Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: May 22, 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

Link to Meeting Recording: Zoom Recording

New Haven Ecology Project

May 22, 2023 

Present: Bob Parker, Monica Maccera Filppu, Beth Klingher, Charles Negaro, Michelle Sepulveda, Jen Burke, Terri Snell, Patience Christopher, Abigail Roth, Alexis Smith, Errol Saunders,  Ky Andersson, Peter Ludwig, Jeff Carter

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Rikki Brown, Taylar Hill, Bev Green, Rebecca Holcombe, Rachel Haymann, Karen Climis, Dylan James, Carla Lia, Monique Frasier, Joel Tolman, Rachel Sharnick, Diane Litwin, Mel Morales, Sierra Dennehy, Deborah Greig, Dr. Nash,  Nicole Pertelesi, Tim Casey, Victor Rios, Julie Ronson, Evan Green, Keith Riley, Chantel Allen, Marisa Misbach

Public: Monique Frasier, Tim Dutcher


Bob called the meeting to order at 5:33pm

Public Comment (5:33): No Public Comment

Business Requiring Approval (5:33)

Minutes of the April Board Meeting

Abby moved to approve the April Board Meeting Minutes, Michelle seconded the motion to approve the April minutes. The minutes were approved with three abstentions. 

Invoices Needing Approval

Jeff Carter moved to approve all invoices, Beth seconded the motion. The invoices were approved unanimously. 

Executive Director Report (5:37) (Monica)

Monica shared the presentation linked above. 

Monica presented a deep dive into the proposed 2023-2024 budget. 

Ky found a potential copy edit error from lines 134-194 under “working budget “ column, she also needs more detail around OCS

Mr. Mo was curious about the details of lines 116, 134, and 144. Monica asked Bev to record his questions and respond once she gets a chance to look into it. 

Audit Committee (6:20) 

No meetings until Fall 2023

Development Committee Report (6:20) (Alexis) 

The Development committee did not meet last month. Audrey has been working with members 1:1 and planning the June 11th gathering with Charles Negaro. Board members should plan to attend the event unless a conflict prevents them from doing so, and are asked to bring guests who are motivated to support our mission. Please reach out to Audrey in the next week with any additional guests you would like to bring to the event. Also: SAVE THE DATE! Feast is coming right around the corner, September 9+10th. All Board members are asked to attend. It’s very important we have you there! If you haven’t already, please send Aurora your names for the guest list.

Finance Committee Report (6:22) (Beth)

The finance committee met on May 9th and May 15th to review and prepare the draft FY 24 budget.  Budget vs Actuals as of April 30th were reviewed and discussed via email on May 16-17. Minutes of our meeting can be found here. Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 20th at 5pm. For more info contact Beth Klingher.

Governance Committee Report (6:23) (Bob)

The Governance Committee met on May 16th. Our discussion included three potential new board members, who we will introduce for a first read, links to their applications are below. We also discussed the status of our planned board survey and preliminary plans for strategic planning. The next meeting is scheduled for June 20th. For more info contact Bob Parker.

Alisha Crutchfield-McLean – Application  Press

Monique Frasier – Application  Resume

Shelly Hicks – Application  Resume

School Committee Report (6:25) (Monica)

The School Committee met on Monday, May 22nd to review/discuss the SY 23-24 calendar draft that has been reviewed by high school instructional teams. The School Committee recommends the board approves THIS DRAFT of the SY 23-24 calendar pending changing “school cancellation days to be reclaimed to Feb 20 and April 22” 

Jeff moved to accept the calendar pendingthe change to the cancellation day language, Ky seconded the motion to approve. The calendar was approved unanimously. 

New Business (6:31)

No new business

Executive Session (6:31)

Peter moved to enter into Executive Session. Jeff seconded the motion to enter into executive session. The move to enter into executive session was approved unanimously at 6:32pm. The board returned from Executive Session at 7:47    and indicated that no votes had been taken in Executive Session

Adjourn (7:48)

Kai motioned to adjourn the meeting. Jeff seconded the motion. The motion to adjourn was approved unanimously

Next Meeting: June 26th 

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 23rd ) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, June 26th) 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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