CTCDD: CTCDD Meeting 9-14-10

CTCDD Meeting 9-14-10


The 165th meeting of the CT Council on Developmental Disabilities was held on Tuesday, September 14, 2010, at the Institute of Technology and Business Development/Central Connecticut State University, New Britain.


Council Members Present: Joyce Baker; Larry Carlson; Kathryn duPree; Gabriela Freyre-Calish; Maryann Lombardi; Jennifer Lortie; Zuleika Martinez; Tom McCann; Peter Morrissette; Perri Murdica; Dwayne Paul; Frank Reed, Vice Chair; Monica Smyth; Anita Tremarche; Chair; and Patricia Tyler.


Excused Absence:  Stephen Belske; Fred Frank; Mark Keenan; Hayley Kelley; Bill Knight; Sabra Mayo; Al Piehl; and Nancy Taylor.


Absent:  David King; Leslie Prior; and Sarah Rafala.


Guests Present:  Margaret Cohan, John Curtin, Stacey D’Angelo, Joanne Reed, Guy Sullivan; Ira Yellin and associate, First Experience Communication; and an intern with the University Center for Excellence from the UCONN School of Social Work, and three (3) personal assistants.


Staff Present:  Mary-Ann Langton and Ed Preneta.


Mr. Reed called the CT Council meeting to order at 11:00 a.m. 




          Ms. Smyth moved to approve the minutes of June 15, 2010.  Mr.  Carlson seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          Mr. Reed noted that Mr. McCann and Ms. Taylor were retiring from the Council at the conclusion of today’s Council meeting.  He thanked them for their service.  Mr. McCann thanked the Council for the opportunity to serve. 

          Mr. Reed introduced and welcomed newly appointed Council members whose terms begin on October 1, 2010.

          Ms. Baker thanked Council members who expressed their sympathy in regards to the passing of her mother. 

Ms. Baker also asked for one or more Council members to join her on the task force that has been working with Trinity College on the RoboWaiter competition.  Mr. Reed volunteered.


Budget Update




Mr. Preneta reported that settling the separation with our former staff person will total $15,006.  This cost has been spread over 2 federal fiscal years.  The new Disability Policy Specialist begins on September 24, 2010.  The cost of full Council staffing is built into the 2011 budget.  The budget allows for the Council’s Chair and staff to attend the national association meeting in Florida later this month.  The First Experience Communication contract has been extremely difficult and time consuming to write and execute but the first payment has been processed.  Transportation continues to be worrisome.  The Council will likely spend the entire $44,200 in the contract before the contract expires on June 30, 2011.  Amending this contract to complete the year, and acquiring a new contract for future years, will be the first major headache for the new Council Director and it will take funds away from other line items including initiatives.  An estimate of the anticipated deficit in this line item will be projected at a later date.  Site visits to some initiatives have just begun.  It is not known if any unexpended funds will be realized.  He noted a Council member was needed for the site visit with Independence Unlimited.  Ms. Martinez volunteered.  While there are no known audit exceptions, the result of auditing so far is increasingly burdensome, time consuming, duplicative and costly procedure and paperwork, particularly with regard to Council member reimbursements.  The new approval and paperwork requirements for Council member reimbursements will be challenged.  The 2010 Budget breaks down as follows:


          Staff Salaries and Fringe Benefits     $305,603

          Council and Office Support              $67,502

          5% Directly to CT General Fund        $36,284

          Initiatives                                     $510,629

                                          Total           $920,018




A 2.3% reduction in the Council’s federal formula grant is anticipated  That is about $17,000.  While the Obama administration has proposed level funding for Councils in the 2011 federal budget, the Senate has proposed a miniscule $1 million increase and the House Appropriations Committee proposed a surprising 2.3% increase, Congress is still expected to seek cuts.  It is also expected that the President and Congress will not settle on a federal fiscal year 2011 budget until the beginning of calendar year 2011.  2012 could be worse.  The Obama administration is seeking a 5% reduction in domestic spending.

The new Disability Policy Specialist and new Director start at base salary, and there will be no raises in staff salaries.  The budget includes the payout for the current Director plus the retired Director may be held over for 30 days, at reduced pay and no benefits, to assist the new Director with transition.  The budget also includes payout for the former Disability Policy Specialist.  The only increase in the budget is a 3% increase in fringe benefit costs.   Either no increases or reductions are projected in operating costs.  It is likely the new Director will travel out-of-state more than the current Director in order to become familiar with the federal Administration, our national colleagues and emerging issues in our field.  Initiatives are funded as determined at the July 30, 2010 Executive Committee teleconference.  It is also recommended that all initiative funding be transitioned to a calendar year (January through December), which will require the Council to commit during 2011 some amount of 2012 funds.  Other cost controls that have been implemented include temporarily reducing the Council by one member, printing documents in draft form to extend the life of printer cartridges, extensive 2 sided copying, more electronic sharing of documents and copying stationery rather than ordering new stationery.  The Draft 2011 Budget breaks down as follows:


          Staff Salaries and Fringe Benefits     $347,446

          Council and Office Support              $55,354

          5% Directly to CT General Fund        $35,450

          Initiatives                                     $422,342

                                          Total           $860,592


Ms. Smyth was concerned the 2011 Draft Budget included funds for Trinity Robitics.


Ms. Lortie moved to accept the budget report.  Mr. Paul seconded.  The motion passed with Ms. Smyth opposed.


Old Business


Committee Reports


Executive Committee


          Mr. Reed asked the Council to ratify the following decisions made by the Executive Committee on July 30, 2010:


          To provide the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities a letter of support for a federal grant application for a project of national significance to plan and implement a family support and community access demonstration with families who have been adopted, or are in foster care, and have developmental disabilities.


