Minutes — November 2016 Executive Committee Meeting

2016 Council and Committee Meetings

Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Michael Peace
  • Lora Taylor

Committee Members Absent

  • Kristen Cox

Council Members Present

  • Rick Tisch

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Danny Fikac
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Joshua Ryf
  • Koren Vogel

Call To Order

The Executive Committee of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities convened on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, in the Colony E Room at the Sonesta Bee Cave — Austin, 12525 Bee Cave Parkway, Bee Cave, TX 78738. Council Chair Mary Durheim called the meeting to order at 3:37 PM.

  1. Introductions
    Committee members, staff and guests were introduced.
  2. Public Comments
    No public comments were offered to the Committee.
  3. Consideration Of Minutes
    The minutes were reviewed and no additions or corrections were noted.
    MOTION: To approve the minutes of the August 3-4, 2016, Executive Committee meeting as presented.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Gladys Cortez
    The motion passed unanimously.

  4. Chair’s Report
    Council Chair Durheim reported the expected absences for the Council and Committee meetings, which include Kristine Clark, Kristen Cox, Mateo Delgado and Brandon Pharris. Patty Anderson, alternate representative from Disability Rights Texas (DRT) will attend meetings on Thursday but neither she nor Mary Faithfull will attend on Friday. Zach Ahonle has been named alternate representative from the Texas Center for Disability Studies. Ahonle, Ron Roberts of Texas Education Agency (TEA) and Rachel Jew of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) attended Council orientation on November 1, 2016 and are now eligible to vote.

    Durheim referred members to the attendance chart in the Council meeting materials and noted that she and Executive Director Beth Stalvey will address the issue of member absences at a future meeting with staff from the Governor’s Appointments Office.

  5. Executive Director’s Report
    Executive Director Stalvey reviewed stipend awards that were approved during the past quarter to the following applicants:

    • Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS): Events stipend for up to $7,500 for The Texas Gathering on October 20-22, 2016, in Arlington.
    • Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS): Speakers stipend for up to $4,000 for The Texas Gathering on October 20-22, 2016, in Arlington.
    • NAMI Texas: Events stipend for up to $7,500 for the 2016 NAMI Texas Annual Conference on November 7-8, 2016 in Austin.
    • The Arc of Greater Houston: Events stipend for up to $1,875 for First Annual Positive Futures Conference on November 18, 2016 in Houston.
    • Volar Center for Independent Living: Events stipend for up to $6,000 for the Our Lives Disabilities Conference and Service Providers Expo on November 29, 2016 in El Paso.

    Stalvey provided an update on TCDD staff noting that Meghan Regis began her position as Public Policy Specialist on September 1, 2016. Interviews were conducted for the vacant Grants Management Specialist position and two finalists were selected. References are being contacted.

    The FY 2017 — FY 2021 State Plan was submitted on August 15, 2016. The submission was completed on new software for which DD Councils were the pilot organization. Stalvey extended her gratitude to Planning Director Joanna Cordry and Planning Specialist Danny Fikac along with all TCDD staff and Council members for their efforts to complete this complex process to produce a stellar plan.

    Johnson Applied Solutions (JAS) was selected as the contractor for the Partners in Policymaking (PIP) project. They are a newly accredited statewide Historically Underutilized Business (HUB) as well as a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business based in Bulverde, TX. Their strengths in administrative capacity and innovative ideas for expanding PIP were the deciding factor in their selection. The first year of the project will focus on planning and JAS staff members are expected to attend Thursday’s meetings.

    Stalvey noted that A Circle of Ten have returned the equipment as requested following the close of that project.

    TCDD hosted the NACDD Executive Director’s Summit in September. The event was very well attended with 36 states represented and included the Texas DD Network Partners sharing experiences for their collaborative efforts. A panel discussion on Texas initiatives for Alternatives to Guardianship and Supported Decision-Making was held at the Texas Capitol and included Senator Judith Zaffirini, former TCDD Public Policy Specialist Belinda Carlton, David Slayton of the Office of Court Administration, and Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht who discussed their work to see these changes implemented, as well as the first person to sign a Supported Decision-Making Agreement along with his supporter to discuss experiences using the Agreement in the past year.

