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Commission Minutes

November 20, 2015

Present: [in person] Edward A. Barrett, F. Celeste Branham, Kevin Bois, Gordon Liu, Richard Higgins, Ron Holmes, Robert M. Liscord, Elizabeth Hite

Public Comment  
Directors of three AmeriCorps programs shared information about their program activities with the Commissions. The three were Jo Orlando of Maine Conservation Corps, Joely Ross from the Goodwill AmeriCorps programs, and Kate Perkins from Somerset AmeriCorps.

The meeting was called to order by Chair Ron Holmes at 10:09 am. After introductions, Holmes announced that Richard Higgins is leaving the Commission and Maine for a job with FEMA in Boston. He presented Richard with a token of appreciation from the Commission and thanked him for his service both on the Commission and as a VISTA with MCCS.

Following the presentation, the winners of the Commissioner Quiz were recognized. Notably there were several new participants. Holmes then noted a quorum was not present so there could not be any votes on business. There was one addition to the agenda. The Grants task force was accidentally omitted and they have a report.

Business Reports  
A. October Minutes (Holmes)  
A draft of the October minutes was posted. Those present did not offer corrections or request clarifications. Acceptance of the minutes will be held for the next meeting (January 2016).

B. Board Development (Branham)  
The candidates submitted for the Governor's consideration were selected for appointment and the posting occurred on November 17. The appointees include new people and reappointments. Presuming everyone gets sworn in on time, there will be four vacancies remaining including Richard Higgins' seat. Two applicants have been identified. Board Development will consult with Executive Committee in December with the goal of forwarding a final set for appointment this year.

New Commissioner Orientation will begin in January 2016. There will be a poll to determine what time is best.

Ron commented that he will appoint new Commissioners to task forces in January after he consults with them regarding their preferences.

C. Grant Selection and Performance (Barrett)
The task force distributed the description of grant review it developed. The document was requested by Commissioners who don't serve on the task force but occasionally volunteer to help with the reviews. No one present had comments or requests for clarifications.

The timeline for the current AmeriCorps grant competition was reviewed. Proposals are due on December 9 and recommendations will come to the Commission for vote on January 15. As always, the timeframe is very tight and it will be very important to have a quorum in January.

It was also noted that Take2 AmeriCorps is now officially part of the Maine portfolio and the program is starting up. The director is Sandy Goss.

D. Excellence and Expertise (Higgins)
The Task Force has developed the one-page overview of Service Enterprise with an outline of Commission responsibilities and duties of partners. No one present offered comments or requests for clarifications. The document is intended for use with internal and external audiences.

E. Public Information and Education/ Public Policy (Higgins)
Meeting notes were posted. No clarifications were requested.

F. CNCS Update (Hite)
There is a new Senior Companion program director at UMaine Center on Aging. The national director for VISTA has stepped down and left the agency. The Atlantic region all-CNCS conference will be in Massachusetts early in 2016.

G. MCCS Staff (Crofton/Ashmore)
1. Status of program final results for grants ending 2015. Commissioners asked that the report be emailed again. It wasn't accessible to everyone. The document is a copy of the final report submitted to CNCS at the close of the grant year and reflects AmeriCorps program performance.  
2. Status of Governor's Service Awards. Nominations are open for all three types of awards (individual categories, youth roll of honor, adult roll of honor). The youth volunteer roll of honor may have an exclusive sponsor. The outcome of their consideration should be known next week. Sponsors are needed for the individual ceremony and adult volunteer roll of honor. Right now, Maryalice is organizing it all. Assistance is needed.  
3. David Wihry will represent the Commission at a CNCS research and evaluation meeting in Washington on December 16. Everyone is very appreciative of David's willingness to do this.

Planning and Future Initiatives 
A. MCCS budget for 2016 (Holmes)  
The Commission operating budget for 2016 was reviewed but, due to lack of a quorum, could not be formally approved. There were no requests for changes. 

 Focus on Mission/Responsibilities 
A. Proposed schedule for Task Force briefings (Holmes)  
One action item coming out of the September work session is to have each task force brief the full Commission on its work and the status of its strategic plan progress. Coincidentally, this will help with orientation of seven new Commissioners. Chair Holmes set the following as the schedule for spring: PIE in January; Grant Selection and Performance in February or March (one meeting will be cancelled); and Excellence and Expertise in April.

Business Wrap Up  
A reminder was given that a quorum is essential in January so votes on grant recommendations can occur. The meeting adjourned at 10:56 am.