          Ms. Smyth moved to ratify.  Mr. McCann seconded. The motion passed with Ms. Freyre-Calish abstaining.


          The 2011 Proposed Budget, as shared with Council members prior to a duly called July 20, 2010 meeting and discussed with members present, with the understanding that the amounts for each line item may be changed at a later date, was approved with approval of the budget report.


          To temporarily reduce the number of Council members from 29 members to 28 members as an austerity measure subject to reconsideration in the future. 

          Ms. Tyler proposed that the Council find funds from other line items rather than reduce the Council size.


          No action was taken.


Advocacy, Public Information and Education Committee


          Mr. Paul reported that 2 meetings were held with First Experience Communications, Council members were surveyed, other entities have been explored for benchmarking and other research has taken place leading to the creation of a marketing plan.  Leaders in the CT field of disabilities will be interviewed.  First Experience Communications will do a half-hour presentation at the Council’s November 9, 2010 meeting.


Legislation, Policy and Planning Committee


          Mr. Reed reported in the absence of Committee Chairs Ms. Kelley and Mr. Knight.  The Committee did not have a quorum but many items were discussed.  Mr. Carlson will arrange for a 1 hour presentation at the Council’s November 9, 2010 meeting on CT’s 7 Home and Community Based Services Medicaid Waivers.  Mr. Reed said that in the absence of Committee quorum, the following items were presented to the full Council for a decision:

          Ms. Smyth moved that the Council sign on to a letter circulated by the Arc of CT protesting the Yale Divinity School’s sponsorship of a presentation by Peter Singer, De Camp Professor of Bioethics, Princeton University Center for Human Values, at the Church Center for the United Nations (New York) summit on Poverty.  Ms. Lombardi seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          Ms. Smyth moved that the Council redraft in letter form, attach a chart, and submit comments on the State Department of Education’s proposed special education regulations.  Ms. Freyre-Calish seconded. The motion passed with Ms. Murdica abstaining.


          Ms. Smyth moved that the Council adopt the previously circulated position statement on Aversives, Restraint and Seclusion.  Ms. Lombardi seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          Ms. Smyth moved that the Council support and participate in a CT DD Network workshop with people with developmental disabilities and their families, to be held in early December in the Legislative Office Building, on the impact of current and expected state budget cuts on the quality of services and supports.   Mr. McCann seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          Ms. Smyth and Mr. Reed volunteered to serve on a CT DD Network task force to plan the workshop.


Membership and Support Committee


Mr. McCann reported that this is his last and the last meeting for will be Nancy Taylor.  Successors have been appointed.  Newly appointed Guy Sullivan and John Curtin are present.  Darlene Borre has also been appointed but she couldn’t attend today.  Stacey D’Angelo is awaiting appointment.  Gabriela Freyre-Calish has been reappointed.

          Mr. McCann also reported that there is a hearing on October 4, 2010 to settle the Southbury State Training School litigation. 

          Ms. duPree reported that the hearing was a Fairness Hearing.


Other Reports


Transition Committee


          Mr. Reed reported that the Committee was meeting on September 23, 2010.  Mr. Preneta has submitted a conditional letter of resignation.  The announcement of the vacancy will be posted on October 1, 2010.  The Committee will be deciding where applications are to be sent, drafting questions for candidates and who will participate in interviews.


Bylaws Task Force


          Mr. Reed asked for a motion to approve amended bylaws.

          Ms. Smyth objected to giving the newly established Proposal Review Committee the power to select applicants to receive Council funds.  She proposed that the full Council make such decisions.  Ms. duPree, Ms. Tyler and Mr. Paul agreed.

          Ms. duPree proposed changing the wording of Article VII, Section 4 to replace the word “selecting” with the phrase “recommending applicants to receive Council funds for the Council’s ratification” and to replace the word “select” with “recommend”.

          Ms. Tyler proposed approving the amended bylaws with the understanding that they will be immediately be amended with Ms. duPree’s amendment, circulated with the Council in due time and presented to the Council for adoption on November 9, 2010.

          Ms. Smyth moved to approve the amended bylaws with the understanding that they will be immediately amended with Ms. duPree’s amendment and presented to the Council for adoption on November 9, 2010.  Ms. Freyre-Calish seconded.  The motion passed with Ms. duPree and Mr. Paul opposed.


New Business


Proposal Review Committee


          Mr. Reed asked for volunteers for the Proposal Review Committee.  Ms. Baker, Ms. Freyre-Calish, Mr. Morrissette, Ms. Smyth and Ms. Tyler  volunteered.  Newly appointed Council members will have an opportunity to volunteer for this, and other, standing committees.

          Ms. Tremarche noted that the Committee needs to address applications from Abilis for Project SEARCH and Prudential Financial Services for Internships.  She cautioned that state ethics law prohibits Ms. Smyth and Mr. Paul from participating in discussion and decision-making regarding the applications.




          Mr. McCann distributed ballots for the election of Ms. Tremarche as Chair and Mr. Reed as Vice Chair.  There were no nominations from the floor.

          Mr. Paul moved to cast one vote for Ms. Tremarche as Chair and one vote for Mr. Reed as Vice Chair.  Ms. duPree seconded.  The vote passed unanimously.


          Mr. Preneta reported that an Orientation for newly appointed Council members and staff will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday, October 13, 2010 at a place to be determined.


     Mr. Paul moved to adjourn.  Ms. Reed seconded.  The motion passed unanimously.


          The meeting adjourned at 1:40 p.m.



                                                                   Respectfully submitted,




                                                                   Ed Preneta

Content Last Modified on 11/10/2010 12:05:22 PM