Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: April 24, 2023

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

April 24th, 2023 

Zoom Recording


Present: Bob Parker, Monica Maccera Filppu, Abigail Roth, Patience Christopher, Gioia Connell, Michelle Sepulveda, Terri Snell, Jennifer Burke, Jeff Carter, Charles Negaro, Kyeen Andersson (6:00pm), Alexis Smith (6:02pm)

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Dr. Niki Sturgis-Nash, Bev Greene, Rebecca Holcombe, Joel Tolman, Crystal Fernandez


Bob Called the meeting to order at 5:35pm

Public Comment (5:35): N/A

Business Requiring Approval (5:35)

Abigail moved to approve the minutes of the March board meeting, Michelle seconded that motion. The March Board of Directors minutes were approved unanimously. 

Minutes of the March Board Meeting

Invoices Needing Approval

Jeff moved to approve the invoices as listed below, Abigail seconded the motion to approve both invoices. The invoices were approved unanimously.

  • Zangari-Cohn Legal fees for services rendered in March : $9911.50
    • $4,385.50 for CGHS NLRB matter
    • $5,526 for org-wide contract negotiations 
  • Thurston Foods: $11253.07

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

Monica gave a synopsis of the report included in the link. There is info about a mural being added to the Hilltop hallway, Rock to Rock fundraising and our recent community service day. 

Bev shared a presentation of the findings related to the recent Campus Safety and Security audit that was performed by the Dept. of Homeland Security and Rick Fontana from the City of New Haven Department of Homeland Security. It included goals for improving safety across campus and solutions to the concerns addressed in the audit. The development department is submitting a State Security Grant Application that will help us to offset the costs of these projects in the coming year. 

Audit Committee (6:00pm) 

No meetings until Fall 2023

Development Committee Report (6:00pm) (Monica) 

The Development Committee will tentatively meet May 4th. The development team is 35% of the way towards their ambitious $50K fundraising goal for Rock to Rock, which is only 5 days away. Additionally, the Great Give is happening May 3-4th. Audrey will be emailing all board members with a list of easy ways  to support both Rock to Rock and the Great Give this week!

Finance Committee Report (6:02pm) (Jeff)

The finance committee met on April 19th to review  Budget vs Actuals as of March 31st with EOY projections  Minutes of our meeting can be found here. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, May 9th at 5pm. For more info contact Beth Klingher.

Governance Committee Report (6:05) (Bob)

The Governance Committee met on April 18th to discuss the recruitment of new board members, a board survey and other board engagement ideas. The next meeting is scheduled for May 16th. For more info contact Bob Parker. There is open board recruitment information on the website for new members. Chris Hayes has resigned from the board as a student representative. The board wishes to thank Chris for his service to the board for three years. 

School Committee Report (6:09) (Monica)

There was no school committee meeting in April as there were no agenda items. 

Monica stated that NHPS has released their 2023-2024 school calendar for next year, The School Leadership team is reviewing two drafts based on the NHPS version.  Monica expects the new school calendar to be brought to the board for a vote by the May meeting after collecting feedback and buy-in from staff.

New Business (6:11pm)

None at this time

Executive Session (6:12pm)

Jeff moved that the board move into Executive session, Michelle seconded the motion. The board voted to move into executive session unanimously at 6:12pm

The board returned from Executive Session at 6:29pm

In the executive session it was noted that the Board List on the school Website could use updates, Elena will make those changes.

Adjourn (6:30pm)

Charles moved to adjourn the meeting, Kyeen seconded the motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned unanimously at 6:32pm. 

Next Meeting: May 22nd

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, April 21st) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, April 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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