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Bldg. 6, Room 850
West Virginia Commission for the Deaf and
Doug Godfrey called the meeting to order at 1:45pm in the Basic Services Conference room of the F. Ray Power Building at the Division of Rehabilitation Services in Institute, West Virginia.
II. Approval of the Minutes
Pat Moss moved that the minutes be approved as read. Pierre Sevigny seconded the motion. The minutes were unanimously approved as amended.
III. Old Business: BayFirst, PERD, Disabilities Day
Shana Phares sent a letter to Rob Rice on January 15, 2003, to cancel the contract with BayFirst, requesting an itemized invoice for work completed to this point. She received a response from BayFirst on February 5, 2003, that included a block invoice, alleging that the Commission owes BayFirst payment for the entire second quarter. Shana will meet with one of the attorneys for the Department of Health and Human Resources and the Department of Purchasing on Monday to determine the appropriate action to handle BayFirstís invoice.
The sunset date for the Commission has been extended by the Senate to 2005. John Sylvia, an auditor for PERD, wrote a letter on the Commissionís behalf advocating extension due to good compliance with PERD recommendations. The Senate bill will be sent on to the House and will likely be passed at the end of the session.
Doug Godfrey, Jim Harrison and Pierre Sevigny represented the Commission at the Legislature for Disabilities Day on January 21, 2003. They met with Delegates Spencer (D-Kanawha), Mezzatesta (D-Kanawha), and Iaquinta (D-Harrison). Delegate Iaquinta mentioned interest in adding sign language classes to the Harrison County public school curriculum. Messages were left for Delegate Ennis (D-Brooke) and Senators Unger (D-Berkeley) and McKenzie (R-Ohio).
Members of the Charleston Association of the Deaf were invited by Jim Harrison to participate with the Commission at Disabilities Day, but none were able to attend due to short notice of the date. The Commission plans to advertise Disabilities Day earlier next year.
There was not an interpreter present to assist Commission members for the entire day; an interpreter was present only for the rally. Doug contacted Kara and left several messages with the Fair Shake Network requesting an interpreter. Barbara King commented that it is not fair to the Commission to not have an interpreter available and the Commission should contract for these services in the future.
III. Executive Session
Shana Phares moved the Commission move into Executive Session to discuss interview candidates. Mike Sullivan seconded, and members passed the motion unanimously.
Following discussion, Jim Harrison moved to end the Executive Session. Pierre Sevigny seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
IV. New Business: Grievance Process, Office Move, PERD Requests
Kara filed a grievance with the State to determine backpayments owed to her due to overtime worked and not compensated because both she and the Commission were under the impression that she was an exempt employee. Shana Phares brought a report from Personnel documenting Karaís claim and recommending compensation. Mike Sullivan moved the Commission settle the grievance as presented and authorized Doug Godfrey and Shana to proceed with the paperwork. Jim Harrison seconded the motion, and the vote to pass the motion was unanimous.
Members discussed the Commission Officeís Charleston location and move date. Pat Moss moved to request all personnel involved with the Commission be centrally located in Charleston. Pierre Sevigny seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
PERD has flagged the Commissionís handling of a census of deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals in West Virginia and the distribution of TTYs. Doug offered to write a letter requesting legislative revision on behalf of the Commission to the legislators he, Jim and Pierre met with at Disabilities Day. Shana noted that the extension of the Commissionís sunset review until 2005 and recommended the letters be delayed until a new Executive Director is hired.
PERDís questioned the Commissionís distribution of TTYs without income restrictions. Although there is an application, no restrictions are indicated. Emily Hopta will contact Kara to determine how many TTYs have been requested, the demographics of recipients, demographics of the waiting list, and the cost of TTYs and other communication technology. Emily will compile this information and present it to Commission members at the April meeting. Shana noted the Commission has money to purchase additional TTYs or other communication technology. Pat Moss moved that the Commission use the money to purchase additional TTYs/other communication technology and repair existing equipment. J.D. Corbin seconded her motion. The motion passed unanimously.
V. Announcements and Other Discussion
Mike Sullivan announced that Pierre Sevigny and Jane McBride will meet with the State Board of Education for statewide teacher certification interviews.
Jim Harrison announced the West Virginia Association for the Deaf will hold a conference on August 7-9, 2003.
VI. Next Meeting
Shana Phares suggested the Commission meet prior to the scheduled April 10 meeting to vote on candidates for the Executive Director position. The Interview Committee will set the meeting date after the date is determined for the second round of interviews for the Executive Director.
With no more business to be discussed, Pierre moved that the meeting be adjourned. Jim Harrision seconded, and the motion passed unanimously. Chairman Doug Godfrey adjourned the meeting at 3:51pm.