October 27, 2015 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of October 27, 2015
Approved on 11/17/15

I.   Welcome and Introductions

Present: Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Sheryl Lyons, Cameron Mull, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg

Staff: Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Mary Ann Hansen

Consultants: Nancy Howatt, Christina Huff, Laura Power, Kim Puckett, Maria Vanderhorst

Guests: Sarah Fiehler, Kim Rios, Shea Lyons


Mark Lovelace called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm


II.   Public Comments and Announcements

  • Mark Lovelace welcomed incoming Commissioners Cameron Mull and Connie Sundberg.  Mark also welcomed incoming Executive Director Mary Ann Hansen.
  • Sydney Fisher Larson announced the birth of Jennifer Gonzales’ baby, Marina.


III.  Executive Director Report:

  • The Holiday Funding Partnership is holding the annual awards and celebration on Friday, Nov. 6th from 4-6 pm at Humboldt Area Foundation. Wendy asked for a volunteer to attend this event and Commissioner Elliott has agreed to attend.
  • The 2016 meeting schedule will be discussed at the November meeting and approved at the December meeting.  Please give input to Andrea.
  • The Subcommittee membership will also be updated and brought to the November meeting.  Please contact Wendy if you would like to add a subcommittee member to the list.
  • Commissioners received fiscal charts, which were requested during the July Retreat.
  • Wendy introduced Christina Huff, who is working this Fiscal Year as the FRC consultant.  Christina is working with the Parent & Family Support Subcommittee to incorporate the Standards of Family Strengthening into the First 5 funded Family Resource Centers. Christina recently participated in the 2015 National Summit on the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support in San Francisco and also participated on a panel discussion. Aside from California adopting the Standards, nine other States also adopted the Standards and the National Network on the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support was founded. This was the first time that all States came together for the Summit, including Colorado and Utah, which have worked with the Standards for some time. The Colorado Family Resource Center Association shared a PowerPoint presentation: Standards Implementation and Data Trends across Rural and Urban Settings.
  • Wendy invited Mary Ann to share updates on the First 5 IMPACT grant.  Mary Ann is working with the Planning Consortium to craft the application, which is due on December 9th. With the First 5 IMPACT grant, 41 programs will be impacted, including all playgroup sites and 21 early childhood education sites. The framework for the application is progressing and blends with the CA-QRIS (California Quality Rating & Improvement System) ratings, with one added component – family strengthening.  Mary Ann is working with Meg Walkley and Beth Heavilin with a matrix they designed to introduce playgroup leaders to the CA-QRIS and the Standards of Quality for Family Strengthening and Support. Wendy shared that the Playgroup Initiative fits well with the First 5 IMPACT grant. The First 5 IMPACT grant is also an opportunity to rebuild a partnership with First 5 California. The First 5 IMPACT grant will offer Research and Evaluation opportunities. Nancy Howatt said that First 5 California will be committing around $600,000 to us over the next 5 years for this grant.
  • The red folder was routed, which included the Playgroup Art Book, invitations, newspaper articles, and information from the County Treasurer about Interest Apportionment Rates.


IV.  Approval of Minutes:

A. Commission meeting minutes of September 10, 2015
B. Commission meeting minutes of October 6, 2015

ACTION: The meeting minutes of September 10, 2015 and the meeting minutes of October 6, 2015 were approved as written.


V.   Consent Calendar:

A.   July 2015 Postings

B.  August 2015 Postings

C.  CLIF Award:  Child Abuse Prevention Coordinating Council

D.  CLIF Award:  Humboldt Housing and Homeless Coalition

ACTION: All consent calendar items were approved as presented.


VI.  Action Item: Policy for Resources to Comply with GASB 54:  Committed Fund Balance

Commissioners considered an Amendment to the Policy specific to “Safety Net” program allocations. The Fiscal Subcommittee has met and reviewed the amendment to the Policy, and has approved the revised language.

Wendy reviewed the amended language with Commissioners.  The Safety Net program was established as a result of poor economic times.  With the economy improving, it is no longer feasible for the exceeding General Fund Balance (in regards to the approved budget) to be committed into the Safety Net program. The Safety Net bullet within the Policy for Resources to Comply with GASB 54:  Committed Fund Balance was amended to the following:  “Safety Net: A Programs Allocation.  ‘Safety Net’ is a term used to describe services provided by government and other groups, such as public health insurance, help with getting food, housing assistance and subsidized services such as child care which prevent vulnerable children and families from falling into poverty beyond a certain control.  Safety Net program allocations are committed as needed within the annually approved budget.”

