February 4, 2020
PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Jeni Tilton-Flood, Ed Barrett, John Portela, David Burns, Maryalice Crofton
Members convened by conference call at 3 pm.
Celeste informed the members that another Commissioner resigned. Anita Stewart McCafferty wrote last week to say that family and work issues were continuing to prevent her participation. This means there are 9 vacant seats due to resignations. Some seats required by law are empty and this is an issue for federal compliance.
Celeste indicated that no suggestions were submitted from the board at-large. (Jeni mentioned she has someone in mind and will reach out to the person.) A discussion followed of how best to ensure recommendations to the Governors Office were people she would feel comfortable appointing to the Commission. Staff at Boards and Commissions have been consulted. The sense we have now is that we should send a batch of recommendations rather than submitting people as they show interest.
The current size of the board means some task forces are very short on membership. After further discussion, it was decided to have Anne Ostberg join Research and Evaluation and ask Jonathan Barczyk to join the Maine Service Fellows where Ed is the sole commissioner. MSF has four members of the public. Ed reminded everyone his retirement is official and he will be leaving the Commission in September.
The next item for consideration was a check on how the mentoring of new commissioners was going. There seem to be no issues although a couple of people indicated they need to follow up on the between-meeting contacts.
Task Force updates were next. Most had no report because meetings are happening later this week for Financial Oversight, Communications, and Grants. Research and Evaluation is planning a meeting for February 21, after the Commission business meeting.
There was a short discussion of the next New Commissioner orientation which is scheduled for 9 am on February 21. Celeste and John will lead with the assistance of others.
Attention turned to items for the February business meeting agenda. Communications requested discussion time for legislative items they want to propose. Financial Oversight will also need discussion time for the quarterly report. The schedule of program presentations will resume. These do not occur during grant continuation seasons.
It was noted that none of the items were time sensitive and, since the published schedule indicated the board would meet in February or March, it may be more productive to hold all items for a March meeting. There was consensus on the suggestion and Maryalice was asked to notify the members.
Adjustments were quickly made for orientation – it will be a virtual session. Research and Evaluation will be polled to see if they want to meet in person or virtually on Feb. 21.
There being no other pressing business and several members needing to leave for other commitments, the meeting ended at 3:40 pm.