Commission Minutes

June 19, 2015


Present[in person] Bonnie Bagley, Ed Barrett, Laura Hudson, Gordon Liu, Richard Higgins, Ron Holmes, Mark Hews, Susan Lavigne, Elizabeth Hite, John Portela, Barbara Wentworth, David Wihry

Public Comment Period. None was offered.

Call to Order  
The meeting was called to order at 10:04 am by Chair Ron Holmes. There were no additions or deletions to the agenda. After introductions, the Commissioner quiz answer was revealed. Two board members submitted correct answers.

On behalf of the Board, Chairman Holmes presented Pam Zeutenhorst with a token of appreciation for her service at the Commission. Pam was contract staff at the Commission from 2007 through August 2008 when she became the training officer at the Commission. Unfortunately, federal funding for her position is no longer available so she is leaving at the end of July 2015. This is the last meeting she will attend as an employee. Pam noted she will stay connected to Commission work through her consulting around Service Enterprise. From now through the end of July she will be helping Maryalice wrap up the VISTA project.

Business Reports  
A. May Minutes
Draft of the minutes were posted. Moved by Hews to approve the minutes. Second by Bagley. Vote in favor - unanimous. 

B. Executive Committee (Holmes)
June meeting report was posted. Moved by Portela to accept the report. Second by Wentworth. Vote in favor - unanimous.

C. Board Development
Ron reported for Celeste. Nancy McKechnie has resigned from the Commission due to requirements of her new job in Bar Harbor. This will mean one more candidate (expert in services to disadvantaged youth) is needed. Still no movement on reappointments. There is a candidate for the seat requiring expertise in human services.

D. Grant Selection and Performance Task Force (Wihry)
1. Funding Recommendations for AmeriCorps State Formula awards.  
The Task Force completed the grant review and selection process for the AmeriCorps Formula funds. Commissioners were sent summaries and draft recommendations as part of the materials for this meeting. David Wihry, task force chair, presented the motions for action.

  • Moved by Wihry that Medical Care Development's AmeriCorps Somerset County Program be funded at the requested level of not more than $178,479 Federal Share, to be matched by at least $113,555 in local funds, supporting 13.06 member service years distributed over 20 slots pending corrections and the applicant's agreement to meet the five conditions outlined in the Commission Scoring Summary. Second by Portela. Vote in favor - unanimous.
  • Moved by Wihry that Regional School Unit 14, REAL School's SySTEM REAL Stem Service Learning Project be funded at the requested level of not more than $212,423 Federal Share, to be matched by at least $140,756 in local funds, supporting 16.86 member service years distributed over 35 slots, pending corrections and the applicant's agreement to meet the four conditions outlined in the Commission Scoring Summary. Second by Portela. Vote in favor - unanimous.
  • Moved by Wihry that Goodwill Industries of Northern New England, Multilingual Leadership Corps, be funded at not more than the maximum available $209,098 Federal Share, with the final amount pro-rated to the proposed match in local funds at the required rate of 60%, supporting 20.03 member service years distributed over 39 slots pending corrections and the applicant's agreement to meet the five conditions outlined in the Commission Scoring Summary. Second by Portela.

    Discussion noted the funding is the balance of monies allocated to Maine but the amount may be lower if the match is not corrected. Vote on motion - 10 in favor; 0 against; 1 abstention (Lavigne).

2. Recognition/appreciation of Peer Reviewers  
Wihry noted the Commission is very grateful to the peer reviewers who did quite a bit of work. Appreciation goes to Meaghan Arzberger, Rob Liscord, Jessica Flaherty, Kerry Corthell, and Laura Personette.

3. Maine AmeriCorps join pilot  
Ashmore reported that the Maine AmeriCorps programs are helping Franklin Project pilot the Service Year Xchange, a multifunctional web platform. The Xchange combines recruitment, documenting experience, and other AmeriCorps member focused services. The Maine program staff met with a representative of Franklin at the regional Connecticut conference.

4. Commission grant policy review
Wihry and Ashmore noted the Commission policy that limits AmeriCorps assistance to host sites to three years needs an update. The policy was developed when all grantees were placing members with partners. Now there is a grantee that places all members within a single school district and the policy is not clear on what is expected in this case.

E. Excellence and Expertise (Hews)  
Meeting notes were posted and no clarifications were requested. 

F. ASC Public Policy Committee (Holmes)
The committee meets several times a month by teleconference. Focus has been on the budget and appropriation due to changes in committee staff. The experienced people moved on and ASC needs to educate/brief the new staff. The House mark-up of CNCS budget has been done and it is very harsh. The Senate mark-up is expected next week. ASC is partnering with Voices for National Service when it comes to educational activities.

G. Blaine House Conference (Liu/Wihry/Crofton)  
The venue has moved to Thomas College but that requires a small increase in registration fees. The other change is that sessions will be longer so participants have more time to learn. The date is October 13, 2015.

H. Public Information and Education/ Public Policy (Portela)  
Commissioners were asked to sign letters of appreciation addressed to the sponsors of the MCCS bill. The task force is also working on setting up a "get to know National Service" meeting with Representative Poloquin.

I. MCCS Staff (Crofton/Ashmore)  
Over the summer, the major project on which staff will work are AmeriCorps Concept Papers, New Grantee Orientation, Service Enterprise Train-the-Trainers, compliance visits, and conferences. One conference presentation was facilitated by Betsy Fitzgerald. It is a session at the MMA gathering for town, city, and county managers. A recent graduate of Thomas college will work on public education activities starting in July and ending in December. The position is like an internship and Maryalice has been working with Thomas since March to set it up.

2. Project opportunities for pro bono or loaned exec assistance.  
Three volunteer or loaned executive opportunities had been sent to Commissioners. Active recruitment would be much appreciated.

J. CNCS field office (Hite)  
There is a new director for the Social Innovation Fund. In other news, there will be an NCCC team heading to Rangely for a project.

Focus on Mission/Responsibilities  
A. No business scheduled

Planning and Future Initiatives  
A. Priorities for AmeriCorps Concept Papers
Commission staff recommend the priorities for AmeriCorps concept papers be those areas not yet addressed by funded programs plus the potential youth summer of service proposed in appropriations language. There was support for the recommendation.

Business Wrap Up (Holmes)
Next business meeting is September 18, 2015.  
Motion by Portela to adjourn. Second by Bagley. Vote in favor - unanimous. The meeting adjourned at 11:47 am.