December 8, 2016 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of December 8, 2016

I.          Welcome and Introductions

Present: Susan Buckley, Sydney Fisher Larson, Nica Meggerson, Dian Pecora, Connie Sundberg, Jessica Callahan (8:35 am to 8:50 am)
Mary Ann Hansen, Andrea Sousa
Nancy Howatt
Leigh Oetker, Sarah Hignite
Mark Lovelace, Cameron Mull


Sydney Fisher Larson 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

Susan Buckley shared a letter from the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services, inviting stakeholders to participate in the upcoming County Self-Assessment convening on January 9th from 10 am to 2 pm at the Humboldt Bay Aquatic Center.  She suggested that a Commission representative should attend this convening.



III.        Executive Director Report

  • Mary Ann announced that Star Mohatt was hired as a Program Coordinator. This position has multiple funding sources and will serve as the 0 to 8 Mental Health Collaborative Program Coordinator, the QRIS Coordinator, and the Commission’s Early Childhood Care & Education Program Coordinator. Star will start her new position in January 2017.
  • Mary Ann is exploring hiring a Systems-change Consultant. She explained she does need some support in terms of advocacy work and in making the shift from grant oversight to systems change. Funding for the consultant will be used from available funds from the Impact grant, the Commission budget, and the ECE budget.
  • Commissioners received a copy of the draft playgroup funding matrix, which will be discussed at a future meeting.  The Parent & Family Support Subcommittee and the Fiscal Subcommittee are currently reviewing the funding matrix.
  • Mary Ann is working with Kerry Venegas (Changing Tides Family Services) to submit a Bridges grant to receive funding for the Help Me Grow initiative.
  • The Town Hall meeting with Senator McGuire was a success. Commissioner Pecora mentioned that she was surprised to see the number of people attending, with only standing room availability early on in the event. She reported that the event felt like an advocacy movement. Commissioner Callahan shared she felt proud to be a First 5 Commissioner upon leaving the event.  The event had good dialogs and was well received.  She said there were some concerns that were addressed by attendees at the beginning of the event, i.e. lack of pediatric dental providers and homeless issues, but overall it was a great event. A lot of students from C.R. and HSU were present, amongst agency representatives and community folks. Mary Ann mentioned that Senator McGuire committed doing a follow-up event next year and will be reporting on the progress made since the Town Hall event. Mary Ann is putting together a workgroup.  Judge Hinrichs, Patrick Cleary, and members of the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership already expressed an interest in joining the workgroup.



IV.        Approval of Minutes: Commission Meeting minutes of Nov. 17, 2016

ACTION: The meeting minutes of Nov. 17, 2016 were approved as written.



V.         Consent Calendar:

A.  Trinidad Playgroup Proposal

B.  2017 Commission Meeting Schedule

C.  2017 Subcommittee Roster

ACTION: All Consent Calendar Items were approved as presented.



VI.        Information Item: Subcommittee & Workgroup Reports

  • Evaluation: The Evaluation Subcommittee is meeting on December 13th.
  • Fiscal: The Fiscal Subcommittee met on Dec. 7th to review the revised budgets, received the Audit Report for FY 15/16, reviewed the draft Playgroup funding matrix, discussed a time frame for implementation of the new Strategic Plan in regards to fiscal issues, and decided to meet on a monthly basis in the new calendar year.
  • PFS: The Parent & Family Support Subcommittee met on Nov. 18th and reviewed the draft Playgroup funding matrix, reviewed the proposal from the Trinidad Playgroup, and discussed ways to merge with the ECCE Subcommittee.
  • ECCE: The Early Childhood Care & Education Subcommittee is meeting on December 12th.



VII.       Information Item: Pediatric Oral Health

Leigh Oetker routed a handout/card from Smile Humboldt, which is shaped in the form of a tooth.  This handout was developed in collaboration with RCAA using HRSA funding. This handout is very popular at dentists’ offices and about 1,000 handouts have been distributed.  It is planned to re-print the handout and also to have Spanish-language handouts available. The inspiration of the tooth-shaped handout/card came from First 5 Contra Costa’s “Sugar Bites” materials.  The next step for Smile Humboldt is producing a poster campaign.


