June 18, 2014 Print E-mail


Meeting Minutes of June 18, 2014
(Approved on 8/20/14)

I.          Welcome and Introductions
Present:   Susan Buckley, Jessica Callahan, Rebecca Lowry, Ronnie Swartz, Mark Lovelace, Dian Pecora (6:30-7:00 pm)
Staff:   Wendy Rowan, Andrea Sousa, Jennifer Gonzales
Consultant:    Nancy Howatt
Guests:   Julie Simpson, Sarah Vogel, Grecia Rojas, Ald. Medina Cass, Gabrielle Cohen, Michael Tully, Ben Fairless, Karen Stanley, Anita Cohen, Sue Grenfell, Jackie Hamilton, Elaine DuBois, Pam Loudenslager, Marché Hines, Kim Rios, Beth Heavilin, Meg Walkley, Tamara Clohessy, Lu Magnuson, Martha Shanahan, Cameron Mull, Tamara Jenkinson, Libby Pinto, Deanna Sanders, Lorey Keele, Sally Hewitt, Siddiq Kilkenny, Matina Kilkenny, Kit Boisvert Meyer, Dulce Wickham Doane, Glenda Short, José Quezada, Heather Shelton, Deanna Sanders
Absent:  Ovieda Elliott, Sydney Fisher Larson, Sheryl Lyons

Ronnie Swartz called the meeting to order at 5:05 pm

II.        Public Comments and Announcements
Libby Pinto announced that Governor Brown signed the State budget, which includes a big investment for early learning and childhood development.

III.       Recognition of Program Results and Successes by Acknowledgement of Program Leaders, Partners, and Communities
Per FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT’s Evaluation Policy for Continuation of Existing Programs, each year the Commission shows appreciation to those who have provided exemplary service to young children and their families.
Commissioners acknowledged the following program leaders, partners, and communities:  Siddiq Kilkenny, former First 5 Humboldt Commissioner; Helen Love, former First 5 Humboldt Program Coordinator; Carla Laermanns, First 5 Humboldt intern for Fiscal Year 2013/14; Deanna Sanders, State of California, Community Care Licensing; Cameron Mull, Arcata Parks & Recreation; Martha Shanahan, St. Joseph Health – Humboldt County; Michelle Balter, Dept. of Health & Human Services; Lorey Keele, Redwood Community Action Agency; Mike Tully, Humboldt County Probation; Sally Hewitt, Dept. of Health & Human Services; Kerry Venegas, Hoopa Tribal Education; Kit Boisvert Meyer, DHHS-WIC Program; Sue Grenfell, DHHS-Healthy Moms Program; Libby Pinto, Willow Creek Community Resource Center; Kristi Shaw, Blue Lake Playgroup; Tara Redner, Humboldt County Office of Education (HCOE); Cecilia Rahner, HCOE; Lu Magnuson, HCOE; Jill Gallagher, HCOE; Tamara Clohessy, HCOE; Beth Stone, HCOE; Maren Wagner, Redwood Coast Regional Center; Julie Peacock, Shelter Cove Playgroup; Katie Kubala, Miranda Playgroup; Cheyenne Coleman, Casterlin Playgroup; Larissa Richardson, Weott Playgroup; Judy Longshore, Tiny Tots Playgroup; Barbara Ratzlaff, Tiny Tots Playgroup; Pam Loudenslager, Tiny Tots Playgroup; Karen Stanley, Leah Sanders, Marché Hines,  Dot Sundstrom, Pauli Carroll, Heather Walsh-Storti, Gregory Storti, Open Door Community Health Centers, Zoo Economic Assistance Program, Humboldt Literacy Project, and Arcata House.

IV.       Executive Director Report 

  • Wendy announced the hire of our new Program Coordinator, Jennifer Gonzales.
  • Commissioners received a handout with information about the Board of Equalization from an Assembly Budget Subcommittee meeting.
  • The Commission Retreat is scheduled on July 9th at the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.  An Agenda will follow.
  • For Fiscal Year 2014/15, Commission staff will continue to focus on immunization information, as we did in this Fiscal Year.
  • The red folder was routed with an example of the Commission’s updated Agreement template, a birthday card, and samples of an English/Spanish pregnancy guide, and an English/Spanish child health record.

