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Commission Minutes

October 16, 2015

Present: [in person] Ed Barrett, Scott Blake, Kevin Bois, Gordon Liu, Ron Holmes, Mark Hews, Mary-Anne LaMarre, Susan Lavigne, Rob Liscord, Elizabeth Hite, Barbara Wentworth 

Public Comment

During this period, new Commissioners Kevin Bois and Robert Liscord were sworn in by dedimus Heather Priest. Then they joined the board members to hear comments from members of the public who were present. 

Jo Orlando took the opportunity to inform the board of a significant change in Maine Conservation Corps operating costs. MCC is within a state agency. The State of Maine accounting has notified MCC they are no longer allowed to process the AmeriCorps members stipends through the state fiscal system. Going to a payroll or staffing service is going to entail a bill of many thousands of dollars. 

Joely Ross from Goodwill gave a brief over view of their operating status. They now have 4 AmeriCorps programs. 

At 10:16 am, the meeting was called to order by MCCS Chair Ron Holmes. After introductions of Commissioners, the quiz for board members was announced. Only Ed Barrett responded and he was correct. 

There were no additions or deletions to the agenda. The sole announcement concerned the AmeriCorps launch ceremony which follows this meeting. Mary-Anne LaMarre will be the host and represent the Commission. 

This meeting is the final one for a number of Commissioners whose terms ended in 2015. Chair Ron Holmes presented the following members with tokens of appreciation for their service and contributions to the mission of MCCS:

(in person) Scott Blake, Mary-Anne LaMarre, Susan Lavigne, Mark Hews
(in absentia) Kathy Billings, Lindsey Oliver, Bonnie Bagley, Andrew Matlins 

Business Reports

A. September Minutes (Holmes)
Draft of the September minutes were posted. Moved by Barrett to approve the minutes. Second by Hews. Vote in favor - 9; against - 0; abstain - 1 (LaMarre). 

B. Executive Committee meeting notes (Holmes)
The October meeting notes were posted. No one asked for clarifications. 

C. Board Development (Holmes)

Six recommended candidates have been submitted to the Governor for appointment consideration. Recently, three more seats opened so the total number of unfilled seats remains at five. Candidates are sought for these positions: a representative of National Service (Senior Corps), an expert in environmental volunteerism and service programs, a representative of a business with an employee volunteer program, someone with expertise in out-of-school youth, and someone 16-25 years old active in school/campus-based service or community volunteering. Commissioners were asked to help identify candidates on time to consider the last set of recommendations at the November 20 meeting. 

D. Excellence and Expertise (Hews)
The task force met this morning. Discussion items were largely about logistics and managing implementation of Service Enterprise. Time was spent identifying criteria for affiliate hubs. The notes will be posted for review in November. 

G. Blaine House Conference (Liu/Wihry/Crofton)
Just under 270 people attended and the early reviews are very positive. The venue change was a good decision. The largest hurdle was time by organizers because the intern resigned a week before the event. It was noted that the video premiered at the conference thanks to many volunteer hours of editing by Liu. He stepped in when no one else would agree to do the work as a volunteer. As for organizers, David Wihry again became de facto chair and three very dedicated volunteer managers stepped up: Jared McCannell, Michaele Bailey, and Meaghan Arzberger.


 H. Public Information and Education/ Public Policy (Portela)

Task force did not meet. 

I. MCCS Staff (Crofton/Ashmore)
There is not enough time to replace the intern and complete the work funded with a special one-time allocation to the Commission. Authority to use the funds expires on 12/31/2015. Pelin has agreed to increase her hours for 13 weeks to take on and complete the projects. In January, she will return to part-time status. The staff are also identifying positions for skilled volunteers and will post those by November 1. 

The organizing meeting of the Maine Volunteer Foundation is slated for October 23, 2015. Once the Foundation exists, the Commission will need to vote on designating it as the private support organization. This last action will complete the relationship connection outlined in the statute. 

Planning and Future Initiatives

A. Summary Report of September 2015 Strategic Plan review (Holmes)
The summary of comments and recommendations was posted with meeting minutes. Of note, 14 of the 18 high priority strategies from the Strategic Plan made progress over the past year. That is a very positive report and we are not always aware of the issues to celebrate because we are so focused on the tasks at hand.


 During the review work session, Commissioners recommended two actions which can be addressed today. One involved removing two service-learning strategies from high priority and the other is affirming a change in Service Enterprise to return the Commission focus to the nonprofit model. The service-learning strategies would be implemented if the opportunity arises. The Service Enterprise municipal model will be supported by the Commission but the work to adapt the model is being accomplished by United Way of Tri Valley Area. 

Motion by Barrett to remove two service-learning strategies from high priority and affirm changes in Service Enterprise strategies (report page 1, 3.c.3 and 3.c.5) to the nonprofit model. Second by Blake. Vote in favor - unanimous. 

Focus on Mission/Responsibilities

A. Overview of AmeriCorps member launch today (Crofton)
All Commissioners are invited to attend. Justice Joseph Jabar will be presiding over the ceremony and Mary-Anne LaMarre will host the event for the Commission. Representatives of the Congressional delegation are expected to attend with letters and messages for members. It should last about 30 minutes. 

Business Wrap Up (Holmes)
Next business meeting is November 20, 2015- Conference Room, Klahr Center, University of Maine Augusta. Moved by Blake to adjourn. Second by Bois. Vote in favor - unanimous. 

The meeting adjourned at 11:08 am.