April 2, 2019
PRESENT: Ed Barrett, Nicole Pellenz, Celeste Branham, Maryalice Crofton, Libby Hite, John Portella
The regular work session of the Executive Committee was held by teleconference and started at 3 pm.
LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS HONORING NATIONAL SERVICE
Libby provided a recap of the events earlier in the day. April 2 has been National Service Recognition Day. AmeriCorps Alums in the legislature along with other Representatives and Senators tied to National Service arranged for sentiments. Senior Corps and AmeriCorps programs were in each gallery as the sentiments were read and approved. There followed a press conference and members, Alums, Libby, and Jamie McFaul (an AmeriCorps Alum) spoke. There may be good coverage because the TV stations were present due to the bills scheduled for action.
EDUCATING MEMBERS OF APPROPRIATIONS AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS COMMITTEE (AFA)
The Commission general fund request was voted into the budget as part of the Dept of Education proposal by Education and Cultural Affairs. This week AFA will start working this section. Celeste asked Maryalice to send members of Executive Committee the list of AFA members plus the materials submitted in response to requests from both committees on the MCCS request. Executive Committee members will either call or email AFA members they know to determine if there are any concerns or questions.
IMPLEMENTING THE CONSENT AGENDA
At the March meeting, the recommendation to implement a consent agenda was accepted. This could save some time for discussions. The items in the consent agenda would be the routine reports from task forces and minutes from prior meeting. Only the task force items for action would be on the regular agenda. Ed cautioned about too heavy a reliance on the consent agenda. Board members can easily overlook the activities of task forces if there is no report at a meeting. Celeste noted the concern and will monitor.
IMPLEMENTING DECISION TO REINFORCE KEY MESSAGE AT MEETING
Members discussed how to implement this decision efficiently. The goal is to help Commissioners easily explain MCCS. The group decided to do three things: put the mission statement at the top of the agenda; add poster-size versions of the identity statement, mission, etc. to the meeting room; and, distribute the key message wallet cards to everyone.
The director of the appointments office has been out of state. Maryalice will contact her next week – her expected return.
OUTREACH TO TWO POTENTIAL COMMISSION CANDIDATES
Former State Senator Les Fossel recommended Maryalice talk to two people about serving on the Commission. The individuals are interested in learning more from a Commission member. Celeste and John agreed to be the ones to reach out. Maryalice was asked to forward each person’s contact information.
The Commission board retreat needs to be scheduled. Everyone agreed it will have to be fall because there is not sufficient time to plan for a summer event.
BRIEFING FOR COMMISSION BY ASC ON CNCS TRANSFORMATION PLAN
The CNCS reorganization (aka transformation) plan has raised concerns in Congress and other quarters. It is critical for Commissioners to understand because of implications for states that are both potentially positive and negative. After some discussion it was agreed this would be on the May agenda as a briefing. Maryalice will ask either the Executive Director or Chief Policy Office of ASC to join remotely and do the briefing. Who attends will depend on their schedule.
UPDATE ON FILLING SECRETARY POSITION
The latest round of applications yielded eight qualified people. Six declined interviews and the candidates who accepted were interviewed last week. One candidate withdrew due to family changes (decision to move out of state). The other person is very qualified and Maryalice is working with Human Resources to make the offer. The goal is to start someone on April 18 so the Commission can meet the new staff member.
TASK FORCE UPDATES
--Maine Service Fellows. All the work of the most recent meeting will be in the report. There was a lot of good conversation about how to describe rural and Ed helped by providing some census bureau references.
--Communications/Public Policy. At the next meeting, the marketing firm will meet virtually with the task force to kick off the brand revision project. The survey distributed to Commissioners is gathering information about design elements. Regarding public policy and meetings with Members of Congress, Representative Golden’s scheduler has informed John that he will meet with programs on April 19 at 2:30 pm in Lewiston. MCCS staff will find the location and coordinate program attendance. Celeste, John, and Ed will attend on behalf of the Commission.
--25th Anniversary Planners. The venue has been identified (Waterville Opera House). Two people have joined the group as leaders who will do outreach to the over 2,000 AmeriCorps Alums in Maine. The CD project agreement outline is complete and that piece is moving forward. Two points not on track are the film (both prospective videographers do not have the time this year) and underwriters. Because the reception is not a seated affair, the usual table sponsor schemes don’t fit. Still need Commissioners to work their contacts.
RECOGNITION LUNCHEON AT COMMISSION MEETING
Celeste asked Maryalice to send Commissioners an overview and information before the meeting. So many people have never attended, they need to be comfortable with hosting National Service staff. Commissioners should be given a chance to select who they will host.
Nearly all the items have surfaced during this meeting. No one offered any additions for the agenda.
The session ended at 4:08 pm.