    As approved in the operating expense budget, updated audio-visual equipment has been purchased for the TCDD conference room. Once all the equipment has been installed, TCDD will be able to host webinars and video conferences with grantees and other colleagues.

    Stalvey reviewed activities planned for the Committee of the Whole meeting including policy discussions on education and legislative appropriations requests as well as a screening of a documentary called “Bottom Dollars” that looks at sub-minimum wage employment. Members will also have an opportunity to work with staff on summarizing issues that they wish to discuss with policy makers in February.

  6. Disproportionalities and Disparities
    Executive Director Stalvey reported on the Undoing Racism workshop that took place August 30-31, 2016 in Austin. There were 40 participants including nine TCDD staff members, three Council members, grantees, community leaders and colleagues from the disability advocacy community. The workshop was conducted by The People’s Institute and covered topics such as cultural diversity, racism, poverty and opportunities for systems change. Members and staff who participated in the workshop reported emotional and challenging conversations that created awareness of issues. However, specific strategies to address the issues were limited.

    The workshop is part of an ongoing and continued effort by staff and the Council to address disproportionalities and disparities. Each Committee and the Council will keep disproportionalities and disparities as a standing agenda item to promote awareness and implementation in all Council business. Stalvey added that a staff workgroup has been formed to continue discussions from that perspective.

  7. Grants Activity Reports
    Grants Management Director Cynthia Ellison provided an update to note that five new grant projects began during the last quarter including three leadership and advocacy projects, one public policy fellow project, and one outreach and development project. She added that two public policy fellowship projects concluded during the quarter.

    Ellison reviewed the Independent Audit Status Report noting that all are now complete and there were no significant findings. She reviewed the Grants Monitoring Exceptions Report which indicates that three onsite reviews were completed during the quarter and two are considered “pending” with outstanding paperwork from the grantees. Ellison also reviewed the Risk Assessment of TCDD Projects which does not indicate any outstanding concerns.

  8. TCDD Quarterly Financial Report
    Operations Director Martha Cantu reviewed the FY 2016 TCDD Administrative and Expense budget, noting that with almost all expenses cleared, 93% of the budget has been expended. Although deficits show for the line items on benefits and supplies, the overall total is less than the amount allocated.

    Cantu next reviewed the Summary of Funds report and noted that all FY 2015 funding has been re-assigned and will need to be spent by September 30, 2017 or will need to be returned to AIDD. She explained that FY 2016 and FY 2017 funds will fluctuate depending on project expenditures and actual start dates for the projects to which these funds have been assigned.

  9. Appeal of Funding Decision
    Executive Director Stalvey discussed the appeal of funding decision from West Central Texas Regional Foundation who submitted an application for the Higher Education Collaborative RFP. In her investigation, there is no evidence that TCDD process was not followed in the review of the proposal. Stalvey reviewed multiple factors the Committee reviews when determining which applicant receives a grant award.

    MOTION: To uphold the Executive Committee decision to not fund the Higher Education Collaborative to West Central Texas Regional Foundation.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Stalvey discussed the TCDD response to non-funded applicants and proposed edits to the notification letter to be more clear about the review process, Council funding decisions, and appeals.

    Stalvey also discussed how information is shared with the Executive Committee as they review proposals and offered a checklist that includes staff comments, previous compliance with grant projects, and other review criteria. Members also raised the issue of posting proposal details in meeting materials due to the proprietary nature and directed staff to email information for their review and discussion.

  10. Consideration of Continuation Grant Awards
    Grants Management Director Ellison and TCDD Grants Management Specialists Sonya Hosey and Wendy Jones provided information regarding continuation grant awards to the Committee. Hosey & Jones participated with the Committee via conference call.

    Ellison reviewed the executive summary for continuation funding to Reaching Families Advocacy and Support Group for Culturally Appropriate Family Support project. The goal of the project is to increase awareness, provide support and access to resources for the Ethiopian, Eritrean, and Kenyan communities in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant counties. Project staff members hold educational gatherings and teleconferences, assist families with ARD meetings and access to therapies outside of the school settings, provide information through various media outlets, and attend local events as collaborators and exhibitors. Staff do not have any concerns with this project.

