November 17, 2015 Print E-mail

Meeting Minutes of November 17, 2015
Amended and Approved on 12/10/15

I.  Welcome and Introductions
Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Sheryl Lyons, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg
Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Mary Ann Hansen
Nancy Howatt
Nica Meggerson
Ovieda Elliott, Cameron Mull

Jessica Callahan called the meeting to order at 5:00 pm

II.  Public Comments and Announcements

  • Commissioner Buckley presented flowers to Executive Director Wendy Rowan for her upcoming retirement.
  • Commissioner Pecora announced the last round of mini grants awarded through the Humboldt BRIDGES grant. Most of the mini grants focused on primary prevention. Commissioner Pecora also routed legislative updates.
  • Commissioner Fisher Larson shared that she and Commissioner Elliott attended the Holiday Funding Partnership event and that it was well attended.
  • Commissioner Lovelace announced that the Board of Supervisors presented a proclamation to Wendy this morning. He also announced the hire of the new Director of the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services, Kristin Brinks, who will replace outgoing Director Phillip Crandall. She will begin her job in Humboldt County in January 2016.
  • Commissioner Lyons introduced her colleague, Nica Meggerson. Commissioner Lyons shared that changes in her position/program have occurred and it is being discussed for her to step down from the Commission, due to her added responsibilities.  Nica Meggerson is one of the program managers that might be interested in replacing Sheryl on the Commission.


III.  Executive Director Report

  • Wendy shared the Playgroup Initiative Financial Plan with Commissioners, which was reviewed at the recently held Fiscal Subcommittee meeting. The Playgroup Initiative Financial Plan shows the funding formula for Fiscal Year 2016/17, which covers the last year of the current Strategic Plan, and from Fiscal Year 2017/18 through Fiscal Year 2020/2021, which covers the next Strategic Plan phase.
  • Commissioners received the eight Social Processes handout, which is an excerpt from Toward a Caring Society:  Ideas into Action, by Pearl and Samuel Oliner.  She reminded Commissioners that the eight Social Processes have been used in the Commission’s work since the beginning, and asked Commissioners to reflect on the processes when doing the next Strategic Plan.
  • First 5 Association of California developed a matrix “Prioritizing Young Children in All Policies” in February 2015. Wendy informed Commissioners that all 58 counties agreed on the areas of focus, which are Family Strengthening, Early Identification & Intervention, Oral Health, Quality Early Learning, and System Sustainability & Reach.
  • Wendy shared that she executed the last Agreement for the Fiscal Year, which was with Persimmony.  This Agreement typically is executed in the fall of each year.  Persimmony is our data base contractor for evaluation data collection.
  • Mary Ann updated the Commission on the First 5 IMPACT grant application, which is due to First 5 California on December 11th.  Mary Ann and Nancy Howatt are finalizing the budget for the grant, and the matrix of trainings & components is almost complete. Part of the matrix includes the Family Strengthening Standards. The matrix also relates to the ASQ and QRIS and has a coaching component on how to use them. The Consortium will meet this Friday to finalize the budget and the matrix, then the application will be formatted. Consortium partners include Humboldt County Office of Education, Local Child Care Planning Council, Changing Tides Family Services, College of the Redwoods, Humboldt State University, and the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative.  The estimated base funding amount is $240,854 and the estimated step funding amount is $422,818, for a total estimated funding amount of $663,672 for a 5-year grant.  A question was asked about the early childhood education entities participating in the grant.  Mary Ann shared that the priority will be family child care and center-based child care, then Tribal child care programs, then Head Start, and then State-funded programs.  We will be accepting applications and then prioritize them.


IV.        Approval of Minutes: Commission meeting minutes of October 27, 2015
The meeting minutes of October 27, 2015 were approved as written.


V.  Consent Calendar:
A.  FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Sub-Committees for 2016

B.  Musicians for Playgroup Initiative

C.  Ratify Actions to Terminate Agreements for the Trinidad Tots Playgroup
D.  Ratify Actions to Terminate Agreement for the Fortuna Playgroup

For Consent Calendar item A. Commissioner Fisher Larson requested to add Krystal Arnot as the new HAEYC representative and to take off Leah Sanders as the HAEYC representative for the ECE Subcommittee list.

For Consent Calendar item B. Wendy shared that three bids were received and that she is recommending to select José Quezada & Heather Shelton.

For Consent Calendar items C. and D. Wendy shared that she has worked with County Counsel in regards to terminate the agreements for both playgroups. She did have a conversation with the Trinidad City Clerk and the Superintendent about the termination. She has not heard from the Fortuna Superintendent yet. Wendy recommended for both playgroups to regroup, study the Playgroup Initiative Manual, and if interested, submit a proposal to the Commission in the spring of 2016 or later.

ACTION: All Consent Calendar items were approved as submitted, with the exception of Consent Calendar item A, which was approved with the name change of the HAEYC representative.


