CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 11-16-09

CTCDD Meeting 11-16-09

 

The 160th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Monday, November 16, 2009, at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.

 

Council Members Present: Stephen Belske, Larry Carlson, Kathryn duPree, Gabriela Freyre-Calish, Leo Germain, Hayley Kelley, David King, Bill Knight, Armand Legault, Chair; Jennifer Lortie, Zuleika Martinez, Sabra Mayo, Peter Morrissette, Perri Murdica, Dwayne Paul, Sarah Rafala, Frank Reed, , Anita Tremarche, Vice Chair;  Monica Smyth Patricia Tyler.

 

Excused Absence:  Joyce Baker, Maryann Lombardi, Tom McCann, Leslie Prior and Nancy Taylor.

 

Absent:  Fred Frank, Robyn Hescock, Mark Keenan and Al Piehl.

 

Guests Present:  John Esteves, Director, Disability Resource Network; Lorraine DeFreitas, Meeting Assistant; four (4) personal assistants, and a guest of Ms. Mayo.

 

Staff Present:  Mary-Ann Langton, Ed Preneta and Angela Spino.

 

Mr. Legault called the CT Council meeting to order at 11:05 a.m.   He noted that there are 2 sets of minutes to approve:  the Councilís September 22, 2009 meeting and the Councilís special November 3, 2009 Orientation meeting.

 

Minutes

 

          Mr.  Reed moved to approve the minutes of September 22, 2009.  Mr. Germain seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Mr. Knight moved to approve the minutes of November 3, 2009.  Ms. Lortie seconded.  The motion passed with Ms. Tremarche abstaining.

 

Budget Update

 

Mr. Legault noted that he invited Mr. John Esteves, Director, Disability Resource Network, to discuss a deficit in the budget for Powerfest.

 

2009 Budget

            Mr. Preneta reported that with the exception of commitments based on the calendar year, the 2009 budget was nearly closed out.  Funds remained in the 2009 budget to make payments to initiatives with CT Community Care Incorporated (CCCI) for peer mentors and service brokers, the Disability Resource Network (DRN) for CT Youth ADAPT, People 1st of CT to explore independence, and social role valorization training for providers of Money Follows the Person services. All but CCCI will be paid during December.  CCCI is based on state fiscal year and will be paid a second payment pending a successful site visit evaluation in January.

          He said the Council may end up the 2009 budget year with about a $2,000 deficit but he was confident the Council will make up the deficit by the end of the calendar year. 

         

2010 Budget

Mr. Preneta reported that the 2010 budget looks the same as the 2009 budget.   There are no increases projected except in Fringe Benefits.  He said the Fringe Benefit rate was about 60%. 

He asked the Council to keep in mind that each Council meeting costs about $5,200.  Six (6) Council meetings in 2010 will cost about $35,000.  The largest expense is transportation followed by stipends, and other reimbursements, such as child care and personal assistants, for Council members.

 

Powerfest

 

          Mr. Preneta reported that there was a deficit in the Powerfest budget of $9,951 based on his calculations on revenue and expenses as of November 10, 2009.  He estimated the total cost of Powerfest to be over $52,000, not including the time of Council members and staff and Disability Resource Network (DRN) staff.  DRN, as the fiduciary for Powerfest, is legally responsible for expenses but there were expenses it could not anticipate.   He said that if the Council wished to offset the deficit, the Council could transfer funds from its CT Youth ADAPT initiative, a separate Council initiative also with DRN, to Powerfest.  CT Youth ADAPT members participated in planning and implementing Powerfest.  The last payment of $4,950 for CT Youth ADAPT would offset most of the Powerfest deficit.  The Council could also use 2009 funds carried over into the Councilís 2010 budget to cover the balance of the Powerfest deficit.  Mr. Preneta said that transferring funds from one initiative to another initiative within the same agency is permitted and not unprecedented.  It is also not unprecedented for the Council to increase funding for a Council initiative, although an increase is unusual and usually happens as a result of a site visit evaluation.  What is unprecedented about this request is that it is the result of the default on expected financial commitments and extraordinary delays in finalizing the transfer of funds from other state agencies.