V.        Approval of Minutes:  Commission Meeting Minutes of May 21, 2014 
ACTION:  The minutes of 5/21/14 were approved as written.

VI.       Consent Calendar:
A.                 March 2014 Postings
B.                 April 2014 Postings
C.                 North Coast Grantmaking Partnership: Children’s Summer Lunch Program
D.                North Coast Grantmaking Partnership:  ChildSpree
ACTION:  All Consent Calendar items were approved as presented.

VII.     Action Item:  FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Ten Year Forecast 
Nancy Howatt announced that she found an error in the Ten Year Forecast that was approved in December 2013. As of Fiscal Year 2020/21 the beginning funding balance was the same as in FY 2019/2020, therefore adjustments needed to be made.  With the revised 10-year forecast, the beginning fund balance was adjusted, which reduced the amount by $618,933.

After approval of the Fiscal Year 2014/15 budget, the Ten Year Forecast is updated to coordinate with the approved budgets. The Fiscal Subcommittee met on June 4th to review the updated Ten Year Forecast.  Input was provided, and the version presented was approved by the Subcommittee. Commissioners reviewed the updated Ten Year Forecast.  The updated Ten Year Forecast shows a redesignation of the Revolving Loan Fund into the Sustainability Fund.  The Revolving Loan Fund was established in June 2011 for a 3-year period for the purpose of providing emergency bridge loans to child care providers in Humboldt County.  A funding commitment in the amount of $500,000 was established for the Revolving Loan Fund from FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT’s Sustainability Fund. Since the designated funds are no longer needed, it is recommended to return the funds to the Sustainability Fund to support Core Programs.

The updated Ten Year Forecast also shows an annual 15% reduction in Evaluation and Program Services as of Fiscal Year 2017/2018, in order to maintain the $1 million funding amount for core programs. It is estimated that revenue will be at a minimum by Fiscal Year 2023/2024, if no other funding sources are identified. The current Strategic Plan is valid until the end of Fiscal Year 2016/17.  The Commission will then develop a new 4-year Strategic Plan.  At that time, Commissioners will need to re-evaluate the expenditures for Administration, Evaluation, Program Services, and Core Programs.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved the updated FIRST 5 HUMBOLDT Ten Year Forecast as presented.

VIII.    Action Item:  Annual Audit 
The Commission considered contracting with an outside auditor to prepare the financial statements for the year ended June 30, 2014.

Since the beginning of the Commission’s formation, David L. Moonie & Co. have audited the Commission’s financials and produced an Audit Report.  Although David L. Moonie & Co. has rotated staff on a regular basis and has provided an outstanding job, staff is recommending, in order to provide the best fiscal practices possible, that it would be beneficial to have another audit company conduct our annual audit for at least one year.  An audit bid was released the end of March 2014, and by the June 10th deadline, we have received four audit bids. Wendy and Fiscal Consultant Nancy Howatt reviewed the audit bids and Nancy provided advisory and follow-up questions. Wendy checked references and follow-up questions were processed with the selected audit firm.

It is recommended to contract with Christy White & Associates for one year. Christy White & Associates is an experienced firm, has several locations throughout California, has done Prop.10 audits in other counties, does professional work and has a good reputation.
ACTION:   Commissioners approved contracting with the firm Christy White & Associates to prepare the financial statements for the year ending June 30, 2014.

IX.       Action Item:  Mattole Valley Resource Center 
Since December 2012, resources have been provided by the Commission and the Humboldt County Office of Education to assist with the development of a Family Resource Center in the Mattole Valley. Progress has been made and additional resources are required to further secure Family Resource Center services within the communities of Honeydew and Petrolia.

Julie Simpson, Mattole Valley Resource Center Director, gave a brief history about the ongoing struggle to establish a Family Resource Center (FRC) in the Mattole Valley. During the last year, the planning process has progressed, and has been successful in establishing a Family Resource Center. The FRC Oversight Committee has created an organization, found support among several Humboldt County individuals and organizations, secured fiscal sponsorship, involved the community in the planning process, has hired staff members, and secured space to serve the community. The FRC also has become a member of the Humboldt Network of Family Resource Centers.