VI.  Action Item: Annual Audit Report

Commissioners considered adoption of the Financial Statements for the Year Ended June 30, 2015 as prepared by Christy White Associates.

Commissioners received the Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2015 and a presentation from Sarah Fiehler, Supervisor with Christy White Associates at the last meeting. The Commission had no audit findings for the year ended June 30, 2015. In addition, we had no unresolved audit findings from the prior year.

Per State requirement, the Audit Report was submitted by the Nov. 1st deadline to First 5 California and to the State Controller’s office. Aside from auditing the Commission’s finances, the procedures for the annual Audit Report also includes certain compliance requirements for Contracting & Procurement, Administrative Costs, Conflict of Interest, County Ordinance, Long-Range Financial Plans, Financial Condition of the Commission, Program Evaluation, and Salaries & Benefits Policies. These compliance requirements are reviewed by the Auditor and addressed on page 43 of the Audit Report for the year ended June 30, 2015. New this year was the inclusion of Pension liabilities in the Audit Report, per GASB Statement 68 guidelines.

Commissioner Callahan mentioned that this year’s audit presentation seemed very brief. Commissioners reviewed the Comparative Statement over Time, which was started by David L. Moonie & Company, and now is continued by Commission staff. The Comparative Statement over time shows the continuity of revenue and expenditures from June 30, 1999 through June 30, 2015.

ACTION: Commissioners adopted the Financial Statements for the Year Ended June 30, 2015 as prepared by Christy White Associates.


VII. Action Item: First 5 Annual Report

Commissioners considered adoption of the Annual Report, which was submitted to First 5 California by the Nov. 1st deadline.

Commissioners received a presentation of the First 5 Annual Report by Evaluators Kim Puckett and Maria Vanderhorst at the last meeting.  The First 5 Annual Report is broken down by four categories, then by result areas, and is further broken down by categories within the result areas.  Demographic worksheets are filled out to report the activities done during the year. Commissioners reviewed some worksheets at the last meeting.

This year’s County Evaluation Summary highlights the work done in playgroups, Leap Into Literacy/Library activities, and the TOOTH Program.  The County Revenue and Expenditure Summary of the First 5 Annual Report correlates with the amounts listed in the Audit Report.

The Annual Report was submitted online through the First 5 California website.

ACTION: Commissioners adopted the First 5 Annual Report submitted to First 5 California.


VIII.      Action Item: Revised Budget for Fiscal Year 2015/2016

Commissioners reviewed the revised budget for Fiscal Year 2015/16 at the last meeting.  One change occurred since the review. $2,000 was moved from Program Support Outside line item into the Playgroup Initiative and the PFS Training & Support line items.

Wendy reviewed the revised budget categories with Commissioners, which are shown by revenue sources and by expenditures – administrative, evaluation, 3-year agreements, 2-year agreements, 1-year agreements, and in-house expenditures. Revenue line items were adjusted and include reconciliation of funds, per Audit Report. Funds were also placed into the First 5 California revenue line item, with the anticipated grant for the First 5 CA IMPACT funds. Within the 3-year agreements, the Paso a Paso program funds and the Health Outreach worker funds were merged into a new line item: St. Joe’s 0-5 Health Partnership. In addition, the nutrition component funds of the Playgroup Initiative was moved into the Playgroup Support Specialists (HCOE) line item.  Under in-house expenditures, committed funds from Fiscal Year 2014/15 were added to Breastfeeding Support, ECCE Training & Support, Cultural Connections, and Small Grants.  A First 5 CA IMPACT line item was added to in-house for FY 2015/16, and a new line item “Family Strengthening” was added for FY 2015/16. $50,000 was committed to the Family Strengthening line item for Fiscal Year 2016/17.  No other changes occurred in the budget.

Wendy pointed out that we were able to reduce our transfer from the Sustainability Fund into the General Fund by $53,648 (from $428,090 to $374,442) to support ongoing funding for the core programs.

Commissioners also reviewed a pie chart with the breakout of 2015/16 budgeted categories – General Administration, Parent & Family Support, Early Childhood Care & Education, Health & Well-Being, Evaluation, and First 5 CA Funds.

ACTION: Commissioners approved the revised budget for Fiscal Year 2015/16 as submitted.


IX.        Discussion Item: Marijuana Use:  Impact on Child Development

At the last meeting, Commissioners received information and materials from a training “Marijuana Use in Caregivers of Young Children” Laura Power attended in Alameda in August 2015. Per the Commission’s current Strategic Plan, the Commission’s roles as Convener, Advocator, and Educator are appropriate to help with informing marijuana policy and practice relating to young children.

With the release of the Pathways Report:  Policy Options for Regulating Marijuana in California by the Blue Ribbon Commission on Marijuana Policy in July 2015, the approval of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act in August 2015, and the anticipated legalization of marijuana – First 5 Commissions have a unique role to speak for young children to assure that, as marijuana becomes more integrated within family and community life, the impact to a child’s development and future success in life is not compromised.

