PRESENT: Jenni Tilton-Flood, Celeste Branham, Luke Shorty, Pam Proulx-Curry, Ed Barret, Stacie Haines
The members convened at 3pm using the virtual meeting technology.
LD1974: Climate Corps. The funding approved covers one Maine Service Fellow, a small new corps for $150,000 plus $81,000 toward grantee program staff. All the funds can count as match for the Support Grant. Now Research & Evaluation along with the new staff person need to design the call for proposals to get the state funds into a community. The amount of money won’t support a very large program but, depending on the design, could engage a number of people as volunteers in some project. R&E meets on May 18 so this will be added to the agenda.
Status of hiring Climate Corps Coordinator. The interview team of Stacie, Maryalice, and Jessica met with five people for interviews. The top two candidates had a second interview and Kirsten Brewer was selected. She starts on May 11 and will attend the eastern regional conference of national service programs and state commissions. ASC is doing a track of sessions about climate corps at this Burlington, VT conference. In answer to a question, Maryalice confirmed that Kirsten will be at the May 20 board meeting. Celeste added that she has worked with Kirsten on the state Fullbright board and praised her abilities.
New Commissioner orientation: An update on appointments was given. There are three new people selected by the Governor’s office. John Portela will again be doing the swearing in for reappointed Commissioners and new people before the meeting. This will not only be a nice celebration but also give Bryan an opportunity for pictures. Then, new commissioner orientation will start with the June meeting date. Jenni will poll the new people on May 20 to find out if they want to do the orientation session before or after the business meeting in June. The five sessions have a new format. The presentations are part of a five-module online course. New commissioners take one module per month and bring questions/observations to the one-hour meeting. This approach should free up more time for discussion between officers and new people.
Financial reports. Luke asked if new commissioners could be trained on commission finances before the reports were reviewed. That module is not one of the first so that will not work. The financial reports for the quarter ending March 31 will come up in May but the next set will be in September.
Results of April board meeting feedback. The results were reviewed but discussion focused on the low response rate. When the feedback forms were hard copy, the response rate was higher. Exec members asked staff to return to use of hardcopy for people in the room and just use the electronic link for anyone who is a virtual attendee.
Task force updates. Most are meeting later in the month after taking April as a break. Grant selection will need time on the agenda for votes on planning grants and continuations.
Additional planning grant competitions. Several interested organizations did not submit planning grant applications citing their own capacity to organize on time for the deadline. Staff are recommending there be another competition early in the summer. There is also an option to request proposals for funding priorities not addressed by submissions. More discussion is needed.
Mask policy. This will be reviewed each month when there is a meeting. In light of the rise of infection, the policy will remain for May.
Agenda for May. In addition to items already mentioned, it is likely staff will need an extended time because they will have returned the night before from the regional conference and meetings with Washington AmeriCorps staff.
There being no other discussion items, members dispersed at 4:03 pm.