ACTION: Commissioners approved the language of the amended Policy for Resources to Comply with GASB 54:  Committed Fund Balance as presented.


VII. Information Item: Annual Audit Report

Wendy introduced Sarah Fiehler, Supervisor, with Christy White Associates. Sarah and staff have done our annual audit for the year ended June 30, 2015. Sarah presented the following highlights of the Audit Report to the Commission:

Pages 1-3 – Independent Auditors Report: The Independent Auditors Report informs the Commission that Christy White Associates has audited the accompanying financial statements of the governmental activities, the major fund, and the aggregate remaining fund information for First 5 Humboldt, as of and for the year ended June 30, 2015. The Independent Auditors Report talks about the Management’s Responsibility for the Financial Statements, the Auditor’s Responsibility, Opinions, Emphasis of a Matter, Other Matters, such as Required Supplementary Information and Supplementary Information, and Other Reporting Required by the Government Auditing Standards.

Page 11 – Statement of Activities: The Statement of Activities highlights the Commission’s Program Revenues, Program Expenses, General Revenues, and Change in Net Position. Sarah pointed out the changes in the Net Position, due to GASB 68 (Accounting & Financial Reporting for Pensions) requirements to report pension liabilities in the Audit Report. GASB 68 requires governments providing defined benefit pensions to recognize their long-term obligation for pension benefits as a liability for the first time, and to more comprehensively and comparably measure the annual costs of pension benefits.

Page 24 – Notes to Financial Statements – Note 5 - Long-Term Debt: The Long-Term breaks out and explains the compensated absences and the Net pension liability for the Commission.

Pages 41 & 42: Independent Auditor’s Report on Internal Control over Financial Reporting and on Compliance and Other Matters based on an audit of financial statements performed in accordance with Government Auditing Standards: Sarah reported that this report describes the scope of their testing of internal control and compliance and the results of that testing. She shared they did not identify any deficiencies in internal control that they consider to be material weaknesses. In addition, their tests disclosed no instances of noncompliance or other matters that are required to be reported under Government Auditing Standards.

Pages 43 & 44: Independent Auditor’s Report on State Compliance: This provides the Auditor’s unmodified opinion about the Commission’s compliance based on the audit. It shows that the Commission complied with the compliance requirements that are applicable to the state programs that were listed in the audit report for the year ended June 30, 2015.

Page 45:  Schedule of Findings: Sarah reported that there were no financial statement findings or findings of non-compliance in fiscal year ended June 30, 2015.

Page 46: Summary of Prior Year Findings: Again, Sarah reported that there were no financial statement findings or findings of non-compliance in fiscal year ended June 30, 2014.

Sarah thanked First 5 staff and the County Auditor’s office for all the assistance during the audit. Commissioners inquired about the procedures and testing for internal control. Sarah shared that they review samples of expenditures for the year, meet with the County Auditor to look over procedures and control and examine samples that procedures and controls are in place. They look at payroll, i.e. hiring practices, salary, and allowable uses of funds.  They also look at receiving of revenues and how they are recorded. They examine the process of internal controls over compliance, i.e. policies, revisions, program evaluation, administrative cost, and how they related to policies. If internal controls in place are showing weaknesses, then they make appropriate recommendations.

Commissioners thanked Sarah for her presentation.  Wendy stated that the Audit Report is due to First 5 California and the State Controller’s Office by November 1st.

The Audit Report will be on the Agenda for adoption at the November Commission meeting.


VIII. Information Item: First 5 Annual Report

Evaluators Kim Puckett and Maria Vanderhorst reviewed sections of the Annual Report with Commissioners.  A folder with the full report was routed.

Kim explained that the Commission is releasing two Evaluation Reports each year. One is in the spring, which is our local report of program evaluation, and one is in the fall, which follows the State requirements and is submitted to the State by the November 1st deadline. Evaluation data is collected throughout the year by doing provider and playgroup surveys, collection of data sheets from funded programs, the interim and end-of-year reports, site visits, and other data, such as the Kindergarten Screening Tool.  This data then is used for both Reports.

