The Board of Directors of Disability Rights Arkansas, Inc. (DRA) met on July 29, 2015, in the DRA Conference Room, 1100 N. University, Suite 201, Little Rock, Arkansas 72207.
Members Present: Staff Present:
Cherokee Bradley, President Tom Masseau
Fred Reinheardt, Vice President Greg Hankins
Toney Bailey, Treasurer Cassie Howell
Traci Perrin Susan Pierce
Monica Pratt Susan Milburn
John Lee Roberts
President Cherokee Bradley called the meeting to order at 11:10 p.m. She welcomed those present and Fred Reinheardt conducted the roll call.
The Consent Agenda consisted of the following items:
Minutes from April 25, 2015 Board meeting
Minutes from Audit Committee, May 6, 2015
Minutes from Audit Committee, July 9, 2015
Minutes from By-Law Committee, July 1, 2015
Minutes from Executive Committee, July 10, 2015
DRA Executive Director and Staff Reports
After some discussion, the board decided that the last two items, Minutes from Executive Committee, July 10, 2015 and DRA Executive Director and Staff Reports would be removed from the Consent Agenda and discussed later.
Traci Perrin moved that the remaining four items on the Consent Agenda be approved. Monica Pratt seconded and the motion passed.
DRA Executive Director and Staff Reports:
Tom Masseau stated that should the House and Senate not agree on a budget for FY 2016 a Continuing Resolution will hopefully be in effect and DRA will have a contingency plan in place.
Christy Furqueron is now filling a new position as a dedicated Intake Specialist. DRA welcomes Christy to that much needed position.
Mr. Masseau discussed the involvement DRA has had with the Department of Youth Services and the fact that the monthly meetings have been productive.
Cassie Howell reported on the successful outcome of a resident at AJATC. He had been there four years without adequate education or mental health services. Due to DRA’s intervention, he was released from the center in July to his Dad’s care and was able to pass the first part of his GED. DRA was recently appointed to the Youth Justice Reform Board Task Force, which has been assigned the task of reforming the Juvenile Justice System.
Susan Pierce talked about the excessive use of restraints used in Arkansas Human Development Centers in comparison with other states. The DDS Task Force wants to pour money into the HDCs to fix them up at a cost of $183 million. Cherokee Bradley mentioned that the DDS Board President called her and wanted to have a meeting with her and Mr. Brader. Ms. Bradley wanted to have the meeting at DRA.
Cassie Howell reported on attending the Arkansas Bar Conference in Hot Springs and Susan Pierce reported on the NDRN conference this past summer.
Monica Pratt moved that the Executive Director and Staff Reports be approved. Traci Perrin seconded and the motion passed.
Executive Committee Meeting Minutes July 10, 2015:
The minutes of the July 10 Executive Committee Meeting were disseminated during today’s meeting.
Monica Pratt moved that the Executive Director/Staff Reports and the July 10, 2015 Executive Committee Meeting Minutes be approved. Traci Perrin seconded and the motion passed.
403(b) Plan Amendments:
An amendment to the 403(b) plan was drawn up that changed the wording of the definition of a spouse. Traci Perrin moved that the 403(b) Plan amendment be approved. Mark George seconded and the motion passed. Traci Perrin signed the amendment in Kim Weser’s absence.
Discussion on Board Retreat & Priorities FY 2016:
The board discussed the results of the Public Input survey that was sent out over the summer. The survey went out to approximately 900 people and there were 68 responses. Mr. Masseau told the board that they need to narrow the large areas that DRA should focus on.
The action item for the board was to look at the proposed priorities and send an email to Mr. Masseau if there are any changes, additions, or subtractions. The DRA staff will work on case action plans and a new plan with objectives will be brought to the board in September.
Discussion of Current Office Lease:
A proposal is being drawn up for a space on the 12th floor in the Regions building in downtown Little Rock. Mr. Masseau will present that proposal to the board when it is finished. There are several options being considered and discussed at this time.
Toney Bailey discussed the 2016 budget and the fact that they would have to look at the priorities and bring the budget to the September meeting.
Mark George moved that the DRA financials be approved. Fred Reinheardt seconded and the motion passed.
The 2016 budget was discussed. After DRA staff has completed the priority setting process, the budget will be brought to the September meeting. Mark George moved that the 2016 budget discussion be approved. Teresa Sander seconded and the motion passed.
Discussion of Draft Bylaws:
Fred Reinheardt disseminated a written explanation of all the changes made to the original bylaws, which he outlined section by section to the board at the meeting.
Cherokee Bradley suggested that the federal anti-discrimination clause be put in the “Composition of Members” section, using the federal language.
There was some discussion of the bylaws and several changes were recommended and given to Mr. Reinheardt. He will have the final copy of the bylaws for the board at the September meeting.
Since John Lee Roberts was absent, Tom Masseau gave the PAIMI/AC report. Mr. Roberts was elected Chair at the last PAIMI Advisory Council meeting.
Mr. Masseau said that DRA had entered into a contract with John Jones, who has been very active in PAIMI issues and is familiar with SAMHSA and NARPA. One of his duties is to be the liaison with the Advisory Council. He will be active in increasing consumer involvement in mental health issues across the state.
DD Council Report:
Monica Pratt said that the DD Council meeting was held and Mr. Masseau was elected to be on the Oversight Committee.
Board Governance Committee:
Fred Reinheardt reported that the board currently had 12 members, but 13 would be ideal. The application that was put in the board packets was to be disregarded as that person should be interviewed by the Committee first before going before the whole board.
Mr. Reinheardt urged board members who had nominations for officers, to bring it to him before the September board meeting.
Public Policy Committee Report:
Kaderick Jones reported that this committee did not meet this quarter. Mr. Jones attended the NDRN conference in June.
Audit Committee Report:
Mark George reported that the Audit Committee submitted Request for Proposals (RFPs) to several audit companies this quarter. Four bids were received and out of those four bids, the committee recommended that JPMS Cox be selected as the top candidate.
The main problem with this selection was that they were not the lowest bid. There was a very large discrepancy between the cost of the lowest bidder, Przybysz & Associates, and JPMS Cox.
After a lengthy discussion by the board, it was suggested that the RFP should be sent back to the same bidders so they could rebid by identifying each line item in more detail.
Traci Perrin moved that the solicitation for bids go back to the Audit Committee to resubmit to the same companies for clarification and additional resubmission. Kaderick Jones seconded and the motion passed.
Discussion on Evaluation of Executive Director:
President Bradley said that the evaluation period for the Executive Director was from October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015. Traci Perrin will send out the evaluation forms she has by September 1, so they can be ready for the September 23rd Board meeting.
The meeting was adjourned at 3:29 p.m.