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Commission Minutes

October 20, 2016

Present: [in person] Edward Barrett, F. Celeste Branham, Ross Cunningham, Mandela Gardner, Elizabeth Hite, Ron Holmes, Rob Liscord, John Portela, Barbara Wentworth, David Wihry, Joseph Young

Public Comment Period. Commission Chair Portela invited comment from the public. Joely Ross of Goodwill Industries of Northern New England introduced herself but made no remarks. (Portela)

Commission Chair Portela called the meeting to order at 10:07 am. After Commissioners introductions, the Commissioner quiz was addressed. One correct submission was received. Announcements consisted of introducing guests who are interested in serving on the Commission: Adam Lacher, Denise St. Peter, and Julie Hashem. There were no additions or deletions to the agenda.

Planning and Future Initiatives

A. Maine Volunteer Foundation update (McCannell)
Commissioners had requested a status update on the operations of the Maine Volunteer Foundation. Jared McCannell, the foundation secretary, attended to make the report. He shared written summary of events since MVF was incorporated on October 23, 2015. Accomplishments were all related to set up activities with the highlight being the IRS nonprofit determination which happened in just 60 days. The last piece to put in place is board errors and omissions insurance. Without it the board has been advised to not pursue any grants or fundraising. The annual appeal will hopefully raise enough (just under $900). 

Business Reports
A. September Minutes. (Portela) The minutes from September were posted. It was noted that several routine motions did not include the names. All present agreed the votes were accurate but no one recalled who made the motions or seconded them. In the end, it was moved by Young to approve the minutes as posted. Second by Holmes. Vote on the motion: 8 in favor, 0 opposed, 2 abstentions (Gardner and Branham).

B. Executive Committee. (Portela) The meeting notes from October were posted with the agenda. No requests for clarification were made. It was noted that the recommendations for appointments to the Commission are still pending in the Governor’s Office. There is a change in staff and Portela has spoken with the appointments director. Moved by Liscord to accept the report of Executive Committee. Second by Wihry. Vote on the motion: unanimous in favor.

C. ASC Update (Holmes)  There is no change. ASC is still focused on the budget which won’t see action until after the election and reauthorization.

D. Grant Selection and Performance(Wihry) The task force tried to meet twice in the past ten days without success. It will meet after the retreat to review the compliance report from CNCS.

E. Excellence and Expertise (Wentworth) October meeting notes posted. The short description of Service Enterprise has been finalized. It’s referred to as the key message and can be used to explain Service Enterprise to the public or partners.

F. Public Information and Education/ Public Policy. Meeting notes were posted. The task force still needs a chair. After review of the Commission input and purpose of various activities, the members recommend limiting Commission involvement in outreach events to specific set. The relationship between the activity and MCCS core work was outlined in an attachment to task force minutes.  Moved by Young to accept the task force recommendations on activities. Second by Ron. Vote on the motion: unanimous in favor.  

G. Blaine House Conference Report (Wihry) The conference was held October 11 and did reach 240 registrants. About one-third registered after discounts expired. There seems to be an increase in “just-in-time” planning among those who attend. Initial feedback to the conference committee was very positive. Among the images posted on the Commission gallery are two slides with some data about those who attended. The Champion of Service award presentation to Joel Russ happened during a plenary session and he was quite touched by it. The organizers included Commissioners Mandela Gardner, David Wihry, and Nicki Pellenz along with MVF representative Jared McCannell and community volunteers Michaele Baily, Kerrie Keller, and Laura Personnette.

H. CNCS Regional Office. (Hite) CNCS celebrated the start of service of the 1,000,000th AmeriCorps member at the launche ceremony in Washington on October 7. Senior Companions at UMaine Center on Aging has a new director. Senior Corps grant renewals and monitoring season is going into its busy season. CNCS is organizing national events for Veterans pinning ceremonies, Martin Luther Kind Day, and Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service.

I. MCCS Staff. (Crofton) The hiring freeze exemption was granted and the process of filling the Planning and Research Associate position is underway. It is civil service so the candidates will be pulled from a list by HR. The goal is to have the last person in place before the end of the year and start with all active positions filled.

The Maine request for proposals was published last week. This competition for AmeriCorps State proposals is limited to the version where federal priorities take precedence. Again, the submission date on the federal level means the peer reviewers and grants task force will be busy throughout December. Proposals are due to MCCS on November 30.

Focus on Mission/Responsibilities  
November meeting notice (Portela) The November Commission meeting will include a briefing by Assistant Attorney General Sarah Forster on the special rules governing public boards and commissions. Other business items will appear in the usual agenda materials.

There being no other business, the meeting adjourned at 11:10 am.