Family Self-Sufficiency Policy
The purpose of this document is to set forth to be followed by the Family Self-
Sufficiency Program Coordinating Committee. These policies are designed for efficiency
and fairness for all members involved.
The Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) Program Coordinating Committee is governed by
volunteers who adhere to the belief that all families should be given the chance to
become self-sufficient. As such, the FSS Program Coordinating Committee recognizes
that our member’s personal time is valuable and intrusions into their time should be kept
to a minimum while still allowing for quality decisions affecting the program to be made.
Meeting Dates and Times: The Family Self-Sufficiency Program Coordinating
Committee (FSSPCC) will meet quarterly. The FSS Coordinator will mail out an
invitation to the members at least 14 days in advance. At the first meeting of the P.C.C.,
the members will determine what meeting time is best.
The designated starting time for all FSSPCC meetings will be ______. Meetings are
scheduled for 1 hours. All members are asked to respect the time limit when presenting
information to the group.
All meetings will begin promptly at the appointed time, concurrent with the time
recorded by the timekeeper (cross reference Timekeeper).
Facilitation: Meetings will be facilitated by the Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator,
who’s duties will include preparing and finalizing meeting agendas, providing FSSPCC
members with such agendas, intended policies up for review and support data far enough
in advance of the meeting so each FSSPCC member may have ample time to make an
informed decision regarding said policy. Should the Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator
be unable to attend, facilitation will then become the responsibility of the Director of
Housing for Tompkins Community Action and he/she will assume the duties and
limitations involved. (Cross-reference Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator)
It is the facilitator’s responsibility to ensure the FSSPCC does not become too embroiled
in subject matter (Cross-reference Discussion) and to ensure the FSSPCC stays focused & runs
Agendas: As noted above, the facilitator will be responsible for creation of the FSSPCC
meeting agenda. Should any committee member wish to have time allotted for
presentation or discussion, such request should be made no later than 1 weeks prior to the
meeting such presentation or discussion is to be made. The group facilitator will make
every effort to provide each FSSPCC member with a final copy of the next scheduled
meeting’s agenda no later than one week prior to said agenda.
Discussion: Each policy will be presented to the FSSPCC by the group facilitator. No
time limit will be given, as to adequately explain each policy and ensure understanding of
the proposed policy change or issuance. Questions will be accepted during the
presentation phase of discussion to further benefit understanding and clarification. Prior
to being called to vote, ample time will be given for group discussion and persuasion of
the idea to be voted on. Each member of the FSSPCC will be given 5 minutes to speak.
The official Timekeeper will monitor time. Member’s 5 minutes will begin at the time of
their first spoken word. At timekeeper’s mark, the speaker must complete their sentence
and give up the floor to the next speaker. In rare circumstances and solely at the
discretion of the meeting facilitator, an extension of time can be given. This privilege is
not to be abused nor anticipated. Discussion rights will commence on the facilitators left
and proceed around the table.
If, after each speaker has had his or her 5 minute limit, there remains the need for further
discussion (i.e. a member would like to make a counter-point or a member draws further
insight from another speaker’s speech), the option will be presented to the committee by
the facilitator in the form of a yea/nay vote. (Cross reference Voting) Should the committee vote
“yea”, an open forum will begin and a member must motion for said open forum to
adjourn. A committee member must then second this motion. The motion will carry at
the second motion and will not be voted on by the remaining committee members. This
carrying of the motion will end the discussion of that particular issue.
The facilitator of the group may neither: Vote for open forum, motion for closure of an
open forum, nor may the facilitator second such motion. There is however one
exception, noted below.
Should a committee member wish to forfeit their allotted time, they should indicate this
to the facilitator when their time begins. A forfeit of allotted time is only indicative of
their desire not to comment on the policy and does not apply if the committee votes to
continue the discussion in open-forum. A forfeiture of time does not expand the
remaining time available to other committee members. Each member still has only a 5-
If, during the open forum phase of a discussion, committee member become embroiled to
the point that discussion is no longer advantageous to the outcome of the discussion or
has become a hindrance to the committee, the facilitator may call for the immediate
closure of the discussion. Careful thought will be given before this, and if such call were
made, the facilitator’s call is final. The matter will not be put for vote and all discussion
on this subject is to end. The policy/issue will then move for immediate vote.
Voting: There will be 2 distinct ways of voting during FSSPCC meetings. The first is
for use during policy and issue votes, the second to be used for open-area aspects.
Due to the vast cross-section of our members and in the interest of making sure all
members feel that their vote is valid and to prevent “buying” of votes, a blind voting
system shall be utilized for all policy and issue passage. At the beginning of each
meeting, each committee member will receive a number of ballots in accordance with the
number of policy/issue voted to take place that meeting. For example, if the FSSPCC
will be voting on the acceptance of 5 policies, each member will receive an envelope with
5 paper ballots. These ballots will have printed on them: the name of the proposed
policy (or the issue to be voted on), a checkbox next to the word “yea”, a checkbox next
to the word “nay” and a checkbox next to the word “abstain”.
At the time of the vote, each member is asked to place a mark in the appropriate
checkbox. The facilitator will then collect the votes and count them. The facilitator,
having intimate and subjective view of the proposed policies, will not cast a vote.
A majority is needed for passing of any policy or procedure.
A vote is irrevocable. Once ballots are collected, there is no changing of member’s
An absence from a meeting in which a vote is presented will be counted as a vote of
The facilitator, after reading each ballot will present the results in the form of “x for, x
against, x abstentions. Policy x (passes or fails).”
