Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Quarterly Meeting
The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (Council or GCDD) met on Thursday, June 8, 2017 at 10 a.m., at the Jonesboro Municipal Center located at 300 S. Church Street, Jonesboro, Arkansas.
Agenda Item I. Call to Order
Chairman Chris Johnson called the meeting to order at 10:07 a.m. with a quorum present.
Agenda Item II. Roll Call
Chairman Chris Johnson conducted the roll call with the following results:
Chris Johnson, Chair
Kasey Hodges (phone)
Toni Roy (phone)
Melissa Stone, represented by Diane Keith
Judy Watson (phone)
Stacey Sebree, Vice Chair
Assiah Lewellen, Grants & Outreach Coordinator
Eric Munson, Executive Director
Diana Wilson, Program Planner/Manager
Amanda Blaylock, of Senator Boozman’s office
Mary Broadaway, former State Representative
Daniel Faulkner, Arkansas Attorney General’s Office, GCDD’s Legal Counsel
Vivian and Teresa Hardin
Shelby Knight, Director, the Center for Exceptional Families
Kimberly Marshall, Grants Administrator, City of Jonesboro & DRA Board Treasurer
Julie Robbins, Mangan Holcomb Partners
Harold Perrin, Mayor, City of Jonesboro
Agenda Item III. Welcome and Guest Introductions
Chairman Chris Johnson welcomed attendees and thanked Mayor Perrin. Johnson introduced some of the guests. Johnson thanked members and guests for traveling to Jonesboro to attend. Munson greeted attendees and thanked Mayor Perrin for the invitation and the City of Jonesboro for hosting the meeting.
Agenda Item IV. Approve March 6, 2017 Meeting Minutes
Johnson asked Council members to refer to the handout of the 03/06/17 Council meeting minutes. Johnson asked if everyone had reviewed the document and if anyone had corrections to the minutes or comments. There were no corrections. Johnson asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the 03/06/17 Council meeting. Tebbetts moved to approve the minutes and Hollis-Anthony seconded the motion. Johnson asked if there was any further discussion regarding the minutes. There was no further discussion. Johnson proceeded with the vote. All voted in favor, none were opposed, and the motion passed unanimously to approve the 03/06/17 Council meeting minutes.
Agenda Item V. Council Budget Report
Johnson referred members to the budget report handout (green paper). He then stated that he was turning the discussion over to staff for the budget update. Wilson gave a budget update by verbally reviewing the data on the handout. She stated that the Council would start using FY17 funds by the end of June 2017. She reminded members that the largest recurring expenditure is salaries. She noted that the administrative staff was operating with only 4 positions, including the Executive Director position, which was down from a total of 7 positions in early 2015. Koslowski asked a question. Johnson asked a couple of questions. Wilson responded. There was general discussion about various upcoming funding deadlines. Johnson asked if there were any further questions or discussion on the budget report. There was no further discussion. Johnson was ready to move on to the next agenda item.
Agenda Item VI. Status Report on Grant Funded Projects
Johnson referred attendees to the funded projects status report document (yellow paper). Munson gave a brief report on the current status of each funded project (the Council Website and Marketing Projects, the Department of Human Services-Developmental Disabilities Services Division Employment First State Leadership Mentoring Partnership Provider Transformation Project, and the UA/Partners Self Advocacy Network Development Project). These projects are funded using the remaining FY15 funds pursuant to interagency agreements in place with the Department of Finance and Administration (DFA), the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the University of Arkansas (UA). Lewellen spoke about the Provider Transformation Project. There was general discussion about the project. Masseau gave an update on the progress of Darren Morris, the statewide self-advocate coordinator employed through the Self Advocacy Network Development (SAND) Project. He noted the upcoming training to be conducted by Morris which is available for free to self-advocates. Masseau encouraged Council Members self-advocates to attend and to spread the word to other self-advocates around the state. Deere stated that Morris was planning to hold a training in the Jonesboro area and asked that attendees with self-advocate contacts in the area spread the word and also forward any information that might be helpful to Morris. Evans spoke about the positive affect of Morris’ trainings on self-advocates in northwest Arkansas, where Morris has held weekly trainings for the past four months. Johnson thanked all for the updates and directed the Council to move to the next agenda item.
Agenda Item X. Reports from Committee Chairs
Johnson said it was time for committee chairs to present reports.
Executive Committee – Chris Johnson, Chair:
Johnson stated that there was no report from the Executive Committee.
