September 3, 2019
PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Ed Barrett, Nicki Pellenz, Jeni Tilton-Flood
Meeting with Representative Pingree
Celeste recapped the successful site visit Representative Pingree made to AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs on August 27 in Biddeford. The morning started with a tour of Seeds of Hope and a meeting with the AmeriCorps member. Then the Congresswoman and her staff met with 14 Senior Corps and AmeriCorps programs at the Biddeford library. Feedback from her policy staff was that, seeing them all at once gave a clear picture of the scope of activity National Service undertakes.
Progress on appointments and poll of task force chairs re need for added members.
Four of the nine candidates recommended to Governor Mills will be posted for appointment on Friday. The new member is Ben Cooke from Waldoboro. Reappointments are Celeste Branham, John Portela, and Ed Barrett. The remaining people are still under consideration, but no action has been taken.
Commission meeting schedule for this fall.
The federal submission dates for state AmeriCorps funding applications has been moved up 3 weeks. Commission decisions usually made at the January meeting will have to be made in December, a month we do not normally meet. In addition, the special events in October are the same week as the Commission meeting which is likely to mean low attendance. There was discussion about the best way to adjust the meeting schedule for the last quarter of the year.
Celeste will send a message to Commissioners that the schedule for the rest of 2019 is as follows:
September 26 (to be followed by retreat), November 1, and December 20.
Champion of Service award discussion.
The criteria was reviewed. There is one nominee so far. Celeste had invited nominations from former Commissioners in the July letter. She asked that current Commissioners be reminded about the nomination so there is one last call before final decisions.
25th anniversary update.
Celeste and Maryalice reviewed the plans. Celeste will send a note to each Commissioner asking individuals to take on key tasks for the evening.
Federal appropriations update and fed issues in general.
Maryalice gave a report of items discussed at the ASC Public Policy committee last week. The budget agreement set new caps for each appropriation committee. The expectation is the Senate will flat fund CNCS and their appropriation will go to conference committee in October. Expect a continuing resolution. There is also consensus among the states on a plan for tweaking the CNCS reorganization that could diffuse the appropriation language directing CNCS to undo the changes. The plan has support of the two national Senior Corps Associations (Foster Grandparents and RSVP). CNCS continues to publicly tell everyone there is nothing to worry about but the facts don’t support that story.
There have been several meetings with the retreat facilitator. The draft agenda was reviewed. Ed Barrett indicated he will have to be out-of-state so Nicki will take his part of the agenda. A full participant package will be sent to members before the retreat.
Task force reports. Financial Oversight meets after this work session ends. Communications did not meet in August. The Grant Selection and Performance Task Force will meet on Friday. A preview of their schedule indicates they need more members to accomplish the reviews scheduled to be done by early December.
Request for sharing information.
The search for people to fill a volunteer and temp staff position have not turned up any viable candidates. One person needs to be familiar with Microsoft Teams and be utterly reliable. The second position is a stipended one to help complete development of the Maine Service Fellows. Maryalice asked if Commissioners would share the links through their networks and see if anyone turned up. The office staff have already spent a few months searching through the college for grad students and work study students.
There being no other items to discuss, the meeting ended at 3:50 pm.