Leadership Council Meeting
June 4, 2015

In attendance: Jim Ayres, United Way of Hampshire County, Jane Banks, Center for Human Development, Tim Brennan, Pioneer Valley Planning Commission, Kathy Buckley Brawner, Catholic Charities, Dave Christopolis, Hilltown CDC, Steve Como, Soldier On, Patricia Crosby, Franklin Hampshire Career Center, Sylvia deHaas-Phillips, United Way of Pioneer Valley, Ken Demers, BerkshireWorks, Doreen Fadus, Mercy Medical Center, Lisa Goldsmith, Dial/SELF, Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, Peg Keller, City of Northampton, Charlie Knight, consumer, Jay Levy, Eliot CHS-Homeless Services, Diana McLean, City of Westfield, Dave Modzelewski, Network/REACH, Andrew Morehouse, Food Bank of Western Mass., Jerry Ray, Mental Health Association, George Ryan, Hampden County Regional Employment Board, Jay Sacchetti, ServiceNet, Pamela Schwartz, Network, Robin Sherman, Franklin County Regional Housing and Redevelopment Authority, Representative Aaron Vega, Lynne Wallace, HAPHousing, Sue White, Veterans Administration Medical Center

 The group welcomed Representative Aaron Vega to the Leadership Council and thanked him for his commitment to these issues and to the Network as a whole. We are thrilled to have him with us!

Review of Leadership Council April 28 Meeting Minutes  (click here)
Charlie Knight: motion to approve
Gerry McCafferty: seconded

Discussion: Pamela pointed out that she clarified the language in the minutes on the blog (but failed to include it in the copy distributed at today’s meeting) to reflect that votes were not “unanimous” but “all in favor with Joanne LaCour abstaining” per Joanne’s request.

All in favor: unanimous
Opposed: none; Abstentions: none

FY16 State budget update:

Pamela updated the group on the budget process: The budget is currently in Conference Committee where Senate and House budget differences will be resolved. Pamela will summarize in a forthcoming email the status of the Network priorities and next steps. With regard to the Network funding, the House budget includes an earmark for the $125,000, and the Senate budget does not. We will continue to advocate for Network funding, as well as for our remaining priorities regarding Secure Jobs, Housing Consumer Education Centers and funding for housing and services for unaccompanied homeless youth.

Network’s proposed FY16 budgets (click here):
Charlie Knight: motion to accept budgets
Seconded: Patricia Crosby

Discussion: Andrew talked through both scenarios, one without state funding and one with it.

In the first scenario without state funding, we are looking at a total gap of over $33K. We discussed “sustaining contributions” and how they were lower than expected (state funding last year slowed contributions). The Steering Committee will revisit this and restart contribution outreach.

Rep. Vega suggested we consider 3 year commitments for planning purposes.

Question regarding Simtech tools/consultancy in state funding budget: The consultant amount is a placeholder for further planning and discussion. The cost of the tools is fixed ($3K /month) and is vital to producing regional data (offers a “data warehouse” and capacity to collate data from multiple sources and produce meaningful outcome measures). Gerry McCafferty also pointed out that if we use Simtech, it could save her CoC funds and the CoC could be in a position to contribute to the cost as well.

Robin Sherman suggested the Steering Committee devise an “expense budget” that would match the income budget relying only on revenue sources that we are confident we have.

All agreed that moving forward we will need to address how we sustain ourselves beyond State funding.

Jerry Ray suggested that this is a “limited time budget” – that we all understand once numbers are finally known, we will make a final budget.

Doreen Fadus: this is a “good faith budget” – that we vote understanding there is no guarantee on revenue right now.

Alternative is to not vote on a budget at all today and convene an emergency meeting of the LC by 6/30/15.

We agreed to look into electronic voting – a change to by-laws – to create this option in the future.

If we pass a budget today, the Steering Committee would be empowered to modify the budget as circumstances dictate. It will also tackle the fundraising plan.

Vote on the Motion:
Opposed: Jane Banks, Kathryn Buckley-Brawner, Dave Christopolis, Patricia Crosby, Robin Sherman
In Favor: all others in attendance
Abstentions: none

Motion carried. Andrew acknowledged that this was the first time in a long time that the Leadership Council lacked consensus and the Steering Committee will be very sensitive to that as it moves forward with budget and fundraising planning.

Confirmed FY16 Leadership Council Meeting Schedule:
Thurs., 9/17 – Berkshire County
Wed., 1/20 – Hampshire County
Thurs., 4/28 – Franklin County
Wed., 6/21 – Hamden County

Meeting adjourned 1 pm.

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