Leigh updated the Commission on the Humboldt Dental Transformation Initiative proposal, which was submitted to the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS). The Dental Transformation Initiative (DTI) provides direct incentives to providers through program domains that promote overall children’s utilization of preventive services and oral health disease management, expands prevention and risk assessment models, and increase dental continuity of care. Entities were able to apply for any of the four featured domains and Humboldt County chose to apply for funds from the 4th domain. The goals of Domain 4 are: increase dental prevention; caries risk assessment and disease management, and continuity of care among Medi-Cal children by providers participating in the pilot project. 23 counties applied for funding and the total requested amounts exceeded the available funding from the CA Department of Health Care Services.  Humboldt County DHHS applied for $4.3 Million over a 4-year period.


The planning for the proposal has been in the works for almost a year now, and the application was submitted in September 2016.  DHCS contacted Leigh and wanted additional information, which she provided, but she has not heard back yet if the proposal was approved.  She mentioned that this proposal was a great collaborative effort with Redwood Community Action Agency (RCAA), Open Door Community Health Centers and the Tribal Clinic at Kima:w Medical Center. If the proposal is approved, services will focus on children 0-12 and oral health case management.  All collaborative entities agreed to use a standardized risk assessment form, which will provide great data. Open Door Community Health Centers will have a dental hygienist participating on both the medical and dental boards. Two dental hygienists will be housed with RCAA and will provide care coordination, which includes working with the whole family of the children that receive dental care.  The goal is to provide dental services for up to 420 children per year.  Leigh mentioned that 60% of children 0-5 in Humboldt County have Medi-Cal.


A Public Health Dental Director will be hired and will provide oversight of the dental hygienists.  Dr. Burke has expressed interest in this position on a Consultant basis. The Dental Advisory Team will continue to meet on a quarterly basis and a new “Care Coordination Team” will be formed and will meet on a monthly basis to offer support.


Leigh feels that a great proposal for funding was submitted. If DHCS does approve the proposal for funding, Leigh is considering approaching another big funder.  Leigh also shared that at the State level Denti-Cal is under review and the State is considering re-establishing the kindergarten oral health assessments. Leigh said she will let the Commission know the outcome of the proposal when she receives the funding decision from DHCS.


Commissioners thanked Leigh for her update on the Pediatric Oral Health Initiative.



VIII.      Information Item: Fiscal Policy

The Fiscal Committee has been working on revising the Fiscal Policy for several months.  The Sustainability Fund Policy was incorporated into the revised Fiscal Policy, blending both policies into one. The decision was made to hold off on presenting the revised Fiscal Policy to the Commission until the new Strategic Plan has been approved, which was done at the last meeting.


Commissioners reviewed the draft revised Fiscal Policy and the changes made to the policy. The major change in regards to the Sustainability Fund is the decision of keeping a minimum amount of $2 Million in the Sustainability Fund in order to continue supporting the identified goals in the Commission’s Strategic Plan. The Sustainability Fund was originally established as a source of interest revenue. Currently, the Commission has a $4 Million asset in the Sustainability Fund.  If the Commission continues funding core programs at the current funding level, the Sustainability Fund would be under the suggested amount of $2 Million at the end of Fiscal Year 2020/2021.


The Fiscal Policy also states that Commission funded programs and evaluation will be supported by Prop.10 prior year revenue received in the Commission’s General Fund.  The purpose of the Commission’s General Fund is to support the Commission’s Strategic Goal programs on an annual basis. Prop.10 revenue is placed in the Commission’s General Fund during the year and the revenue is used for program and evaluation expenses the following year. If appropriate, the Commission will seek funding opportunities to leverage funds for programs and services before making withdrawals from the Sustainability Fund.


Commissioners discussed the revisions to the Fiscal Policy. Changes to the Commission’s funding of core programs will need to be made, if the revised Fiscal Policy is approved.  It is anticipated to offer a 2-year transition period to funded core programs, with annual budget reductions. At this point, the Commission withdraws up to $500,000 per Fiscal Year to cover funded programs. With the new Strategic Plan in place, the Commission’s funded programs need to be reviewed to see if their scopes of work align with the mission of the new Strategic Plan.


The Fiscal Committee will explore possible funding partners/sources, with systems change being the focus. Mary Ann shared that some First 5 counties include a MAA billing self-assessment clause in their grant Agreements.


The review of the revised Fiscal Policy will be continued at the next meeting.


