October 7, 2020
PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Ed Barrett, Jenni Tilton-Flood, Jonathan Barczyk, Luke Shorty, Maryalice Crofton
Appointments to the Commission. Yesterday (10/6/2020) Governor Mills posted appointments to the commission that included the 3 reappointments and 10 new people. This is wonderful news because it means the board will meet the legal requirements, have enough people to cover the task forces and work, and add the perspectives we have missed in discussions.
Scheduling of Executive Committee meetings. Members did a check in about the pattern of meetings (first Tuesday of each month at 3pm). It was set for a different group of people. The current members indicated the pattern does work for their schedules so there will be no change.
OIG update. The exit conference took place on September 22 but the report shared by the OIG was just a discussion draft. The final report draft was issued September 30. Some issues have been raised and are being discussed with the OIG. Members of the Executive Committee were briefed on the contents and raised concerns about the implications for any potential grantee. A thorough discussion of concerns ensued. The next steps will be to respond within the timeline laid out in the OIG letter (October 30). The subgrantee’s comments will be incorporated into the Commission letter because only the Commission and CNCS can respond. The OIG will comment on these management responses and issue the final report at the end of the year. Then resolution with CNCS will begin and that takes up to a year.
Data for public dashboard on new Commission website. The data will be the major elements the Commission holds itself accountable for in a public infographic that would be updated quarterly. Communications Task Force was asked to consider what should appear and recommend to the Commission at the October meeting. The website is making a lot of progress and should launch around Thanksgiving.
United Ways of Maine meeting with Volunteer Maine Executive Director. Maryalice reported on a meeting at which the United Way executive directors wanted to learn about Commission plans. They were specifically interested in the Commission’s promotion of VolunteerME, their volunteer opportunity listing database. Each United Way hosts its own but they use the same name for it. Volunteer Maine connects to All for Good because it aggregates information from multiple sites (Volunteer Match, Galaxy Digital-VolunteerME, etc.). The leadership also expressed an interest in having better communication but their agenda didn’t permit further discussion of what form that should take. Maryalice will follow up with one of the directors who has spent a lot of time collaborating with the Commission.
Discussion of setting funding priorities. There were two elements to this discussion: how to format the October 16 full board work session; and, the two points of view about funding community volunteer service. For the latter, there are good arguments for letting communities identify their needs rather than limiting or imposing on them. The other viewpoint is that public funding is limited and, to significantly improve an issue, resources – including National Service members/volunteers – need to be focused. A straw poll of the members showed both views were strongly held which is likely to be reflective of the board. Committee members explored a couple of compromise options that would match the different grants to different approaches. Maryalice and Celeste were asked to develop one option that would be the starting point for discussion at the full board work session. It would identify different purposes and priorities for Competitive, Rural State, and regular Formula grants. It would also identify a set of priorities now funded that need to grow and another set to target for program development. The work at the full board meeting is expected to need at least 1.25 hours if not longer. The agenda will be structured to provide that time.
The full report on potential funding priorities was sent to Commissioners in September. It should be circulated again but with a message to focus on the executive summary and use the balance of the report as a reference.
Commission Support Grant and Training Grant for 2021. These two grants support Commission operations including staff, training, program development, public education/communication, and normal operations. CNCS issued the application instructions and set the submission deadline to be 9 business days from the date of issue. Maryalice asked for an extension to 10 business days but that will still be hard to meet. Financial Oversight (Luke and Pete) will have to meet on October 15 to review and the full board will have to vote at the October 16 meeting.
There being no other items to discuss, Executive Committee dispersed at 4:11 pm.