Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: June 26, 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

June 26, 2023 

Meeting Recording


Present: Bob Parker, Alexis Smith, Monica Maccera Filppu, Beth Klingher, Charles Negaro, Terri Snell, Gioia Connell, Errol Saunders, Alexis Smith, Abigail Roth, Michelle Sepulveda, Jeff Carter, Jen Burke

Staff: Elena Augusewicz, Bev Greene, Betsy Sneath, Rebecca Holcombe

Public: Shelly Hicks


Alexis called the meeting to order at 5:34pm

Public Comment (5:30pm): N/A

Business Requiring Approval (5:35pm)

Bob moved to approve the May Board Meeting Minutes, Abby seconded the movement to approve the minutes. May Board Meeting Minutes were approved unanimously. 

Minutes of the May Board Meeting

Invoices Needing Approval

Beth moved to approve all invoices as stated below, Jeff seconded the movement to approve all  invoices. The invoices were approved unanimously. 

  • Thurston Foods: $7924.94 
  • Corporate Systems Consulting $9333.00, Annual Managed Internal broadband fees. Offset by USAC funding $6375.00
  • STEAMTrain $6358.00 final payment (previously approved by Board)
  • Zangari Cohn: $946
    • $537.50 on CGHS Personnel matters
    • $408.50 for Union contract negotiations split between NHEP and CGHS

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

Monica presented the report attached above. 

Abigail asked if Board Members could learn more about the Charter Renewal process. Monica added a link to the “Charter Renewal Toolkit” below and will send it out to the board. Monica explained that we use that document to navigate Charter Renewal and prepare our report for submission. 

Included here and in the ED report

Executive Session (5:44pm)

Bob moved to enter into Executive Session, Jeff seconded the motion to enter into Executive Session. Executive session was approved unanimously and began at 5:44pm.

The board returned from Executive Session at 6:43pm

No votes were taken during executive session

Bob moved to renew Monica’s contract as the Executive Director for 2023-2024 year, Beth seconded the motion to renew Monica’s contract. The motion was approved unanimously. 

Audit Committee (6:44pm) 

No meetings until Fall 2023

Development Committee Report (6:45pm) (Alexis) 

Audrey met with some members of the Development Committee individually in order to prepare for the very successful fundraising party held at Charlie Negaro’s house. The Development Committee appreciates all the board members and Common Ground staff members who participated in the event – which to date has raised $80,000. The Development Team is currently preparing for Feast from the Fields and is seeking support from board members in securing sponsorships and inviting potential supporters to join us for the gathering.

Finance Committee Report (6:46pm) (Beth)

The finance committee met on June 15th  to review the  Budget vs Actuals as of May 31st and the Draft FY 24 Budget. Minutes of our meeting can be found here. For more info contact Beth Klingher.

The Finance Committee requests that the board approve the FY 24 Budget as shared above.

Jeff moved to approve the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget as presented, Abby seconded the motion to approve the Fiscal Year 2024 Budget. The 2024 Budget was approved unanimously. 

Governance Committee Report (6:51pm) (Bob)

The Governance Committee meeting scheduled for June 20th was postponed due to calendar conflicts. We bring forward for your approval tonight the following candidates for Board membership, with terms starting July 1, 2023 and ending on June 30, 2026:

Alisha Crutchfield-McLean – Application  Press

Monique Frasier – Application  Resume

Shelly Hicks – Application  Resume

Abigail moved to approve the board membership of all three candidates, Michelle seconded the motion to approve board membership for all candidates. The motion was approved unanimously. 

The next meeting of the committee is to be announced. For more info contact Bob Parker.

School Committee Report (6:53pm) (Monica)

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

New Business (6:53pm)

Adjourn (6:55pm)

Beth thanked Errol Saunders for his service to the Common ground Board of Directors over the past years, especially for helping us structure board minutes and meetings. This will be his last meeting as a board member. 

Jeff moved to adjourn the Board of Directors meeting, Errol seconded the motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned unanimously

Next Meeting: June 27th Annual Meeting, 5:30pm

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.


Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.