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Commission Minutes

February 18, 2011

STAFF PRESENT:  Maryalice Crofton, Brad Hunter, Rochelle Runge, Pam Zeutenhorst, Katie Klein, and Aline Lachance.

GUESTS:  Tim Glidden, Bob Kautz, Dolly Sullivan, Cati Mitchell, Linda Shapleigh, Joely Ross, and Heather Stott


QUIZ  All folks responding answered correctly. 

ANNOUNCEMENT(S)  Pam Zeutenhorst introduced new VISTA Leader Katherine (Katie) Klein to the Commission.  She will be with the Commission for one year and take on Brad’s duties of coordinating the VISTA team.


Maine Coalition for Excellence in Educations Partnership (MCEE)

Prepare Maine Initiative 
·  Presentation made by Dolly Sullivan and Bob Kautz.  The Maine Coalition for Excellence in Education is an alliance of business and education leaders that advocate for standards-based education which provides for a stronger economy, better jobs, and a brighter future for Maine.
· The Maine Development Foundation put together the coalition in 1990 who purpose was to help Maine’s economy grow and set about as to how to achieve this goal.  One way was to increase higher education.
·  The problem facing Maine is that roughly 3,800 students didn’t graduate from high school on time;
·  student test scores in Maine are falling with fewer than half of 11th graders meeting basic learning standards in math, science, reading, or writing;
· childhood programs like Head Start serve only a third of the children eligible;
·  between 25% and 44% of Maine students who go on to college require remedial courses; and among New England states, Maine has the lowest income levels because we have the lowest education attainment levels.  

 To achieve their vision in preparing Mainers for success, they plan on focusing on: 
· EDUCATE.  Increase public understanding and move people to action;
· ORGANIZE.  Build on early childhood through lifelong learning advocacy network at the state and local levels, which engaging candidates with innovative business, parent, and student-driven events; 
·  MOBILIZE.  Equip Mainers with the tools and information they need to take action and demand educational quality, opportunity, and success for every student; and
· ACHIEVE.  Promote and enact best practices and smart policies that will prepare all Mainers for success in college, career, citizenship, and life.

MCEE received no Federal or State funding; all private donations.  Their office is located in Augusta.

Today, MCEE is seeking a commitment from MCCS to partner with them.   A motion was made by Judi Stebbins and seconded by Phil Crowell to approve this partnership with MCEE.  Vote was unanimous.

Based on the motion, MCCS will place a link to Prepare Maine’s web site on our web page.

An Overview of the Governor’s Budget proposals for SPO and impact on MCCS  (Glidden)

·  In the Governor’s Budget Proposals, Part FF proposes to eliminate the State Planning Office as a separate office within the Executive Department effective January 1, 2012.  It establishes a working group to develop proposed legislation to transfer responsibilities from the State Planning Office of other departments and agencies within the executive branch.  It also provides the necessary transition provisions.  

LD 681 update (LaMarre)
· There is also a bill drafted entitle "An ACT to Clarify the Operation of the Maine Commission for Community Service" up for discussion which moves the administrative support for the commission from the Executive Department to the Office of the Secretary of State along with recommended changes to  operational function.
· List of the Joint Standing Committee on State and Local Government members distributed. Not only is this the MCCS oversight committee but it is also the committee which will hear the bill.  Public Hearing hasn’t been scheduled, yet. As of yet, MCCS has received no advice from the Governor’s Office on whether they want us to support, oppose, or be neutral.
· The sponsor is Rep. Moulton of Cape Neddick. Besides moving the Commission to Secretary of State, the bill’s provisions would limit board meetings to four per year; prohibit MCCS having general funds; authorize study of “burden on municipalities” by receiving the national service grants; ban recipients of grants from charging fees to volunteers.
·  In order to clarify what the provisions mean (e.g., it’s not legal to charge National Service participants fees for training or applications), the chair and executive director hope to meet with Representative Moulton before the hearing.

Update on Federal & State Legislative Issues (McLean)

· The Continuing Resolution passed by the House of Representatives (Washington) eliminates funding for CNCS for the rest of the fiscal year. Only enough money to close down operations is appropriated. The Senate is now dealing with the funding issues. 
· Community agencies have been organizing but also need “Letter to the Editor” campaign – make the program visual, newspapers; etc.
· February 25th is designated as a nationwide “visit district offices” day by the Save Service campaign. Everyone is urged to contact Maine’s Congressional Delegation; this is a big deal for Maine – we cannot afford to lose the critical services that these program provide in our community.