In the event of a tie, the facilitator will cast a tie-breaking vote.
Should a policy fail, the policy may not be presented to the committee again for a time
period of 2 meetings. The only exception made will be for policies that are deemed
required by the FSS program governing agency (HUD or DHCR). Such policies will be
opened for discussion, re-written if needed and re-submitted for vote the following
For open-area voting (such as closing meetings or accepting minutes), any member of the
committee, with the exception of the facilitator, may call for a motion. Another
committee member must second this motion. Once seconded, the facilitator will ask for
those in favor and those not in favor. The occurring action will then follow the majority.
Timekeeper: To ensure the times set forth in this policy are enforced, the FSSPCC will
utilize a timekeeper. The timekeeper is responsible for ensuring committee members do
not exceed their allotted times during policy discussion. Should a member do so, the
timekeeper must state “Time”, in a firm voice that is loud enough for all to hear. At this
time, the FSSPCC member speaking must finish his/her sentence and release the floor or
ask for a time extension.
It is also the timekeeper’s responsibility to ensure that the FSSPCC meeting does not run
over its allotted time limit of 1 hours. Fifteen minutes prior to the 1-hour mark, the
timekeeper must inform the facilitator who will then announce it to the committee.
A timekeeper retains all voting rights within the committee.
Policy and Issue Submission and Review:
It is the responsibility of the Family Self-Sufficiency Coordinator to keep abreast of areas
in need of formal policies in regards to the FSS program and the FSSPCC. Should the
need for a formal policy arise, it will be the FSS Coordinator to write said policy and to
present it for review to the committee. It is also the responsibility of the FSS coordinator
to present the proposed policy to the FSSPCC for discussion and vote. Whenever
possible, the following timeline will be utilized:
1. FSS Coordinator writes proposed policy
2. FSS Coordinator provides policy to FSSPCC for review 2 weeks prior to FSSPCC
3. FSS will present policy and answer questions about policy and rationale during
4. FSSPCC members suggest changes to proposed policy either during meeting or
no later than 2 weeks prior to the next scheduled FSSPCC meeting.
5. FSS Coordinator will forward final draft to FSSPCC members approximately 1
week prior to FSSPCC meeting. FSS Coordinator will note on the top of final
draft that this is the final draft that will be voted on at the upcoming meeting.
6. FSS will present final draft of policy to the FSSPCC for vote.
7. Policy will be adopted the next business day or as feasible as time permits.
In rare instances, this format will not be prudent, therefore the FSS Coordinator reserves
the right to expedite the process as needed. This privilege will not be abused and used
only when absolutely imperative to the integrity of the program.
Should a committee member feel the need to bring an issue to the attention of the
committee, the following procedure is recommended:
1. Inform the FSS Coordinator that the member would like floor-time at the next
available meeting. (If the issue is pressing, make certain you relay that to the
FSS Coordinator). Two weeks notice is needed for all agenda items.
2. Provide the FSS Coordinator with all supporting information needed to be given
to other FSSPCC members for review, if needed. FSS Coordinator will forward
information to other FSSPCC members as quickly as possible. Also inform the
FSS Coordinator if a vote is necessary to resolve issue, so that ballots may be
3. FSSPCC member is responsible for presentation of issue to the FSSPCC. Policy
regarding discussions will remain in effect for the duration of issue resolution.
4. The vote of the committee is final relating to all issues.
Round Table Value:
The FSSPCC is comprised of persons from all walks of life. All genders, professions,
races, creeds, religions, sexual orientations and core belief systems are represented. What
pulls this multi-faceted team together is the guiding belief that all people deserve a
As such, when the FSSPCC convenes, every member counts. There are no supervisors or
workers, no Christians or Buddhists, no black or white, no heterosexual or homosexual,
no rich or poor. The FSSPCC is firmly committed to the belief that true teamwork comes
only from diversity.
The facilitator of the FSSPCC is there simply to ensure the meeting stays focused and
accomplishes what it sets out to do. No preference is expected toward and no preference
will be given from the facilitator.
Should members of the same family, employer or other unit find themselves at the
FSSPCC table, there will be no hierarchal interface. The events that surround the
FSSPCC are to have no impact on the treatment of its members.
Respect will be given to all members of the FSSPCC based on their participation on the
committee, not because of their “outside” profession. While the FSSPCC does respect
and encourages members to share their expertise in a particular subject, it is the values of
the group rather than the value of the one that will make the difference.
Should a member of the FSSPCC repeatedly violate the Round Table Value, a vote will
be called to ask for the resignation of that member (Cross-reference policy on the FSSPCC and Membership)
Minutes will be recorded during each FSSPCC meeting and the first order of business at
the next meeting will be acceptance of said minutes.
The FSSPCC encourages active involvement from the community as a whole. Guests are
always welcome at FSSPCC meetings. If any member of the FSSPCC feels a guest
speaker or presenter would be an asset to the group, please contact the FSS Coordinator
to set up presentation times.
While guests are welcome and encouraged, matters up for vote and discussion by the
FSSPCC are open only to FSSPCC members. No guest shall have a vote on any policy
or any issue. Should they wish to participate in FSS policy review and issue resolvement,
they are certainly welcome to join the FSSPCC.
Amendments To This Policy:
Amendments to this core policy can only be made through unanimous votes from the
Policy Adopted this __________ day of ______________ in the year ______________.