November 17, 2016 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of November 17, 2016
Approved on 12/8/16

I.  Welcome and Introductions

Present: Sydney Fisher Larson, Mark Lovelace, Nica Meggerson, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg
Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa
Nancy Howatt
John Bartholomew
Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Cameron Mull

Connie Sundberg called the meeting to order at 8:30 am

No Conflict of Interest with any of today’s Agenda Items were announced.


II.  Public Comments and Announcements

Commissioner Lovelace announced that he will not be able to attend the December 8th Commission meeting, therefore making today’s meeting his last meeting with First 5 Humboldt.  He shared how much he appreciated being a Commission member and the decision-making process used. Throughout the years, he often used First 5 as an example, especially in fiscal aspects. The budget is very transparent and easy to understand.  He recognized the dedication of fellow Commission members and the goals of First 5.  Mary Ann and fellow Commission members thanked Mark for his continued participation, his advice, and his dedication to First 5 Humboldt over the last eight years as a Humboldt County Board of Supervisor.


III.  Executive Director Report

  • Mary Ann attended the First 5 California Child Health, Education and Care Summit in Sacramento last week.  Meg Walkley and Beth Heavilin also attended.  Meg, Beth, and Mary Ann presented a workshop “Growing a More Responsive Early Childhood Mental Health System” and the response from participants was very positive. A lot of First 5 counties are looking into including developmental responsive and trauma responsive work for children age 0-5 and had lots of questions for Meg, Beth, and Mary Ann.
  • Mary Ann shared she is in the process of re-developing the humkids website. She has begun adding a new website template, using the blog website.  After the new website is completed, the domain name will be re-directed to
  • A courtesy interview with an out-of-county applicant was done on November 15th for the Program Coordinator position.  The County interviewed all applicants on Nov. 15th and we should be receiving the applicant list soon. November 30th has been set aside by us to interview all applicants.  Human Resources suggested re-classifying the position to an Administrative Analyst position, if none of the applicants are chosen for the job.
  • The planning of the Town Hall event is underway and is set for December 1st from     6 pm to 8 pm at the Aquatic Center.  Moira Kenney from the First 5 Association, Children Now staff, Jon Sapper, Meg Walkley, Stephanie Weldon, and Senator McGuire will lead discussions on Poverty, ACES and Humboldt County Children.
  • We received a letter from a parent educator at Changing Tides Family Services (and former First 5 playgroup parent), detailing how a First 5 funded playgroup has greatly benefited a family he serves.
  • Mary Ann participated in a First 5 Association webinar yesterday about the future of First 5 and felt the overall conversation was very disappointing.


IV.  Approval of Minutes: Commission Meeting minutes of Oct. 27, 2016

The meeting minutes of Oct. 27, 2016 were approved as written.


V.  Consent Calendar:
A.  CAPCC Proposal
B.  October Postings

Both Consent Calendar items were approved as presented.


VI.  Information Item: Subcommittee & Workgroup Reports

  • Evaluation: The Evaluation Subcommittee will meet on December 13, 2016.
  • Fiscal: The Fiscal Subcommittee will meet on December 7, 2016.
  • PFS: The Parent & Family Subcommittee (PFS) met on October 28 to review the Nutrition Bottom Line Practices for the Playgroups and received an Evaluation update.  In regards to Evaluation, the annual surveys to Playgroups now includes a question about income of parents. The majority of parents are answering this question and it seems that parents of all income levels participate in playgroup activities. We are piloting with Tiny Tots Playgroup to provide playgroup parents with the option of doing surveys electronically, which will be offered to all playgroups in the future. The PFS Subcommittee also received an update on the Impact grant, the proposed symposium about marijuana, reviewed the draft Strategic Plan, and received a proposal from the Trinidad Playgroup.
  • ECCE: The Early Childhood Care & Education Subcommittee met on Nov. 14th and received an update on the Impact grant, discussed the Steve Graner (Child Trauma Academy) training scheduled for May 20, 2017 at HCOE, and discussed crafting a policy statement in regards to improving the quality of early childhood care in our community.


VII.  Information Item: Investment of First 5 Humboldt Funds

County Treasurer, John Bartholomew, gave an update on how funds are invested within the County Treasury. He shared that the primary objectives in investing government funds is: Safety - Governmental funds are required to be invested in safe funds; Equity – enough equity needs to be on hand in order to have enough money for operations - the County reconciles equity amounts on a daily basis, with an average of $5 Million/day; and Growth – overseeing growth of invested funds. All primary objectives are mandated by State Code and State Guidelines, and by the County of Humboldt’s Investment Policy.


