ECCC Advisory Board
Meeting #2 March 8, 2011
Meeting was called to order by Chair Dr. Cummings at 9:15
Pledge of Allegiance
Chair Michael Cummings
Robert Lonski (resigned)
Motion to approve minutes of Meeting Number 1 – Motion made by Robert Koch Seconded by Cheryl Green – unanimously approved
Chair updated the Committee on events in the Legislature pertaining to the ECCC Advisory Board. Resolution calling for two new members of the Advisory Board passed in the Public Safety Committee, will be considered by full Legislature on March 17th. Resolution adds a member to be suggested by the Hispanic Community and another to be voted on by the Public Safety Committee.
Announced motion forwarded by Charles Culhane at previous meeting had failed with only 6 votes
Chair announced Mr. Lonski has resigned from committee citing a conflict of interest
Majority Chief of Staff John Calvin Davis answered a question about how Mr. Lonski will be replaced. The Legislature will be required to amend the resolution to ask for a recommendation from another group which is to be determined. Anticipated that the amendment may be considered at the March 17th Session.
Chair called for the acceptance of nominations for Secretary
Anne Constantino nominated Cheryl Green, Richard Carr seconded the motion
Chair called for any other nominations
Nan Haynes nominated Karima Amin
Motion tabled waiting for other advisory board members to arrive
Chair asked Advisory Board Members to fill out oath cards
Chair had Clerk pass out Draft of Bylaws. Shawn Martin explained a need for a change in Section V Article 2 regarding a quorum.
Discussion about when the Legislature passes the resolution adding two additional members 8 will then be needed for a quorum, Cheryl Green suggested the bylaws be amended to reflect that change if/when it occurs
Chair discussed that the time of the meeting is somewhat inconvenient for some members. Also the frequency of the meetings is potentially unsustainable. Chair suggested 1:00pm on Tuesday was the original time suggested for the meetings.
Michael Lex agreed that bi-weekly is possibly too frequent, particularly without a strong sense of direction
Nan Haynes said she thinks every other week will help the Advisory Board to draft a purpose.
Michael Kubik joined meeting
Chair pointed out a provision in resolution that those that wish to comment to the Advisory Board need to notify Clerk of the Legislature 5 days in advance of the meeting.
Anne Constantino noted that she didn’t want to meet just to go over Roberts Rules of Order – once a month would be better
Chair pointed out that Mr. Burgin is not going to be able to attend at this time in 2 weeks.
Karima Amin is not able to do 2nd Tuesday of the month because she serves on another board.
Chair proposed 1st Tuesday of the month at 1:00pm – for standing monthly meeting,
beginning in May
Maintain every other week through April – move 12th and 26th to 1:00 pm
It was suggested that on the 12th they look at the proposed agenda and make a determination if the meeting on the 26th is necessary.
March 22nd will remain at 9am
Michael Lex made a motion to take the nominations for Secretary off the table, seconded by Karima Amin, motion approved unanimously
Michael Lex seconded the motion to nominate Karima Amin for Secretary
Chair called again for nominations for Secretary
Chair called a third time for nominations for Secretary
Michael Lex moved to close nominations for Secretary, Anne Constantino seconded the motion, motion approved unanimously
A roll call vote was taken for the election of a Secretary with the following votes:
Karima Amin for Karima Amin
Richard Carr for Cheryl Green
Anne Constantino for Cheryl Green
Michael Cummings for Cheryl Green
Cheryl Green for Cheryl Green
Nan Haynes for Karima Amin
Robert Koch for Cheryl Green
Michael Kubik for Cheryl Green
Michael Lex for Cheryl Green
Cheryl Green was elected Secretary with a vote of 7/2.
Anne Constantino asked if a subcommittee should be formed to look at the bylaws
Chair asked for indication of who would like to serve on subcommittee on bylaws –
Cheryl Green indicated she would like to serve
It was stated that Rev. Pierce indicated in previous conversations to Nan Haynes and the Chair of his interest to be on sub-committee
Chair established the subcommittee on bylaws will be: Cheryl Green and Rev. Pierce
Nan Haynes suggested that we recommend to the Legislature that they substitute a group that represents prisoners for the Aid to Indigent Prisoners – suggested Legal Aid Bureau
Chair suggested a Peer Advocate for Mental Health be considered
Anne Constantino spoke of the high percentage of mental illness/substance abuse individuals at the holding center. She believes advocacy on board should be from the mental health community
Michael Lex asked for what the 3 top issues/groups are with regards to problems at holding center – commented that mental health is a key factor in any part of this group’s discussion
Richard Carr suggested inmates are well represented – staff are not as well represented
Needs to have someone that has ear of Legislature or the County Executive – someone such as John Greenan so that they can get additional hires quickly
Anne Constantino asked for an explanation on why the staffing is so low
Richard Carr spoke of exhausted staff – need for additional staffing – not in the budget. Requested that a member of County budget department or administration be named a board member
Chair spoke of his facility and the limited amount of space for the patients – plus time it takes deputies and road patrol for transports
Richard Carr talked about DOJ dictates straining resources of staff
Nan Haynes suggested that they can address the board, but do not need to be a member of the board
Anne Constantino pointed out the mission of the board likely includes advocating for improved quality and quantity of staff at correctional facilities
Chair suggested we need to think about who we need to invite in to speak about conditions to offer suggestions and improvements
Chair asked for people to come to next meeting with recommendations for Legislature on who might be good to serve on the board.
Anne Constantino asked for ideas to be emailed to committee, Chair concurred
Question was asked about timeline for recommendations it was noted that the Leg. meets on March 17th, March 22nd is next advisory board meeting
Cheryl Green suggested that suggestions go directly to Leg. Bove, Chair Miller-Williams or the Legislature in general, Anne Constantino concurred
Leg. Bove explained the resolution that was in front of the Legislature and what the timeline would be for accepting recommendations for those positions
Karima Amin wants to suggest WNY Independent Living as a group from which to offer suggestions
Cheryl Green pointed out that there is no formal process – they can send in letters of interest and resumes if they are interested
Leg. Bove said send letters to Clerk of Legislature and that staff would announce in the media that the Legislature is accepting letters of interest for board members
Karima Amin said she believed that proxies are not a good idea at this time when Board members do not yet know each other
Michael Lex concurred that the board members needed to get to know each other better
Chair pointed out that moving to a monthly meeting schedule would allow it to become more of a priority for members to attend
Shawn Martin pointed out that the current draft of the bylaws does not allow voting by proxy
Leg. Whyte pointed out letter from Council Member Rivera had hand delivered by Ken Colon and distributed to all of the Committee Members.
Chair was asked and explained that official vote for a motion to pass is 7 members currently. If there is an increase in Board membership to 15 that number to pass a motion will become 8.
Next meeting will be March 22, 2011 at 9am in the Chambers of the Erie County Legislature, 92 Franklin Street, 4th Floor, Buffalo.
Michael Lex made a motion to adjourn , Karima Amin seconded – motion passed unanimously
Meeting adjourned at 10:17am