          Mr. Esteves provided updated expenses as of November 16, 2009.  He estimated the total cost of Powerfest to be about $57,100 but did not include $4,400 planned in the original budget for stipends for youth who planned the Powerfest nor did it include his indirect costs calculated at 10% of the final memorandum of agreement of $35,000.  He estimated the deficit to be about $15,300, with out stipends and indirect costs.  He asked the Council for permission to use the balance of CT Youth ADAPT funds toward the deficit and that the Council appropriate an additional $6,000 toward the deficit.

          Ms. Tyler asked why expenses could not have been reduced during the course of planning.

          Mr. Esteves said that commitments to facilities, speakers and other logistics had to be made early on and were based on expected financial commitments of collaborators at the time. 

          Mr. Preneta said this collaboration was extraordinarily difficult to administer and manage since some collaborators chose to pay for specific items directly rather than through the Councilís MOA with DRN.  Neither the Council nor DRN had control of these decisions.  Cash flow was also a problem.  The Council upfronted funds to DRN while waiting for transfers from state agencies.  One state agency transfer did not happen until just before Powerfest and another state agency transfer did not happen until after Powerfest.

          Mr. Reed was concerned that youth who participated in planning Powerfest should also be paid stipends.

          Ms. Kelley moved to allow the balance of $4,950 of CT Youth ADAPT funds be transferred for use with Powerfest expenses.  Mr. Knight seconded. 

          Mr. Paul was concerned about transferring funds without knowing specifically how they would be used.

          Mr. Esteves said he would use funds toward transportation expenses.

          Mr. Paul moved to amend the motion to transfer funds for Powerfest transportation expenses.  Ms. Lortie seconded.  The motion passed with Mr. King and Ms. Martinez abstaining.

          Mr. Legault asked for a vote on the original motion as amended. 

          The amended motion passed with Mr. King, Ms. Martinez and Mr. Paul abstaining.

          There was continued discussion about stipends for youth who planned Powerfest and DRNís indirect costs.

          Ms. Tremarche moved that a Powerfest Task Force be established to study Powerfest expenses and have the authority to appropriate additional funds with a decision to be made by December 1, 2009.  Mr. Knight seconded.

          Mr. Paul moved to amend the motion to limit the task forcesí authority to spending up to $15,000.  Mr. Reed seconded.  The motion passed with Mr. King and Ms. Martinez abstaining.

          Mr. Legault asked for a vote on the original motion as amended.

          The amended motion passed with Mr. King and Ms. Martinez abstaining.

          Mr. Germain, Ms. Hayley, Mr. Reed and Ms. Tremarche volunteered for the Powerfest task force.  The task force will meet by teleconference at noon on Tuesday, November 24, 2009.

 

2010 Meeting Schedule

 

Following lunch, Mr. Legault asked to move up the agenda a proposed 2010 Meeting Schedule as the next order of business.  The item was moved by consensus. 

Mr. Legault said the Executive Committee recommends adopting the originally proposed 2010 meeting schedule.

          Mr. Belske proposed meeting at 9:00 a.m. and ending by Noon.

          Mr. Legault explained that people who use personal assistants would have to get up at 5:00 a.m. and their personal assistants would have to get up even earlier. 

          Mr. Paul asked about teleconferencing.

          Mr. Preneta said teleconferencing and video conferencing has been discussed with the facility.  The room used by the Council does not currently accommodate teleconferencing but modifications are being explored.  The rooms that enable teleconferencing are too small for the Council to use.

          Ms. Kelley proposed that the Council provide a letter for Council members to use with their employers to help them obtain permission to attend Council meetings.

          Ms. Tremarche said the Membership and Support Committee could draft such a letter for Council members who would like such a letter.

          Mr. Germain moved to adopt the  2010 Meeting Schedule.  Ms. duPree seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.

 

Old Business

 

Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee

 

          Mr. Germain reported that the Committee is exploring how a free-lance writer or public relations firm might be used to further the Councilís mission. 