The reporting requirements for the State’s Annual Report are broken down by four categories/results areas, which are:  Result Area 1 – Improved Family Functioning; Result Area 2 – Improved Child Development; Result Area 3 – Improved Health; and Result Area 4 – Improved Systems of Care. Result Area 1 has five subcategories, which are Community Resource & Referral, Adult & Family Literacy, Targeted Intensive Parent Support, General Parenting Education & Family Support Programs, and Quality Family Functioning Systems Improvement.  Result Area 2 has two subcategories, which are Early Education Provider Program and Quality ECE Investments.  Result Area 3 has 8 subcategories, which are Primary & specialty Medical Services, Health Access, Oral Health, Maternal & Child Health, Safety Education/Injury Prevention, Targeted Intensive Intervention for Identified Special Needs, Nutrition & Fitness, and Quality Health Systems Improvement.  Result Area 4 has 2 subcategories, which are Policy & Broad Systems change and Organizational Support.

Maria said that the funded programs data is then recorded under these Result Areas and categories.  Kim and Maria fill out demographic worksheets and report the activities that were recorded during the year.  Several demographic worksheets were shared and reviewed, such as Improved Family Functioning – Quality Family Functioning Systems Improvements, and Improved Child Health – Oral Health.  Specific information is required for input in the demographic worksheets, such as service outcomes, comparison data, measurement tools, primary audience, types of services, and intended result of the services. Some demographic worksheets also ask for a number breakdown of the population served by demographic areas, a breakdown of population served by ethnic/racial categories, and a breakdown of population served by primary language.

Kim shared the County Evaluation Summary of the Annual Report with Commissioners and said input is limited by 3,000 and 4,000 characters within the narrative. The first section of the narrative describes the evaluation activities completed during the fiscal year. This sections breaks out in detail what kind of surveys were done and the number of surveys collected. The second section describes the evaluation findings/results reported during the fiscal year. The third section addresses the policy impact of the evaluation results and the lessons learned.

A question was raised about the set-up of the kindergarten screening tool.  Kim responded that she is working with HCOE to include more components to the screening tool in regards to playgroup data.

After Kim and Maria have completed the input to the demographic worksheets, and after the release of the Audit Report, Andrea works on the reporting of funds for the AR-1 Report Form – County Revenue and Expenditure Summary in the Annual Report. The AR-1 form is broken out in sections by: Revenue Detail, Improved Family Functioning, Improved Child Development, Improved Child Health, Improved Systems of Care, Expenditure Detail, Other Financing Sources, Net Change in Fund Balance, Fiscal Year Fund Balance, and Expenditure Notes. The AR-1 form’s listed Revenue and Expenditure amounts correlate with the amounts listed in the Audit Report.

The Annual Report is submitted electronically to First 5 California by the November 1st deadline.


IX. Discussion Item: Revised Budget for Fiscal Year 2015/2016

The Commission reviewed the revised budget for Fiscal Year 2015/16.  The revised budget is drafted after receipt of the Audit Report. The revenue and prior year unspent funds, and the committed funds from Fiscal Year 2014/15 are added to the revised budget. The revised budget also shows an added column “First 5 California Funds,” which will be used for receipt of funds from the First 5 IMPACT grant.

A new in-house Expenditure line item “Family Strengthening” was added to the revised budget as a placeholder for next Fiscal Year.  Due to not continuing funding for the Hoopa School Readiness program, the designated funds will be redirected and committed for next year’s Family Strengthening work. With the playgroup initiative work progressing, funding for the Family Resource Centers (FRCs) who offer playgroups needs to be separated. In addition, the Family Resource Center consultant is working with the First 5 funded FRCs and the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers about how First 5 can best contribute funding to the FRCs.  This will help the Commission when updating the Strategic Plan.

Under the Expenditure Categories within the revised budget, no changes were made in Evaluation, Administrative cost, the 2-year Agreements and the 1-year Agreements.

Within the 3-year Agreements categories, Paso a Paso and Healthy Kids Humboldt are now under “St. Joe’s 0-5 Health Partnership,” in order to align with the language of the Agreement.  The nutrition component for the Playgroup Initiative was moved from the In-House Playgroup Initiative line to the Playgroup Support Specialists (HCOE) line in the 3-year Agreement.  The Agreement with HCOE was revised to include the cost of the nutrition component.

Most of the revisions were done within the In-House budgeted categories. The FY 2014/15 commitments were added to Breastfeeding Support, ECE Training & Support, Cultural Connections, and Small Grants line items.  Funds from Program Support Outside budgeted amount were adjusted and re-directed to the Playgroup Initiative and the PFS Training & Support line items.

