September 4, 2018
PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Nicole Pellenz, John Portela, Maryalice Crofton
The final annotated outline for the Commission retreat was sent by the facilitator. It has all the changes and assignments discussed with her.
Discussion of September Commission agenda. The September meeting has a lot of organizational items which is usual. John will email all Commissioners about the proposed slate of officers. Commission members who also want to be nominated will be invited to contact him before the meeting. For offices with more than one candidate, there will be a secret ballot.
Those present discussed the frequency of meetings for the coming year. Due to a change in the nature of the retreat, the consensus was to keep the same schedule. There will be unfinished work at retreat end and the two fall meetings will be needed. It was noted that there is a new meeting location. The room at University of Maine Augusta now has a rental fee. The Commission will meet in the large conference room at the new Commission office except in November. The Secretary of State has the room booked for November post-election activities.
Commission appointments. There are three new members of the Commission appointed over the summer. One has been sworn in and the other two will be sworn in during a ceremony just before the Commission business meeting. Reappointments are pending along with a new applicant, Jonathan Barczyk. Jonathan is the relatively new director of volunteers at Togus. He would easily fill the hole left by Aaron Dombroski’s resignation.
MCCS 25th Anniversary. The first Commissioners were sworn in by Governor McKernan in October 1994. That makes 2019 the 25th anniversary and an opportunity for many things. It was agreed there should be an ad hoc committee to consider how to mark the milestone. The group should be appointed in October in order to give them ample time to form a plan, present the plan to the Commission, and then implement it.
Office of the Inspector General audit. The audit was delayed by the contracted firm to September 24. The entrance conference will be at 9am that day and a Commission officer should be present. Celeste indicated she is able to attend.
Emerging opportunities were discussed. A meeting between the Maine Community Foundation and Maine Volunteer Foundation resulted in a request the Commission look at helping the TriState Learning Collaborative on Aging. Many of its members are small organizations that rely on volunteers to carry out their work. Service Enterprise and the volunteer management course along with AmeriCorps are natural resources. (Senior Corps programs seem to be members already.) Maryalice and Joel are meeting with the collaborative’s director in mid-September. They are also facilitating a discussion of growing the “volunteer workforce” at the Wisdom Summit.
Organizational members of the Maine Afterschool Network participated in an all day work session to explore how AmeriCorps could fit their program growth goals. At least one program design may turn into an AmeriCorps application this fall and several others have strong designs but are not ready for the proposal stage yet.
Reform plan for CNCS and hearings this summer. Maryalice noted that the association of service commissions did a lot of work with states/members over the summer and developed written testimony in response to the reform plan. She had expected to have a copy to share with Exec members but it has not arrived yet. It is important to review and be aware of what changes could impact commission operations. ASC is likely to ask members to identify 2 or 3 priority changes from the many. It would then advocate for those. Maryalice also submitted video and written testimony but did not attend the Boston hearing.
Staffing at the Commission office. The application deadline for the secretary associate position closes Sept. 6. The goal is to interview and select by end of October.
There will be an opening in the Grant Officer position again. Laurel wants to leave government and nonprofit work to try the private sector. Her goal for moving on is end of October.
The Senior Planner position slated for refill will not be available until June 2019. This means we will have to use either a contractor or temporary position to get the evaluation expertise in the current year.