In our role as Convener, the Commission has the capacity to bring policymakers together for a discussion to talk about the assets and needs of pregnant women and children birth to five and their families specific to marijuana use. In our role as Educator, the Commission could provide local, high quality trainings. In our role as Advocator, the Commission can be a resource and support for legislators when developing policy and providing input around marijuana legislation.

Commissioners had the following input:

-          Value in looking at the issue separately from other drug use  Sydney

-          Marijuana has not been available for research  Susan

-          Can we even discuss? A policy issue now. Now more narrowed down with framework for several topics. Each topic needs to be addressed separately and then studied to be able to regulate.  Allow research, so we have informed decisions.  Mark

-          Fetal alcohol study – took a long time  Dian

-          Intergenerational marijuana culture – opportunity to discuss primary prevention  Wendy

-          Regular playgroup topic – some are pro – some are con – like with immunizations – medical professionals encouraging parents to discuss Jessica

-          HSU has people/departments that could be interviewed – HSU departments have studies –  we could connect with them  Jessica

-          Community enrichment education?  Maybe a resource we are not using. Dian

-          Harm reduction – Humboldt County is perceived as being tolerant about marijuana use – Humboldt County culture has marijuana woven into philosophy – values – look at referrals with substance abuse cases – could be beneficial  Sydney Sheryl

-          Focus on what’s possible – well-being of children  Wendy

-          Hospital data – 1 in 20 moms marijuana only user – most recently – data from Office of Statewide Development – interesting data  Susan

-          Attitude of some doctors about alcohol and tobacco use – there was a time when smoking and drinking was acceptable.  We now know the impacts. Marijuana use – we don’t know what the effects are and what the impact will be  Jessica

-          Children’s Data Network and Kid’s Data – open to local/regional data  Mary Ann

-          Healthy Moms Program – in utero impact and then growing up in the environment (quality of environment)  Susan

-          Legislature – they don’t determine medical opinions – recreational use, environment, safety issues – “just say no” doesn’t work well – Humboldt County has better fluency – might could come up with materials – guidance to take cautious approach – not shame-based – expectation of normalization – provide some informal materials for people  Mark

-          Like with immunizations – providing good information – number of ways for good messaging – First 5 Association and Commissions – lots of discussions – 20% of First 5 California funds go to Public Education – they could do – or First 5 Association could do messaging and provide educational materials  Wendy

-          Local and regional tension – opportunity to provide support to families – also provide advocacy – Policy Brief?  Mary Ann

-          Relationship with First 5 Trinity and First 5 Mendocino for co-sponsored training?  Sydney

-          Good relationship with First 5 Mendocino – and Northwest Region E.D.’s – coordinated within region  Wendy


X.  Information Item: Indicators for Early Childhood Success

The recently released report from the California Center for Rural Policy “Indicators for Early Childhood Success an examination of indicators deemed important in Humboldt County, CA by the Decade of Difference and the Early Childhood Success Workgroup” was reviewed.

Wendy reported that Kim Puckett and Meg Walkley participated in a data retreat and Kim participated in a data workgroup in regards to this report.  Wendy shared that this report is still a work in progress. It is intended to disseminate the report and update the report regularly.  The First 5 Humboldt work/data is a big contributor for the document. The report has 23 indicators and research was conducted by gathering existing data for Humboldt County.

Commissioner Buckley pointed out that the CHDP data used in the report is incorrect. She also questioned the social-emotional development screening tool that was used.  Commissioner Fisher Larson explained that Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE) uses their own screening tool.  Commissioners discussed the screening tool that is used to collect social-emotional data. Nancy Howatt shared that HCOE and Redwood Coast Regional Center collect data on autistic children and questioned why that data wasn’t used.  She also suggested that the number of children 0-8 with food insecurity issues – School Breakfast Program participants is low and should be re-examined.

Commissioners reviewed the Recommendations of the report.  Wendy suggested looking at the Recommendations when the Commission goes into the next Strategic Planning phase. The Recommendations parallel the Commission’s work.


XI.  Discussion Item: Meeting Schedule for 2016

Commissioners reviewed the proposed meeting schedule for the 2016 calendar year.  Morning meetings continue to be held on the second Thursday of the month and evening meetings have been changed to the third Tuesday of the month.  Evening meetings are scheduled on a quarterly basis. The April and May 2016 meeting times are extended, due to the review of the annual Program Evaluation Team recommendations.

Commissioner Callahan inquired if the morning meetings could start at 8:30 am instead of 8 am, due to her needing to drop off her children at school. Commissioner Buckley requested to be placed on the Agenda in January or February to share the Birth Certificate Data Report.  Commissioner Lovelace requested to limit the Agenda Items for April and May, so the Commission can primarily focus on the Program Evaluation Team recommendations.

The meeting schedule for 2016 will be revised and presented at the next meeting as an Action Item.

The meeting was adjourned at 6:30 pm.


Next Meeting:Thursday, Dec. 10, 20158 – 10 am
Office of First 5 Humboldt

Chair:  Susan Buckley



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