March 2, 2012
PRESENT: Mary-Anne LaMarre, Ron Holmes, Eileen Smart, Joan McDonald, Maryalice Crofton
MCCS Staff meeting with Dept of Ed - update
Commission staff met with the Dept. of Education Chief of Staff, Valerie Seaberg, on Tuesday (February 28). Commission member Kristie Littlefield sat in on the meeting. It was helpful to make the connections and have reaffirmed that MCCS will need to set up its own systems, obtain office equipment, and use the State Board of Education model of operation. DOE was not aware there are 8 MCCS people to house. It was noted that Commissioner Bowen has cancelled his meeting with the MCCS board and asked that it be rescheduled for after the end of the legislative session which is around April 18th.
New SPO director update
Maryalice shared some information from office meetings with the new Director of State Planning Office, Pete Rogers. Although the legislation to move SPO programs and affiliates to new agencies has not been introduced, the physical break up of the office is moving forward. The current building will have a new use and all current occupants need to be out before the end of May. Pete is setting up meetings with the receiving agencies to discuss the changed timeline. For MCCS this is particularly important because no location has been identified as our next office.
Finances for MCCS
The revised operational budget for the MCCS office was submitted. This revision was needed when the final appropriation from Congress cut 20% of the support grant and 90% of training funds from the CNCS budget. This is not the last revision for MCCS operations for 2013 because, in transferring to Dept of Education the budget will have to be revised to show the expenses MCCS will be charged. There is no clear indication of what the Dept of Education's indirect covers. Discussions with DOE representatives has revealed that their indirect rate does not cover items that were included in the State Planning rate. Examples are printers and copiers.
Testimony to both the Appropriations Committee and State and Local Government Committee included statements that the $40,000 cash would become $40,000 in-kind. Which expenses will be included as in-kind is not certain.
This year's office budget will be very much a changing "flight plan" and nothing will be settled until at least mid-July. The Planning and Research Associate position will remain unfilled. The three Senior Planners and Executive Director position will continue, however it needs to be noted that one of the Senior Planners is 75% VISTA and that supervision money is not on-going funding.
Because of the funding reductions, the New Hampshire state commission is not able to commit to a joint retreat this year. Members of the Exec Committee went on to have a discussion about what issues MCCS may need to focus on in the annual board retreat. While July came out as a viable option in the poll of members, the dust will not have settled on many of the issues the board is likely to discuss. As an example, the change of fiscal agents to DOE will not take place until July 1.
A consensus was reached that the Commissioners should be asked if they'd be willing to move the retreat to August this year. That would have the added benefit of being able to invite nominees who have cleared the background checks done by the Governor's Office.
Grants Task Force Report
Task force members reviewed the applications from National Directs that propose to operate in Maine. All state commissions are asked to comment on their support for AmeriCorps proposals submitted to CNCS by multi-state nonprofits. When this practice started several years ago, MCCS developed a policy on how to handle these. If proposals on the list from CNCS comply with the law and consult with the Commission before submitting their applications, they will get either a "Support" or "Neutral" rating. To receive a "Support" rating, the applicant must propose to address an issue that aligns with the Commission's funding priorities. Applicants on the list that have not consulted the Commission prior to submitting a proposal will receive a "Do Not Support" rating.
Each submitted National Direct Consultation Form was reviewed and Commission Members made recommendations based on the established policy. The results were as follows:
- The College of New Jersey, National Bonner AmeriCorps Program - Decision: SUPPORT
- The Corps Network, EAP program - Decision: NEUTRAL
- Goodwill Industries of Northern New England; Stateside Service Corps- Decision: NEUTRAL
- Goodwill Industries of Northern New England; Great Strides Rural Education Corps - Decision: SUPPORT
- Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs (AFOP), SAFE - Serving America's Farmworkers Everywhere - Decision: NEUTRAL
- Points of Light/ HandsOn Network, HandsOn Corps - Decision: NEUTRAL
- Habitat for Humanity International, Habitat for Humanity AmeriCorps - Decision: NEUTRAL
- National Association of Community Health Centers, Community HealthCorps - Decision: NEUTRAL
- Student Conservation Assoc, Inc, Veterans Green Corps AmeriCorps - Decision: NEUTRAL
The Corporation had not yet posted the list of National Directs in eGrants so the Task Force was unable to determine which, if any, programs failed to submit consultation forms. They recommended that, by policy, any on the list without submitted forms would not be supported
Discussion of officers for June election
Ron was the only Board Development Member on the call. (Joel and Drew are the other members of the task force). There was a general discussion of the need to identify someone to move into the Vice-chair position and suggestions were shared, there were no actions. Typically recruitment of the new officer is a role the incoming chair has a large part in. If the succession goes as expected, Drew Matlins moves to Chair from Chair-elect; Ron Holmes moves from Vice-chair to Chair-elect; and a new person becomes Vice-chair. The opening neds to be announced at the next meeting so interested members can contact either Drew or Joel Russ (Board Development chair).
Proposed CNCS budget for 2013, Congressional Budget Justification items, and concerns from State Commission
After hearing a summary of the issues and concerns, the members asked the entire board be briefed at the next meeting.
Recruitment for MCCS board vacancies
In order to submit all names and paperwork in June for processing over the summer, recruitment needs to start now. Four seats were left vacant after last year's round of recruitment. Members with terms expiring in September 2012 who have indicated they cannot renew (due to work commitments) are Brenda Peluso, Steve Letourneau, and Deb Eckart. Cooperative Extension has indicated they will not offer another candidate. This is unfortunate since MCCS has had a representative of Extension on the Commission since it was founded. Both Brenda and Steve have indicated they have recommendations for their successors which would maintain a connection with their organizations (Maine Association of Nonprofits; Catholic Charities Maine).
Board Development is asked to check with the remaining members whose terms expire to determine who would like to be reappointed. The entire board needs to assist with recruitment so we get all seats filled in this round.
There being no other task force reports or issues, the meeting adjourned at 9:15 am.