Nominating Committee – Stacey Sebree, Chair:
Sebree was not present at this time. Johnson asked that Munson give the report for the Nominating Committee. Munson asked that everyone continue to send names/recommendations of qualified potential future members to Council staff. Johnson asked the names of current members whose terms would be expiring in 2017. Lewellen read from the handout: Hollis-Anthony, Horton, Mencer, and Tebbetts. Johnson reminded members that, in accordance with Council Bylaws, Policies & Procedures, they had to notify Executive Director Munson of their intent to continue serve on the Council and complete the application with the Office of Boards and Commissions. The final decision on who serves is always the Governor’s; Council and staff can only make recommendations. There was general discussion on the topic. Munson reminded members that they needed to complete the process before September when the Nominating Committee would meet next. Lewellen stated that there is a link on every page of the Council website to a document which explains the process of joining and contains a link to the Boards and Commissions online application. Wilson noted that this helps show the federal monitors that the Council is always recruiting and working towards improving diversity in its membership (helps with corrective action plan completion). Johnson asked if there were any further questions or discussion. There was no further discussion. Johnson asked for the next committee chair report.
Oversight Committee (OS) – David Deere, Chair:
Deere reported for the Oversight Committee. He noted that the Council is on track with the corrective action plan (CAP) and the dates set out for deliverables with over 50% of items approved for compliance. He stated that the remainder of the items are implementation and reporting related. Council needs to continue to conduct business according to federal, state, and Council regulations and staff needs to continue to document the process. Deere thanked members and staff for the work done in working toward 100% compliance with the CAP. There was a short discussion on this topic. Johnson asked if there was anything else to address. Deere said no. Johnson thanked Deere for the report.
Johnson asked for the next report.
Public Policy & Outreach Committee (PPO) - Mark George, Chair:
George presented the PPO report. George stated that PPO had met on 06/01/17 and had received an update from Cindy Smith, Public Policy Director, NACDD, on State Councils on Developmental Disabilities fiscal policy on the President’s proposed FY2018 budget, the funding changes it suggests, the restructure of the Developmental Disability Network it would require (including legislative changes to the Developmental Disabilities Act language) and the P3i proposal (proposed new funding program/structure). George directed attendees to the handout. George gave a report on this subject. He reminded members that the President’s proposed budget is just that, a proposal, or an outline entailing to Congress his wishes. The nation’s budget is up to Congress. This discussion also included concerns about changes to the Medicaid program and funding. Munson and Johnson stated their concerns. They discussed draft letters being readied to send out from Chairman Johnson to our legislators to state the Council’s opposition to the proposed changes. Munson stated that he had advised the Governor’s office of the Council’s concerns and requested that the Governor write a letter (or otherwise communicate to federal level administration) in opposition of the proposed changes in budget and structure for Council’s. There was general discussion on this subject. George moved discussion to the website. He issued a request for all advocates involved with the Council to submit stories and/or videos to staff (or make otherwise available online) communicating how important both Council and Medicaid funding is and how that funding has improved their lives, provides critical supports and access to services, allows them (or their loved one) to live independently, maintain employment, etc. He emphasized that personalizing these stories and sharing them will help to oppose the budget changes that would be detrimental to Council work and to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD) and their families. George also asked that members send links and info to staff on ID/DD-related news stories or articles so that those can be shared on the Council website, calendar, social media, etc. There was general discussion on this topic. Johnson introduced Julie Robbins of Mangan Holcomb Partners (MHP). Robbins talked about the project MHP is working on for the Council and how her firm will be helping the Council to tell (and share) these ID/DD-related stories more effectively. Mainly through the video project. She stated that the first item MHP will address is creating a strategic plan for the Council for marketing and public relations. There was general discussion. Cloud spoke about the need for members, in presenting opposition to the budget proposal, to be educated and responsible about how they frame their statements. He reminded attendees of the importance of fiscal responsibility and the need to work with the administration to find workable solutions, not just voicing opposition. Cloud said that in order to protect the funding (which provides so many important programs, services and supports in our state), long-term, sustainable solutions must be developed and put in place. Part of that, he noted, was to be sure to maintain fiscal responsibility in how federal dollars are utilized in our state. He reminded all of the need to continue to work in collaboration with our network partners and the administration both at the state and federal levels as we move forward. More will be accomplished if we work together for sustainable solutions rather than if we just come out in opposition to the administration. Munson agreed. There was further discussion. Tebbetts moved to approve the recommendation and Watson seconded the motion. Johnson asked if there was any further discussion on this topic. There was no further discussion. Johnson thanked everyone for their participation. Johnson asked for the next committee report.