John shared the Humboldt County Treasurer’s Pool portfolio summary of 11/16/16. Investments are made using Certificates of Deposit, Money Market accounts, Federal Agency Coupon Securities, Treasury Coupon Securities, Pass Through Securities (GNMA/CMO), and Municipal Bonds. Certificates of Deposit (CDs) only can be in the amount of up to $125,000 per bank, with one CD per bank. Interest rates of investments in short-term money markets have remained low since 2008.  The forecast from the Federal Government is that interest rates will increase soon, but John thinks interest rates will remain fairly stable after the initial increase. Federal Agency Coupons are usually secured with Fannie May, Freddie Mac, and various banking institutions, all entities that are insured by the Federal Government.  John pointed out the various maturity dates, which fluctuate throughout the years.


Commissioner Meggerson inquired about investing in local banks.  John replied that funds were deposited with local banks in past years when the rates were competitive, but the local banks no longer are able to compete, especially with the interest rates being low since 2008. He is hoping, if the interest rates are increasing, the local banks will be more competitive. He shared that Coast Central Credit Union is not interested in buying “collateralized” CDs, which is a condition that John needs in terms of investing Governmental funds. Commissioner Sundberg asked if funds invested in the Money Market are considered liquid, or if they are tied up. John said the funds are tied up, but there is more flexibility in terms of liquidation.


John talked about the economy and the projected increase in interest rates.  Interest rates for the housing market is up by 26% and the Federal Government is implying raising the rates in December.  However, with the global economy not being robust, John does not foresee a high rate increase within the next year or two.  The next economical concern will be in regards to Social Security, probably by 2022/2023. Nancy Howatt inquired about our ten year forecast and if she should continue using 1.1% as the interest rate and John agreed, saying that 1.1% is an achievable rate.


Commissioner Lovelace talked about the Headwaters Fund investment decision to invest long-term. John mentioned that the Headwaters Fund Board made an exception to invest beyond the usual 5-year term, but he usually does not advise to make long-term investments. Commissioner Lovelace also inquired about more aggressive types of investments, but John said he has to abide by the State Code and is not allowed to participate in aggressive investments.  He said that the Commission could chose to take the funds out of the County Treasury and make more aggressive investments, but he does not recommend it. The Commission would have to hire an investor, which would require a big commission, which in the end wouldn’t be cost effective.  It also depends on the Prop.10 statute and the Commission’s investment policy.  Nancy agreed saying that the risk is too high and it would not be a good idea in taking the Commission’s funds out of the County Treasury.  Commissioner Fisher Larson shared that the Commission has looked into alternative investment strategies some time ago, but found that it was not profitable.  Commissioners and John talked about CalPERS and the loss of funds CalPERS experienced a few years ago, because of bad investment strategies, which was heavily influenced by the governing board.


Commissioners also learned about the structure of the County Treasurer’s office and John talked about the merger of the Revenue Recovery Department with the Treasurer’s office, saying it was a steep learning curve for everybody.


Commissioners thanked John for his presentation and appreciated the clear information they received.  John offered for Commissioners to contact him if they have any questions or need advice about the First 5 funds.


VIII.  Information Item: Pediatric Oral Health

This Agenda Item was deferred. Public Health is still working with the California Department of Health Care Services to answer questions about the Humboldt Dental Transformation Initiative proposal that was submitted.


IX.  Information Item: Help Me Grow

Commissioner Pecora updated Commissioners about the efforts to implement the Help Me Grow model in Humboldt County.  Help Me Grow is a system that connects at-risk children with the services they need. Help Me Grow has two components – developmental and behavioral and the Humboldt Help Me Grow Consortium is looking into the behavioral component.  The Consortium has been meeting for about one year. Members include staff from Humboldt County Public Health, the Redwood Coast Regional Center, Humboldt County Children and Family Services, Humboldt County Office of Education-SELPA, Changing Tides Family Services, Nurse Family Partnership, 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative, and First 5 Humboldt. Commissioner Pecora said she is participating in the Consortium as a First 5 Humboldt representative.


The Help Me Grow model is designed to fit each community.  The lead for this project has moved from the State Maternal Child & Adolescent Health Department to the First 5 Association. The Help Me Grow initiative does not come with any funding, but the Consortium is trying to build a system to be in place. Consortium members are applying for the BRIDGES grant to hire a consultant to develop an implementation plan and a timeline. Mary Ann said that First 5 does not have the capacity for funding or housing Help Me Grow, but is partnering with Changing Tides Family Services to write the grant application to BRIDGES. Consortium members from Public Health have indicated that Help Me Grow activities all could be MAH billable, therefore the project could be self-sustainable. Help Me Grow operates through a centralized information and referral center and includes comprehensive physician and community outreach.  Commissioner Pecora talked about using the ASQ screening tool in Humboldt when Help Me Grow has been implemented. Commissioner Meggerson inquired if 2-1-1 Humboldt could be a Help Me Grow referral center. Mary Ann shared that the Consortium has been discussing possibilities for the “point of access,” but has not made a decision at this time.  Commissioner Pecora said she will bring regular Help Me Grow updates to the Commission as the work progresses.


X.  Information Item: Subcommittee Membership

The 2017 Advisory Committee membership list was reviewed. Mary Ann changed the term “Subcommittee” to “Advisory Committee” to be consistent with the First 5 Association’s terms.


