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Minutes from the December 4, 2018 Board Meeting

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      Minutes

      Iowa Commission for the Blind

      December 4, 2018

      I.        Call to order and determination of quorum.  The quarterly meeting of the Iowa Commission for the Blind was called to order at 10:00 a.m., by Sandi Ryan, with the following members present:  Sandi Ryan, chair, Joe Van Lent, member, and Ryan Brems, member, which was a quorum. Others in attendance: Emily Wharton, Shawn Mayo, Keri Osterhaus, Sarah Willeford, Alan Bickell, Andrew Pulford, Kim Barber, Janice Eggers, Carolyn Barrett, Emily Willits, Kandie Thomas and Lora Van Lent. Thank you and welcome.

      II.        Public Comment – none.

      III.        Action Item. Approval of the agenda. Mr. Van Lent moved approval of the agenda as presented. Mr. Brems seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

      IV.        Action Item. Approval of September 4, 2018 board minutes. Mr. Brems moved approval of the September 4, 2018 board minutes as written. Mr. Van Lent seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.     

      V.        Department Director Reports:

      A.  CFO’s Report - Mr. Pulford:

      1.   Governor’s presentation for the budget request.  Emily did a great job with the budget increase request.

      2.   We ended FY2018 with an appropriation balance of $19,195.52.  Of that they did give us back Training & Technology money in the amount of $9,598; which leaves the same amount as our reversion.

      3.   In looking at the comparison you should notice that changes were made as discussed at the previous board meeting to reflect more accurate forecast of expenditures as the budget numbers. 

      4.   As of 12/3/2018 the current balance is 2.605M in Gifts and Bequests Funds

      5.   Project updates:  Elevator moving along, Shive-Hattery architect selected, out for bid for design work to bring up to “2020 code” requirements; two RFPs thru DAS for RFID and Comprehensive Statewide Needs Assessment both are sitting at DAS legal department for wording. 

      B.  Education & Training – Ms. Stevens

      1.   Report included in packet

      2.   Helen is currently at NLRI training in San Diego

      C.    Independent Living – Mrs. Barber

      1.   December busy month with several federal reports due.

      2.   Terry Hall joined our IL team as a teacher and started November 30, 2018.

      3.   Mark Edge leads weekly support group with 6-7 attendees.  

      4.   The Hilker-Pedretti Grant we submitted for the Helen Keller Confident Living Program, the decision was made December 1st however; they have not yet disseminated their letter of decision.

      D.  Library – Mrs. Willeford

      1.   Staff attended the library journal design institute in September, Iowa Library Association Conference and National Braille Association Conference in October.

      2.   Programs Launched – two S.O.A.R. Saturdays were held since the last meeting with a rough attendance of 40.  Braille bits – targeting parents to learn braille with the children.  Bridges - is a buying consortium facilitated by the State Library of Iowa.  Newsline – library has been trained and an update on the figures of users.

      3.   Upcoming Events:  RFID project in the final stages and implementation after the first of the year.  Blogs for the library and the IMC – for the educators, parents and staff.  Braille Challenge January 26, 2019 – Theme “Welcome to Braille Country”. S.O.A.R. Saturdays will continue in February, March and April.  VOICE – Voices of Iowa Connecting Everyone. 

      E.  Orientation Center & BEP Program – Mr. Bickell

      1.   BEP Program – the numbers continue to gradually go down in sales, the profits are declining but the margins are better.  No change in the set aside, we returned questions to Jessie with RSA asking about clarifications.  Hired another business counselor, Christopher Lee and he is in the Orientation Center now.  Hadley course training and utilizing this.  Working to standardize the process. 

      2.   Orientation Center – continuing to grow in numbers; hired Hanna Geisinger as life skills instructor; graduation rates are down; we want them to graduate with a plan for the future and their employment; Ric is retiring January 4, 2019 and party will be around noon; have not hired a replacement for Ric and will be re-posting for this soon.

      F.   Vocational Rehabilitation – Mrs. Osterhaus

      1.   Partner Meeting – integration of services and current status, each region will complete an integration continuum assessment. 

      2.   Disability and Employment cohort – Customer Service:  core partners participating, generate ideas that drive integration, and will report on the work to support integration around the state.

