at 6:12pm. 

The board returned from Executive session at 6:28pm

Adjourn (6:29)

Errol moved to adjourn the meeting. Peter seconded the motion to adjourn. The meeting was unanimously adjourned at 6:29pm

Next Meeting: Monday, December 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 (Wednesday, November 23rd) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, November 2 8th) 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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