The Evaluation Action Team is welcoming a new member, Robin Baker from McKinleyville Family Resource Center, and Commissioner Sundberg is switching her membership from the Parent & Family Support Advisory Committee to the Evaluation Action Team. New members joining the Fiscal Advisory Committee are Sean Quincey from the County Administrative Office and Jeanne Vidad, Community member.  Commissioner Meggerson is joining the Parent & Family Support Advisory Committee.  The Executive Committee will have an opening in 2017, due to Commissioner Buckley’s retirement the end of January 2017. Membership on the Executive Committee only applies for Commission members.


Commissioners discussed incorporating term limits for Advisory Committee members, and having Advisory Committee meetings accessible to the public.  Mary Ann talked about possibly merging the Parent & Family Support Advisory Committee and the Early Childhood Care & Education Advisory Committee in the future.  This will align with the goals and objectives of the new Strategic Plan.


The 2017 Advisory Committee membership list will be an Action Item at the next meeting.


XI.  Information Item: Meeting Dates

First 5 staff drafted the 2017 meeting calendar prior to the Commission meeting and received input and suggestions.  Commissioners reviewed the 2017 meeting schedule.  Evening meetings in 2017 were moved from the third Tuesday to the third Thursday.  All morning meetings remain scheduled for the second Thursday of each month.


Mary Ann said that the First 5 Association recently surveyed First 5 counties about the number of Commissioners serving on each board and the number of meetings each Commission has during the year.  Mary Ann will share the survey results on the E.D. Blog.  The 2017 Meeting Dates will be an Action Item at the next meeting.


XII.  Action Item: 2015-16 Independent Audit Report

The Financial Statements for the year ended June 30, 2016 as prepared by Christy White Associates were presented at the October meeting by Christy White. As reported at the last meeting, the Commission had no audit findings for the year ended June 30, 2016 and also had no unresolved audit findings from the prior year.


Per State requirement, the Audit Report was submitted to First 5 California and to the State Controller’s office by the November 1st deadline.  Aside from the audit of the Commission’s finances, the audit report includes certain compliance requirements for Contracting & Procurement, Administrative Costs, Conflict of Interest, County Ordinance, Long-Range Financial Plans, Financial Conditions of the Commission, Program Evaluation, and Salaries & Benefits Policies.  These compliance requirements were reviewed by the Auditor and are addressed on page 42 of the Audit Report for the year ended June 30, 2016.  The Audit report also includes the Pension liabilities, per GASB Statement 68 guidelines.


ACTION: Commissioners adopted the Financial Statements for the Year Ended June 30, 2016, as presented by Christy White Associates.


XIII.  Action Item: First 5 Annual Report

Commissioners received a presentation of the First 5 Annual Report by Evaluator Kim Puckett at the October meeting. The First 5 Annual Report is broken down by four categories, result areas, and categories within the result areas. The four categories are Improved Family Functioning, Improved Child Development, Improved Child Health, and Improved Systems of Care. Demographic worksheets are filled out to report the activities done during the Fiscal Year.  Commissioners reviewed a sample of demographic worksheets at the last meeting.


This year’s County Highlights addresses the Commission’s work around Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), the Kindergarten Screening Tool, the specialists working with playgroups, and the 0-8 Mental Health Collaborative. The County Evaluation Summary for FY 2015/16 includes short description of evaluation activities for Leap Into Literacy, the TOOTH Program, and the Kindergarten Screening Tool.


The County Revenue and Expenditure Summary details the revenue sources, the expenditures for the four categories/result areas, the total program expenditures, administrative expenditures, and evaluation expenditures.  The Summary shows the fund balance at the beginning of the Fiscal Year and at the end of the Fiscal Year.  In addition, it breaks out the restricted and committed funds.


The First 5 Annual Report was submitted to First 5 California in electronic format by the November 1st deadline.


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


XIV.  Action Item: Strategic Plan

The Strategic Plan was reviewed by Commissioners in several meetings during the Fiscal Year.  In addition, each Subcommittee reviewed the Strategic Plan at least twice, and a public input session occurred.  No changes were suggested during the last review of the Strategic Plan at the October meeting. As with past Strategic Plans, this Strategic Plan is a four-year plan.


Mary Ann mentioned that photos and the Commission’s Mission and Vision will be included in the printed version of the Strategic Plan.  The language of the Strategic Plan is straight forward and has been simplified. Commissioner requested to not print the Strategic Plan on glossy paper.


ACTION: Commissioners adopted the 2016-2020 Strategic Plan as written.


The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 am.


Next Meeting:Thursday, December 8, 2016
8:30 am to 10:30 am

First 5 Humboldt conference room
525 – 2nd St., Suite 203, Eureka

Chair:  Sydney Fisher Larson


Minutes compiled by:  Andrea Sousa, Executive Secretary, First 5 Humboldt, 525 - 2nd Street, Suite 201, Eureka, 95501


Future Agenda Item:

  • Fiscal Policies