          Mr. Preneta noted that the Council will have to follow the stateís procedures for purchasing services from a freelance writer or public relations firm.  The services of freelance writers and public relations firms are ďgoods and servicesĒ.  There are many freelance writers and public relations firms in Connecticut. It will have to be put out to bid.  While there used to be a list of approved vendors, with the stateís fiscal crisis, the Governor canceled all contracts.  He also noted that the Attorney General had recently sent a letter and document to all state agency heads about open, free and competitive markets for the purchase of goods and services.  There is a heightened sensitivity and vigilance regarding anything that may look like collusion.  The Committee has to be very careful when talking to any person or firm as it explores freelance writers or public relations firms.

          Mr. Legault said working with freelance writers or public relations firms is not like working with public broadcasting.  There is only one public broadcasting entity in Connecticut.

          Mr. Germain said the Committee is meeting again on November 19, 2009.

 

Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee

 

          Mr. Reed reported that the Committee plans to address strengthening aversives, restraints and seclusion reporting legislation and follow-up on the Judge Rotenberg Center.  He said the Committee expects to participate in a collaboration opposed to legislation to make it easier for physicians to perform physicianís assisted suicide.  (NOTE:  The Council has been asked to participate in a planning meeting in early December.)  The Committee is working on a meeting time, date and place.

 

Membership and Support Committee

 

          With Mr. McCannís absence, there was no report.

 

Transition Committee

 

          Mr. Legault reported that the Committee is meeting with the Department of Developmental Servicesí Human Resource Director to learn about the stateís job posting, application, screening, interviewing and hiring process.

          Mr. Legault reported that the Office of State Ethics officially ruled that Council members applying for the position as Director of the Council had to leave the Council as of October 1, 2009. 

 

2010 Initiatives

 

          Mr. Preneta reported that the Council is behind on implementing 2010 initiatives.  He distributed an update of the Councilís 2010 Initiatives.  The update includes Council members for every initiative based upon how they voted for initiatives at the September Council meeting.  The update also includes updated information about each initiative since the September Council meeting.  Staff will begin to work with Council members to implement the initiatives.

          Mr. Preneta said two (2) new initiatives were described beginning on page 14.  The Americans with Disabilities Advocacy Collaborative (ADACC) has asked for $10,000 to funding the planning of a 20th Anniversary celebration of the ADA on July 26, 2010.  The Disability Advocacy Collaborativeís 2010 Disability Convention and Expo has taken on more importance with Governor Rellís decision to not run.  The 2010 Convention was considered by the Council at its September meeting but received only 3 votes.  Both the economic times and Governor Rellís decision makes the Convention an opportunity if the agenda can be influenced.  The Convention must be more political convention than expo.  A change in leadership, with the difficult times, is an opportunity to re-think services and supports.  A slate of direct and meaningful questions must be prepared and presented to the candidates about their position on difficult issues.  The Convention can also be used to meet with provider agencies willing to explore better ways of operating.  Maintaining the status quo hasnít been and will not be good enough.  The Council provided $5,000 for past Conventions.

          Ms. Tyler reminded the Council that the Executive Committee was to determine a process for handling initiatives that arise during the course of the year.

          Mr. Reed said every initiative should have a Council member sponsor.

          An Executive Committee teleconference has been scheduled for Tuesday, November 24, 2009.  A procedure will be proposed at the Councilís January 2010 meeting.

          Mr. Preneta suggested that the Council might want to bring into Connecticut some presenters from the national meeting of Councils in New Mexico.  He recommended Nancy Thaler, Director, National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the national association of state departments like CTís Department of Developmental Services, on the state of the states regarding people with developmental disabilities and their families; William Kiernan, Director, Institute on Community Inclusion, University of Massachusetts-Boston, one of MAís University Centers for Excellence, on changing the focus of the allocation of resources to help people enter and remain employed; and John Agosta, Vice President, Human Services Research Institute, Cambridge, MA (although John operates the Oregon office), on the need to re-design Medicaid service systems and change the allocation of resources.

          Ms. duPree said that CT DDS is working with Mr. Kiernan. 

          Mr. Kiernan will be invited to present at the Councilís January 12, 2010 Council meeting and Public Forum.

 

          The meeting adjourned by consensus at 1:50 p.m.

 

 

                                                                   Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                   Ed Preneta

 



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