Minutes — Common Ground Board Meeting – June 2, 2016  (May Meeting)           


Present: Wendy Battles, Bob Parker, Beth Klingher, Kerry Lord, Frank Mitchell, Michael Doolittle, Monique Frasier, John Jessen, Kim Futrell (on speaker), Kimball Cartright, Liz Cox, Joel Tolman, Rebecca Holcombe, Melissa Spear, Cornell Wright

Regrets: Claudia Merson

Welcome & Business Requiring Approval: Melissa reviewed the invoices with amounts large enough for board approval. They included:

  • JC electronics for new proximity access control system funded by state school security grant $6268.00
  • Grow Well, Inc. for 3rd high tunnel green house funded 80% by a grant from NRCS $5355.70
  • Corporate Consulting Systems (John O.) to install servers and other tech equipment for the new building $12,900.00
  • Newfield Construction expenses through April 30 $842, 724.11. This is the final large invoice from Newfield until CG draws down the 5% retained by the state to pay July’s last bill.
  • Elm Shakespeare balance due for the schoolyear programming $5750.00
  • Gray Organschi new building finishes and renovation to the old building $15,000
  • Performance Environmental Services monthly cleaning cost that includes new building $5500.00
  • CBIA June health benefits $15, 446.21

After some discussion Wendy made the motion to approve the invoice payments, and Kerry’s was the second voice. The board voted approval.

FY 2017 Budget: Melissa presented some final updates to the FY 17 budget. A combination of staff changes may mean the organization ends the year with a $10 to $20,000 surplus with retirements, new hires, and some grant funds. The NHEP payroll variance includes a 3% raise and staffing changes. This year’s heavy investment in site improvements allows for increased outdoor activity but next year maintenance expenses increase. Health insurance changes are still being evaluated with health savings accounts as a possible option for more staff. Members reviewed the month’s dashboard with budget vs. actual through the end of May. (Full details; https://kryptoszene.de/kryptowaehrungen-kaufen/bitcoin-paypal/)

School: Liz noted that Monday would be the last day of school celebrated with the step up class day ceremony; graduation would be next week and earlier in the day the organization celebrated the new building with community members, students, elected officials, and state board of ed reps. It is a time of student and staff transition with 2 teachers and some support staff leaving Common Ground. Recruiting continues as the numbers for suburban students are good but some New Haven spaces remain.

Program: Rebecca celebrated the last day of another successful Spring afterschool program noting that other efforts continue through summer camp. Unexpectedly high interest in the nature year program generated strong enrollment numbers and great funding support.

Renovation: Melissa’s update on the old building noted that bids opened June 2 with the general trades available and the electrical and HVAC design-build drawing on a separate funding. The funding mix is charter construction grant and a $500,000 loan from a PCLB program. The improvements include HVAC, painting, a new floor, a conference room, and new offices.

Reconciliation: Mike completed the month’s reconciliations. Bob made a motion to acknowledge the reconciliation and Mike was the second. The body voted approval.

Strategic Priorities: Joel continued the conversation about the priorities with a quick recap of our iterative process stressing the comments on the need to be mission driven as well as outward focused enough to be engaging to all. Conversation highlights included comment on the staff diversity goal which might influence other program goals including program performance i.e. diversifying the curriculum or teaching and learning across the organization. Could the goal be moving towards culturally relevant and inclusive programs across the organization making a welcoming campus? Bob moved to accept priorities with edits and Mike was the second. The board voted to approve.

Development: Kimball reported on recent events like the Great Give, R2R, and reminding that Common Table would be the final opportunity this academic year to reflect upon the strategic priorities and the year’s events with donors and friends. Feast prep has begun with a lead sponsor.


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