State Plan & Implementation Committee (SPI) Report – Katherine Donoven, Chair:
Donoven stated that the Committee met on 05/30/17 to review, and consider for recommendation to the Council, the draft language for the upcoming Request for Proposal (RFP) that Staff had prepared for the funding of sub grants for the 2017-2018 funding cycle. She referred members to the handouts of the language and timeline drafts. Donoven indicated that the SPI Committee had voted to recommend this language and for staff to proceed with finalizing and posting the RFP as written. She reminded attendees that Council plans to fund projects under: Goal 1, Objective 1, Activity 1; Goal 2, Objective 1, Activity 1; Goal 3, Objective 2, Activity 2. The RFP language will solicit applications for funding of projects which fit into one of these areas. There was general discussion. Wilson stated that applications would be entered/created and submitted through the use of DD Suite, the online grants/project management system available to State Councils on DD. She spoke about match requirements for sub grantees. Wilson, Munson and Johnson asked that members and guests all be prepared to share the RFP links/news of the funding opportunity so that more organizations would apply. Munson thanked the SPI Committee for all their dedication and hard work in advancing so far with the RFP process. There was general discussion. Donoven stated that the SPI Committee had approved the language as in the draft and she recommended that the Council vote to approve the draft language, as recommended, for the upcoming Request for Proposal. Donoven made a motion that the Council approve the RFP language. Johnson accepted Donoven’s motion to approve and asked for a second. Gardenhire seconded the motion to approve the RFP. Johnson asked if there was any further discussion on this topic. There was a question asking when the RFP would be published. Wilson stated tomorrow, June 9th. There was a question as to how the RFP would be made available to the public. Wilson stated that it would be posted on the State website, the DFA website, the Council website, on Council social media accounts, links would be emailed directly and the notice would be posted in the newspaper. Lewellen stated that members would be sent an email announcement containing direct a direct link to the application for funding so that they could share the information as was best for them. Donoven again asked that all share the news. Johnson asked, again, if there was any further discussion on this topic. There was no further discussion. Johnson proceeded with the vote. All voted in favor, none were opposed, and the motion passed unanimously to approve the SPI Committee’s recommended RFP language. There were no further questions on Donoven’s report. Johnson accepted Donoven’s report and moved to the next agenda item.
Agenda Item XI. Council Staff Update and Council Member Continuing Education
Munson gave a brief update. He stated that he was very close to hiring someone for the Operations Coordinator position and that once an individual was hired, the Council’s administrative staff would be fully-staffed. Munson stated that he hoped all the members would be able to participate in the educational on-site visits scheduled after the business meeting today. (Council member continuing education planned for June consists of on-site visits to locations of interest in the Jonesboro area. Participating members will learn about: the integrated employment opportunities for individuals with ID/DD at the Abilities Unlimited Recycling Center; the features available to everyone at Miracle League Park which include fully-accessible ball fields, playground and other amenities; and the services available to residents at the Jonesboro Human Development Center, including a focus on providing support/services to assist with transitional opportunities for people who, with guardian consent, are interested in leaving the center to pursue alternative living and service options.)
Agenda Item XII. New Business and Announcements
Johnson asked that members again review the drafts of the letters he wanted to send out in opposition to the proposed FFY18 budget regarding reduction in funding for State Councils on DD. He asked that any comments be submitted to Munson as soon as possible so that the letters could be sent right away. There was some discussion on this subject. Johnson asked if there was any further business to discuss. Gardenhire spoke about the experience for his family to be featured in the Little Rock Special Family June 2017 issue. Copies of that magazine/article were provided. Lewellen noted that in the magazine, directly following the Gardenhire family’s story, was the latest article from the Council, this time on how to participate in the Council. Johnson went over the schedule of Council activities scheduled for the rest of the day, including speakers during the meal and continuing education on-site visits to Jonesboro area locations/organizations related to ID/DD. Johnson asked if there was any further business to discuss. There was no further business. Johnson asked if any guests would like to speak. No speakers came forward.
Agenda Item XIII. Adjourn
Chairman Johnson asked for a motion to adjourn the business meeting. Hollis-Anthony made motion to adjourn and was seconded by Kozlowski. All voted in favor, none were opposed and the motion to adjourn passed unanimously. Johnson thanked everyone and invited attendees to have lunch. Munson thanked all the attendees for making the trip. He reminded those who planned to participate in the on-site visits that the bus would begin loading at 12:30 p.m.
Meeting adjourned at 11:28 a.m.
Assiah Lewellen, Recorder
THESE MINUTES WERE APPROVED BY FULL COUNCIL DURING THE 09-14-17 QUARTERLY MEETING
Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities - June 8, 2017 Schedule of Events - Jonesboro, Arkansas
10:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m. June 2017 Quarterly Meeting
12:30 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. Council Member Continuing Education (On-site Visits)
Schedule Detail for On-Site Visits to Jonesboro Area Locations:
12:30 p.m. Load Bus/Depart for Educational Visits
1:00 p.m. Abilities Unlimited Recycling Center
2:00 p.m. Miracle Field Park
2:30 p.m. Jonesboro HDC
3:30 p.m. Load Bus/Depart to Municipal Center
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