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Executive Committee

August 4, 2020

PRESENT: Celeste Branham, Ed Barrett, John Portela, Maryalice Crofton 

Discussion items:

Task Force Chairs. Celeste reported that Luke Shorty agreed to serve as chair of Financial Oversight. Research and Evaluation still has no chair. Also, the training or professional development task force needs both members and a chair. 

Candidate Recruitment. Members reviewed information about the 9 candidates who have submitted applications so far. A 10th person who fits the public safety seat, will send the documents tomorrow. Jenni has connected with the Lewiston resident but they are not able to meet until later in the week. The interested people were approved for forwarding. If accepted by the Governor, there will be two vacancies remaining. Celeste reported that she reached out to a former member of the grant task force who is interested in serving on the Commission. 

Retreat Plan. The facilitator met with planners in July and will be meeting again next week. The Commission meeting will need to wrap up earlier than usual in order for the retreat to start on time. Each day, activity will end mid-afternoon in recognition of the fact we have to use technology rather than meeting in person. The plans will be final by September and ready for sharing with the full group. 

CORPS Act. News from DC is about a plan to subsume the critical elements of the CORPS Act into the next COVID assistance Senate legislation. The pieces that are still receiving support include an increase in the living allowance (tying it to poverty level %), a $7500 per MSY payment to grantees to cover the CNCS cost-per-member awarded amount and the actual cost (health insurance, accident insurance, etc.), and flexibility for Commissions to place members in response to emergencies without having to hold competitions. There is also an increase in the number of positions. 

Requests of the Foundation for workplan. Celeste, Ed, and John will represent the Commission at a joint meeting with Foundation officers on July 10. The discussion centers on what will be in the Foundation workplan for the next year. The meeting and workplan are required by law but it is a good opportunity to discuss priorities and set expectations. Exec Committee members discussed funding needs and priorities that will be raised in the meeting. 

Acting on Research Findings. Brenda Zollitsch and Patrick Bloniasz (PB) presented the findings of their individual projects. The research about education award usage (PB) will be considered by Communications Task Force initially because it relates to their recommendations about potential legislation. Celeste felt the findings on programs not completing their grants merits a much longer and focused discussion than this meeting permits. She proposed that Executive Committee joined by Research and Evaluation meet at a special time for the purpose of discussing the findings. The meeting was set for August 18 at 3pm. 

There being no other issues to discuss the members dispersed.