The FRC recently secured support from the Humboldt County Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS) for the coming Fiscal Year. Continued support is needed to provide programs for Petrolia’s and Honeydew’s pregnant women, children, and families. The goal is to create a consistent schedule of weekly office hours to provide support, case management, resource and referral services, and to coordinate programs designed to improve the quality of life for the residents of the Mattole Valley. The FRC is in the final planning stages for providing a playgroup for children age 0-5 and their families, to start in July 2014. Other activities in the planning are providing exercise, art and music classes to young children and their families. Implementation of a sports program with the Mattole Valley Unified School District is progressing. Sports programs will include soccer, track, basketball and a weeklong basketball camp during the summer months. An after-school program one day/week during the 2014/15 school year is also being implemented. The FRC will partner with CalFresh, Food for People, and local gardeners to create a food security program at the FRC.

The FRC is in the process of applying for the non-profit (501c3) status, and is currently housed in the Mattole Valley Community Center. A long-term goal of the FRC is to move into a space located at the School site in Petrolia.

Wendy mentioned that the North Coast Grantmaking Partnership will also review a grant application from the Mattole Valley Resource Center at the next meeting. The recommendation is that the Commission approves funding in the amount of $6,000 to help sustain the work of the FRC. Funds are set aside in the FY 2014/15 budget to accommodate the work of the FRC.
ACTION:  Commissioners approved funding in the amount of $6,000 to ensure the Mattole Valley Resource Center becomes fully operational.

X.        Information Item:  Music & Movement in Playgroups
With plans underway to articulate a Playgroup Initiative in Fiscal Year 2014/15, music and movement will be a fundamental new component for playgroups.  In the early years of the Commission’s work, the importance of art & music for cognitive development in young children was discussed. As we initiate work to strengthen the playgroups in Fiscal Year 2014/15, art & music could be incorporated within the structure of the playgroups.

José Quezada of “North Coast Music Together” provided an overview of Music Together, and how to incorporate musical activities within the playgroups. José presented a 3-year project proposal that uses local musicians affiliated with the Humboldt Folklife Society to record children’s music for use with singing and dancing activities at each playgroup.  The project does not seek to establish a Music Together, LLC licensed centers at First 5 Humboldt funded playgroups.  The project instead does seek to emulate the model of participatory music-making used in Music Together curriculum, except using children’s songs created, performed and recorded by local musicians. At the end of the 3-year period, playgroup facilitators will be trained to lead singing and dancing activities, and families will have a music and movement component build in as a normal part of their playgroup program experience. Each parent attending playgroup will receive a CD containing all the children’s music used at the playgroup during the music & movement classes. Commissioners received informational materials about Music Together.

José showed a Power Point presentation about “music as a research program.”  Slides included:  The 4 basic principles – music is a basic life skill – music is a way of knowing – babies’ brains benefit from music before they can walk or talk – babies’ brains benefit when there is interaction with the music – babies’ and parents interacting together musically showed marked differences than parents that didn’t – non-musical differences between the two groups – importance of movement – encouraging musicality through informal instructions. José mentioned that the project would align with the Commission’s Strategic Plan goals 2 and 3, and the Cultural Proficiency Action Plan.

Wendy mentioned that the concept is to use local musicians to create multi-cultural music for the children.  Commissioner Lowry suggested incorporating nature into the music lessons.

The meeting was adjourned at 7 pm.

Next Meeting:
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
5 – 7 pm
Location TBD

Commission Retreat:
Wednesday, July 9, 2014
9 am to 3 pm
Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
24 Fellowship Way, Bayside

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

Future Meetings:
Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, First 5 Humboldt Office
Tuesday, Oct. 21, 2014; 5-6:30 pm, location TBD
Wednesday, Nov. 19, 2014; 5 – 7 pm, location TBD
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2014; 8 – 10 am, location TBD