      3.   Benefits planning training for staff – looking into this.

      4.   Apprenticeships - Meeting with Amy Bellar, IWD to work on apprenticeships and employers as an option for clients.

      5.   Staffing Changes:  Sam Negron moves to Des Moines, Lisa Ortner in OC, Gloria Graves in Sioux City and working in NW Iowa.  We are in the hiring process for central Iowa position.  Completed interviews last week and hope to announce the new hire in the next week or so. 

      Recess at 11:13 a.m. 

      Meeting called back to order at 11:28 a.m.

      VI.        Agency Director Report - Ms. Wharton:

      A.  Budget Presentation was well received and thank you to those that attended. 

      B.  CSAVR/NCSAB Conferences attended in October and presented at them.  Would like to produce more videos. RSA did not release the monitoring schedule yet.  Pre-ETS and how other states are doing this to utilize the funding. 

      C.  Blind and Socially Savvy, National Institute for Etiquette and Manners, many agencies utilizing this. 

      D.  Looking to add a position to manage different programming/projects (60%) and BEP (40%). 

      E.  IL & VR Statistics – this is the beginning of the year for these programs and discussed the year-to-date and quarterly results. 

      F.   Visited the Spencer support group in November. 

      G.  Director’s forum, will try to have a recording to post on the website.

      H.  Have reached out to ICUB and NFBI inviting both organizations to present a Business Class once month. 

      VII.        Other Items:

      A.  Service Enterprise Initiative (SEI) – working since winter of 2016 to become SEI certified, participated in training, specific activities to utilize volunteers, we are hoping to complete this winter, ongoing is a quarterly newsletter.  We will be using volunteers in IL, library, youth, etc.  We have an excellent volunteer program in the library and extend them into the other areas of the department and to help with outreach.  Great community and outreach project.  Help everyone to do more.  Podcasts out for this. 

      VIII.        Approval of the Board Meeting Calendar for 2019.   Mr. Brems moved approval of the 2019 Board Meeting Calendar as revised. Mr. Van Lent seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.

      IX.        Consideration of Closed Session. Ms. Ryan had Ms. Eggers read paragraph 1a from the Code of Iowa, Section 21.5(1)(a) and 21.5(1)(i).   Mr. Brems moved to adjourn to closed session. Mr. Van Lent seconded the motion. There was a roll call vote: Ms. Ryan, yes; Mr. Van Lent, yes; and Mr. Brems, yes. The motion passed unanimously.

      The meeting adjourned into closed session at 12:14 p.m.   The meeting entered closed session at 12:18 p.m.  The closed session adjourned at 2:03 p.m.

      Commissioner Ryan called the meeting into open session at 2:06 p.m.

       X.        Mr. Brems moved to retain Ms. Wharton as the Agency Director and approve the IPPE for Director Wharton.  Mr. Van Lent seconded the motion. There was a roll call vote: Ms. Ryan, yes; Mr. Van Lent, yes; and Mr. Brems, yes. The motion passed unanimously.

      XI.        Closed Session –

      A.  Mr. Brems moved that request Item #1 from closed session be approved. Mr. Van Lent seconded the motion.  There was a roll call vote: Ms. Ryan, yes; Mr. Van Lent, yes; and Mr. Brems, yes. The motion passed unanimously.

      B.  Mr. Brems moved that request Item #2 from closed session request further information.  Mr. Van Lent seconded the motion.  There was a roll call vote: Ms. Ryan, yes; Mr. Van Lent, yes; and Mr. Brems, yes. The motion passed unanimously.

      C.  Mr. Brems moved that request Item #3 from closed session be approved with accompanying letter. Mr. Van Lent seconded the motion.  There was a roll call vote: Ms. Ryan, yes; Mr. Van Lent, yes; and Mr. Brems, yes. The motion passed unanimously.

      D.  Mr. Brems moved that request Item #4 from closed session be approved as a loan. Ms. Ryan seconded the motion.  There was a roll call vote: Ms. Ryan, yes; Mr. Van Lent, abstained; and Mr. Brems, yes. The motion passed.

      XII.        Mr. Van Lent moved the meeting adjourn. Mr. Brems seconded and the motion passed unanimously. The meeting adjourned at 2:09 p.m.

      Respectfully Submitted,

      Sandi Ryan, Chairperson

      Commission for the Blind

       

      Janice Eggers

      Secretary to the Commission/ Executive Secretary

      Department for the Blind