Executive Committee  (LaMarre)

1) Staffing update -- The vacant Training Coordinator position was frozen the day after advertising closed. Those who volunteered to help with interviews have their time back. 
2) Authority to Act during months the board does not meet -- The weather cancellation last month showed the need for the Executive Committee to have authority to act on behalf of the board. A motion made by Judi and seconded by Andrew Matlins to give the Executive Committee the authority to act on behalf of the board when pressing business cannot wait for the next board meeting.   Vote unanimous. 
3) Task Force Meetings, Attendance -- The chair asked Commission members to put task force meetings in their calendars. Several task forces are struggling with attendance. It’s more productive when members are present.

Grants (Dorman)

· Board action is required to affirm last month’s funding awards.  The grant decisions were discussed on the conference call last month. A vote wasn’t possible because a quorum wasn’t in the publicly announced room even though a majority of members participated via phone. The competitions effected are Volunteer Generation fund and service-learning.
      o The grant competition for Time Warner service learning monies was complete. Two service learning grants awarded to MSAD 17 and Sanford.
      oVolunteer Generation Fund grants awarded to Maine Sea Coast Mission, United Way of Eastern Maine, United Way of Mid Coast Maine, United Way of the Tri Valley Area, United Way of Greater Portland, United Way of York County, Faith In Action (Ellsworth).

A motion was made by Joan McDonald and seconded by Ron Holmes to approve last month’s action. Vote was unanimous.

· Grants also reviewed and recommends a process for submitting comments to CNCS on grant proposals from national organizations that would place AmeriCorps members in Maine (called National Direct grantees). The Commission gets to comment and support, oppose, or be neutral on each. A motion was made by Judi Stebbins and seconded by Andrew Matlins to move forward with the task force recommendation.  Vote was unanimous. 

Public Information and Education (McLean)

·Rochelle distributed final version of the Key Message and copies of the new brochure card about MCCS to members. More of the brochure cards are available if members want to distribute.
· Governor’s Service Award process is coming along very well. The selection panels are meeting. Still need funding; we need to raise $5,000. Letters have been sent to potential sponsors.

Excellence & Expertise Report (Matlins)

·Having trouble meeting; get together after today’s meeting to reset schedule.
·This year’s Blaine House Conference on Service and Volunteerism is a special high profile event because it is the 25th. 
· Need more board members involved – Drew was the only MCCS member on the planning team last year.

Service-Learning (LaMarre/Ashmore)

·Minutes from last month were not posted so oral report given. Task force to meet the 3rd Friday of each month, after board meeting. Presently compiling list of invitees for stakeholder group to work on vision and plan for service-learning; then host meeting.

Board Development/Status of Appointments (Dorman)

·Nominations remain pending. Have nominated 5 – including 3 for reappointment. All paperwork re-submitted in January to new head of Boards and Commissions, Michael Hersey.
·Retreat planning needs to start but members of task force haven’t been able to get together. To remedy, the group has established a regular meeting time -- 2nd Friday of the month; 9:00 a.m.  Based on feedback, intend to engage last year’s facilitator.

Ad-Hoc Resource-Partnership Development  (LaMarre)

·         The group did meet and spent time understanding MCCS funding and opportunities to create match. Need to identify $100,000 by October 2012.

CNCS update (Smart)

· Operating under Continuing Resolution through March 4th
· MCCS will manage the 26 Maine placements under new round of VISTA awards. Need to recruit now the positions awarded to sites in November along with VISTA team leaders. Everything is very challenging right now.

Campus Compact VISTA in Maine (Catherine Mitchell)

Cati Mitchell spoke to Board members about the program which is a coalition of 18 member college campuses. The purpose is to catalyze and lead a movement to reinvigorate public service, improve community life, and educate students for civic and social responsibility.  They offer:

· Professional Development for Faculty and staff;
· Sponsor AmeriCorps VISTAs to support anti-poverty and college access and success initiatives;
· Provide consultants for technical assistance and training designed to meet the needs of faculty, administrators, or Community Service Directors;
· Scholarships from the National Service Trust (Students in Service AmeriCorps Ed Award program);
· Maine Campus Compact Awards (the Donald Harward Award for Faculty Service Learning Excellence) for three Maine faculty;
· The Heart & Soul Award (to six undergraduates who have led others in exemplary service to their communities);
· Maine Campus Compact Steering Committee which meets to help shape MCC programs and learn from each other by sharing their experiences in helping campuses implement and sustain civic engagement initiatives;
· Offer mini-grants to campuses to sponsor Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service programs; and
· MCC Faculty Fellowships through a grant from the Finance Authority of Maine (offering 8 Faculty Fellowships for service-learning focused on the issue of college access). 
They are looking to get more campuses to join each year.

Adjourned:  Noon

Motion to adjourn made by Andrew Matlins; second by Ron Holmes. Vote was unanimous.