    MOTION: To approve up to $71,072 in continuation funding to Reaching Families Advocacy and Support Group for the second year of a four-year Culturally Appropriate Family Support project.
    MADE BY: Gladys Cortez
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Grants Management Specialist Hosey reviewed the executive summary for continuation funding to Community Healthcore for the Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project. The project goal is to identify, enhance and expand community supports in order to prevent and reduce admissions of people with developmental disabilities to state institutions. The project hosted three two-day Person Centered Thinking trainings with a total of 113 participants, 32 participants were trained in PATH facilitation, the Faith-based Respite Initiative established two programs to provide respite and inclusive church services, and the Community Leadership Team established several inclusive community activities. Staff do not have any concerns with this project.

    MOTION: To approve up to $137,882 in continuation funding to Community Healthcore for the third year of a five-year Building Community Capacity through Collaboration project.
    MADE BY: Lora Taylor
    SECOND: Michael Peace
    The motion passed unanimously.

    Grants Management Specialist Jones reviewed the executive summary for continuation funding to Disability Rights Texas for Stakeholder Training on Guardianship Alternatives. The goal of the project is to provide information and training to targeted audiences about guardianship alternatives and the new supported decision-making process. Educational materials for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and their families as well as legal professionals, school administrators and service providers are being developed and training classes are being implemented. Over 1650 individuals have already participated in training sessions. Staff do not have any concerns with this project.

    MOTION: To approve up to $40,000 in continuation funding to Disability Rights Texas for the second year of a three-year Stakeholder Training on Guardianship Alternatives project.
    MADE BY: Michael Peace
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  11. Approval of Review Panel Members
    Planning Specialist Danny Fikac presented nine names and stated qualifications of individuals who have submitted recent applications to serve as Independent Review Panel Members. Members discussed the names presented and agreed to add eight individuals to the Review Panel list. The 9th name was rejected due to a lack of detail in his reported qualifications. It was also noted that these names are additions to a much larger list and although a number of individuals presented are from the same geographic area and know each other, they will not be selected to serve on the same panel due to different subject area expertise as well as a system of checks and balances within TCDD processes to establish each Independent Review Panel.

    MOTION: To approve Charlotte Chavez, Erica Gutierres, Turner Jamison, Stephanie Martinez, Jessica Murray, Chloe Pierce, Vickie Pierce, and Damien Tabor to be included in the list of potential TCDD Independent Review Panel members.
    MADE BY: Mary Durheim
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    Durheim noted that if the individual who was not approved wishes to submit additional background information, he can be considered again. The motion passed unanimously.

  12. Discussion of TCDD Website-Council Member Only Section
    Communications Director Joshua Ryf discussed the Council member only section of the TCDD website and reviewed content that is exclusive to this site. He noted that following the recent audit of website maintenance all members will receive a unique user name and password. Committee members discussed the information available on the site as well as the format of Council meeting materials. It was determined that most of the material that is on the Council Member Only site is available through other sources.

    MOTION: To recommend Council approval of the elimination of the Council Member Only section of the TCDD website.
    MADE BY: Michael Peace
    SECOND: Lora Taylor
    The motion passed unanimously.

  13. Conflict of Interest Disclosure
    Committee members reviewed updated conflict of interest disclosure information for Council members and staff. No concerns were noted.

Recess

Chair Durheim recessed the Executive Committee at 6:04 PM.

Thursday, November 3, 2016
Attendance

Committee Members Present

  • Mary Durheim, Council Chair
  • Gladys Cortez
  • Michael Peace
  • Lora Taylor

Committee Members Absent

  • Kristen Cox

Staff Members Present

  • Beth Stalvey, Executive Director
  • Martha Cantu
  • Joanna Cordry
  • Cynthia Ellison
  • Jessica Ramos
  • Koren Vogel

Reconvene

Chair Durheim reconvened the Executive Committee in the same location on Thursday, November 3, 2016 at 4:13 PM.

  1. Committee Chair Debriefing
    Public Policy Committee Chair Lora Taylor reported that the Public Policy Committee had a healthy discussion on disproportionalities and disparities and other action items.

    Project Development Committee Chair Gladys Cortez reported that the Project Development Committee discussed the Texas Sibling Network, opportunities for screening the Bottom Dollars documentary, and possible presentations at the February Committee of the Whole meeting.

Adjourn

Chair Durheim adjourned the Executive Committee at 4:40 PM

Beth Stalvey, Secretary to the Council