Common Ground Board of Directors Meeting Minutes: August 28, 2023

This Meeting was be held in person at Common Ground: 358 Springside Ave. New Haven 

(Outdoor Picnic Pavilion)

There is no Zoom link or recording for this meeting 


New Haven Ecology Project

August 28th  


Present: Monica Maccera Filppu, Terri Snell, Jeff Carter, Alexis Smith, Monique Frasier, Shelly Hicks, Peter Ludwig, Jennifer Burke, Alicia Crutchfield

Staff: Samatha Townsend, Kascia Williams, Esther Chiang, Rebecca Holcombe, Elena Augusewicz, Bev Greene, Audrey Nefores, Joel Tolman, Cherry Pacquette-Emmanuel, 

Public: Brian Kelahan

Alexis Called the meeting to order at 5:39pm


There was no public comment

Business Requiring Approval (5:42pm)

Minutes of the June 26th Board Meeting Jeff moved to approve the minutes, Jenn seconded the motion to approve the meeting minutes. The minutes were approved with one abstention. 

Minutes of the June 27th Annual Meeting Jeff moved to approve the minutes, jenn seconded the motion to approve. The minutes were approved with one abstention

Invoices Needing Approval

Jeff moved to approve all invoices as listed, Shelly seconded the motion to approve. The invoices were approved unanimously. 

Executive Director Report (5:44pm) (Monica)

Monica gave an overview of the presentation linked here. She explained how she structures the report and encouraged people to let her know if there’s other data that they would want included in the future. 

Cherry spoke about her vision for the stipend position called Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist which will be filled by current staff member, Candi Fulcher. Cherry also explained the positions that she’s currently hiring for and what grades each position correlates to. 

Audit Committee (6:14pm) 

No meetings until Fall 2023: FY 23 Audit in progress

Development (Feast) Committee Report (6:14pm)  (Audrey)

Audrey and her team have met with the Feast Committee 2x times a month for the past 2 months including 1:1 meetings with different committee members. Audrey encouraged all board members to let her know as soon as possible if you are planning to attend. 

Finance Committee Report (6:15pm) (Jeff)

The finance committee met on August 24th  to review the Unaudited Budget vs Actuals as of June 30, 2023 and a Revised Accounting Manual. For more info contact Jeff Carter.

Jeff moved to approve the accounting manual, Peter seconded the motion. The accounting manual was approved unanimously: The Finance Committee requests that the board approve the revised Accounting Manual

Jeff noted that Abby Roth has left the board and will no longer be on the Finance Committee. 

Governance Committee Report (6:19pm) (Alexis)

The Governance Committee met on August 22nd  to discuss new members and committee structure for FY 24. Bob will lead an ad hoc Strategic Planning Committee and is looking for Board Member volunteers. We bring forward for your approval tonight the following candidates for Board membership, with terms starting September 1, 2023 and ending on June 30, 2025:

Jeff moved to accept both Liz Cox and Brian Kelahan to the Common Ground Board of Directors. Peter seconded the motion to accept both individuals on to the Board of Directors. The new board members were approved unanimously.

Ky has agreed to serve as Acting co-chair through the end of the calendar year, at which time the Board will seek volunteers among its members for a second co-chair. 

The next meeting of the committee is on September 12th.  For more info contact Bob Parker.

School Committee Report (6:26pm) (Monica)

The School Committee met on August 23rd to review school-specific policies prior to presenting to the Board. The School Committee asks that the Board approve the following

Terri moved to approve the changes to the calendar and the student handbook, Peter seconded the motion to approve changes to the calendar and student handbook. The motion was approved unanimously.

New Business (6:32pm)

Proposal to move April board meeting from April 22 to April 29 to reduce conflict with Passover. 

Peter moved to approve the proposal to move the April board meeting from April 22 to April 29, Shelly seconded the motion to move the meeting. The calendar change was approved unanimously. 

Executive Session (6:35pm)

Shelly moved to enter into executive session, Peter approved the motion to enter into executive session. The motion was approved unanimously. 

Adjourn (7:56pm)

Jeff moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:56pm. Peter seconded the motion to adjourn. The move to adjourn was approved unanimously. 

Next Meeting: September 18th

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, August 25th ) and will close at 5:00 pm on the day of the meeting (Monday, August 28th) 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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