An additional adjustment will be made before the next Commission meeting under Program Support Outside and the Playgroup Initiative and PFS Training & Support line items, due to an addition saving in the amount of $2,000.

Commissioner Lovelace remarked about the Commission’s budget format and how easy it is to read and understand. The revised budget will be an Action Item at the next Commission meeting.


X.  Information Item: Marijuana Use:  Impact on Child Development

Laura Power briefed Commissioners on a recent training she attended at First 5 Alameda which discussed prevalence rates of prenatal marijuana use, as well as physical and psychosocial effects of parental marijuana use. The materials from this training were shared.

Laura shared that First 5 Alameda is working on fatherhood involvement, trauma-informed care, and self-care for professionals, among other projects.  Alameda Child Welfare Services has 0-3 Specialists that stay with the families over the course of their involvement with CWS.  Most training participants were in contact with families, i.e. social workers, nurses, and home visitors.  The training was considered a core training for First 5 Alameda. All participants agreed that they need facts (and reliable studies) about marijuana use and the impact on child development. They also agreed that they need harm reduction tools to use when working with the families. Laura shared a handout with suggested harm reduction ideas.

An interesting topic was the cultural conversation around marijuana use and who gets scrutinized. Discussed was if the screening is being done universally or targeted. Laura shared that she learned that women in the 18 – 25 age range using marijuana reported the highest use in the first trimester and the lowest use in the third trimester. Umbilical cord tests have shown that marijuana is present when the mom smokes in her pregnancy, but marijuana use commonly co-occurs with tobacco use. Marijuana use has increased as States have legalized marijuana for medical and recreational use. Of the pregnant women participating in a study, 16% reported daily use and 18% met criteria for abuse or dependence. Breastfeeding and marijuana is still a grey area with no valid data available, but some studies have found that THC is present in the breastmilk.

The challenge in this conversation is that data is still limited and more research is needed.  The available literature so far is much divided. Many studies find no difference in birth outcomes. The grey area is the developmental and neuro-developmental effects that marijuana use has on the infant.  In addition, the genetic make-up and disposition comes into play. Possible developmental effects on children could be attention deficits, hyperactivity, and/or elevated impulsivity.

Wendy said that the Commission should pay attention to the evolution of marijuana being legalized and the Commission’s role as educator and advocate.  She encouraged Commissioners to think about what work they would like to do and how to weigh in on the conversation. Wendy is reading the “Pathways Report – Policy Options for Regulating Marijuana in California,” which was released by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy.  Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom was leading the Steering Committee and has been very involved in this effort.  Wendy shared that Paul Gallegos was a member of the Blue Ribbon Commission and that she contacted him about his views of the Commission’s role in this endeavor.  Paul agreed that the Commission should have a role in the discussion about the impact on our target population. The Logic Model from this Report was shared. Wendy mentioned that it may be more strategic to focus on primary prevention than on receiving funds from possible marijuana taxes.  Paul said he would be happy to participate in a discussion with the Commission.  Wendy suggested that the Commission could sponsor a training like First 5 Alameda has done.  Also, we could co-host a training with Mendocino County.

Commissioner Lovelace talked about the work that is being done in Humboldt County around marijuana use and legalizing marijuana.  The difference between tobacco and marijuana is that marijuana can be delivered in various forms, i.e. cookies, candies, etc. As marijuana becomes a mainstream product, the strengths and additives of the product will change.  Within all the discussions he has participated in, there has been no concerns mentioned about the impact to children and youth, which should be addressed.  The funding mechanism discussed was mostly the environmental, and taxation of cannabis products. Several counties had discussions about the policy platform and legislative issues. First 5 Commissions would be good advocators and should start discussions about the impact of marijuana use and children throughout California. He agreed that we should sponsor a similar training like First 5 Alameda has done.  Commissioners agreed that this is an important topic to consider. A community conversation/forum could be held to get more input.

This Information Item will be continued at the next meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 7 pm.


Next Meeting:

Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2015

5 – 7 pm

Office of First 5 Humboldt

Chair:  Jessica Callahan


Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 1012 - 2nd Street, Eureka, 95501


December Meeting:

Thursday, Dec. 10, 2015;  8 – 10 am, First 5 Humboldt Office