IX.        Information Item: Revised 16-17 Budget

Each year, after the Audit has been received, reconciliation of prior year unspent funds occurs and budget adjustments are proposed.  In addition, the transfer from the Sustainability Fund is being reduced by using prior year unspent funds.


The revised budget for Fiscal Year 2016/17 was reviewed.  Increases are shown in green, decreases are shown in blue, distribution adjustments are shown in orange (no funding increases/decreases), and comments are shown in red.


The Revenue section of the budget was reviewed. The prior year funds in the amount of $101,783 were added to the revenue. Local Income revenue from Humboldt County Office of Education and Humboldt State University were added and committed funds for Helping Hands Humboldt grants from the prior year were added.  Transfer from the Sustainability Fund was reduced further by $109,928, reducing the total by $135,341 for the Fiscal Year.  The transfer needed from the Sustainability Fund to cover the FY 16/17 budget is in the amount of $376,953.


Under the Expenditures section, the salaries/benefits were adjusted per time study results and anticipated salary increases. The ECE budget was increased to cover additional Extra Help expenses. The operating line item within the Commission’s budget was increased by $10,000 in order to cover moving expenses that occurred for Commission staff to move into another office building. The County charges were increased by $3,000 for anticipated County Counsel charges for the new fiscal year agreements development.


Under the Playgroup Initiative and Parent & Family Support/FRCs section, adjustments were made to the Blue Lake Playgroup/FRC and the Manila Playgroup/FRC (no funding increases or decreases occurred). The funding amounts for the Fortuna Playgroup and the Loleta Playgroup were added to the Playgroup Initiative and taken from the Family Strengthening committed funds, which was reduced by $21,600. Funding for the Willow Creek Playgroup/FRC was reduced, due to the Commission no longer providing funds for the Playschool activities. In addition, the approved bridge funds in the amount of $5,000 was added to the Women & Children’s Fund/2-1-1 Humboldt line item. $3,219 of committed funds were added to the ECE Training & Support budget to cover outstanding Helping Hands Humboldt grant payments.


The Training & Workshop budget (Budget Unit 461) was added to the revised budget to show revenues and expenditures for the Town Hall event that occurred on December 1st with Senator McGuire.  The total revised budget for FY 16/17 is in the amount of $1,577,683.


The FY 16/17 revised budget will be an Action Item at the next meeting.



X.         Information Item: Fiscal Management Guide:  Investment and Internal Control

Now that the Strategic Plan is approved, the Fiscal Subcommittee is recommending to resume reviewing sections of the First 5 Association Fiscal Management Guide.


As a follow-up to the County Treasurer’s presentation at the last meeting, it seemed appropriate to review the Investment Management chapter of the Guide.  The purpose of the Investment Management chapter is to set forth general guidelines for the investment practices of First 5 commissions. This chapter talks about Policy Statement, the Investment Policy, and Procedures that should be considered when thinking about investing public funds by using best practices.


First 5 Humboldt adopted the County of Humboldt’s Investment Policy and is using the County Treasurer as the investment manager. If the Commission does decide in the future to no longer contract with the County, a comprehensive investment policy will need to be adopted for the management of investment portfolios. Commissioners shared that they liked the presentation by the County Treasurer, it was easy to understand and the Treasurer was very responsive to questions and comments.  Nancy Howatt said that the Humboldt County Treasury has a good reputation and that local schools always recommend the County Treasury for school bonds financial management.


Within the Procedure section of the Investment Management chapter, the Internal Controls for Investment Management are addressed. An important step toward prudent investment of public funds is to organize and formalize investment-related activities. Internal controls for the investment function are important to safeguard the Commission’s assets, and to ensure accurate and timely financial reporting.  The Commission’s assets need to be protected not only from theft, fraud, and embezzlement, but also from inappropriate or poor decision-making. To control the investment function, the Commission should rely on a combination of organization designs, systems and procedures, which include:  Written investment policy, formal written agreements, organizational design, segregation of duties, barriers to collusion, checks and balances, pre-employment screening, written procedures, training, reporting requirements, external monitoring, paper systems, electronic fund transfer procedures and wire transfer agreements, internal loss controls, and cost-benefit analysis.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:50 am.


Next Meeting:
Thursday, Jan. 12, 2017 
8:30 – 10:30 am
First 5 Humboldt Conference Room
525 Second Street, Room 203, Eureka


Chair:  Dian Pecora


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