The members convened at 3:30 p.m. using the virtual meeting technology.
PRESENT: Pam Proulx-Curry, Celeste Branham, Bill Guindon, Diane Lebson, Maryalice Crofton
It was noted that Luke is still overseas, Jenni is also out of state, and two other task force chair positions are in transition.
Looking ahead to what comes after the legislative study on transition of fiscal agents, Exec members discussed what would be the next pressing issue. There was consensus that, regardless of what the legislature does about fiscal agents, the next issue must be planning for the new Executive Director. There are three elements to this plan: what is the profile of the next Exec Director including expectations and qualifications, how does the profile fit into the state civil service system, and how soon could the search commence. Throughout the transition study, there’s been acknowledgement that the position needs to be reclassified and funding is an issue. This needs to be clarified and resolved. In any reclass, Commissioners need to ensure the position doesn’t become an appointee that would turn over with changes in the Secretary of State. For example, it may seem like a good idea to have Commission Exec be a Deputy Secretary but that could lead to the type of instability seen in states where the service commission turns over with each governor. The stability and solidity of this Commission is largely rooted in stability of staffing.
There was consensus that developing the profile needs to start in Executive Committee and not the Transition Task Force. It should be a work session with no other business and happen sooner rather than later (January or February). The draft profile can then go to the full board and Transition for discussion and finalizing. One eye needs to be on the emerging directions in the strategic plan but those should be evident by the consultant’s report out in March. Exec would like the new candidate to start before Maryalice’s retirement so there is some overlap.
The group agreed that the Transition Task Force should continue beyond the legislative action on the report. The consultant did a thorough review of staffing allocation of time and that portion of the study has not been a topic of discussion yet. There were some observations about the impact of insufficient admin support on staff time available for their assigned work.
A question was asked about the mechanics of a transition. Maryalice indicated that the steps are pretty mechanical and the last transition occurred with little impact on the board. The tasks took time but were not difficult. This time, everyone needs to pay attention to transfer of positions and all monies so nothing is lost.
Last note about Transition Task Force relates to December 8 meeting which is just 3 days after Exec Committee vote on report to legislature. Need to add question to the next meeting – should task force take a break in December and resume in January.
Unexpended funds in the Commission operating grant. As the end of the year approaches, the impact of the unfilled PIO position (person declined offer) and some frugal spending has created a significant pool of unexpended funds that can be put toward limited-period work. The Volunteer Sector Program Officer cannot be supported because the funds won’t recur and shifting the funding source would not support the position past six month. Three needs were listed and Exec Committee input sought. The needs are funding for research to update state volunteer sector data, partially restore outreach/public education budget which was eliminated for 2024, and temporary staff to upgrade financial operations in preparation for transition. Executive Committee members gave the outreach budget and financial assistance priority. Communications will have $10,000 to roll forward into 2024. In order to do the civic health report with NCOC, there has to be a funding partner who would provide the $30,000.
Commission strengths assessment report. The results were returned 2 days prior to Exec meeting. There is a lot to process and discuss. Maryalice noted that staff have the results and will discuss them at a December meeting. There isn’t enough time in this hour session so the question is how Exec wants to approach examining the results. All members indicated they need more time to reach and think about the report. They also agreed it needs to be shared with the strategic planning consultant so it is factored into appropriate section of that process.
Final decision on plan for a deep dive into results was made. Exec Committee, staff, and any interested Commissioners will meet after the Dec 15 business meeting to review and discuss. Need to set aside 90 minutes at least.
Staffing update. Kelsey’s last day is November 17. Commissioners are invited to a farewell on 11/15 at 3pm. Jake’s last day is November 30.
There being no other items to discuss, the members dispersed at 4:32 pm.