Present: Royal Forest, Gerard Neber, Michael Goldsmith, Susan Kenler, Matthew Barish, David Sussman, Rob Finkel, William Houck, Rev. Nancy O. Arnold The chalice was lit with opening words



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MINUTES OF THE DECEMBER 17, 2012 MEETING OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES, UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST FELLOWSHIP OF HUNTINGTON (DRAFT)
Present: Royal Forest, Gerard Neber, Michael Goldsmith, Susan Kenler, Matthew Barish, David Sussman, Rob Finkel, William Houck, Rev. Nancy O. Arnold
The chalice was lit with opening words.
Items of Business
Officer reports were accepted with minimal comment


  1. Minutes from November were approved (Neber/Sussman)




  1. Agenda Item 5 - Gerard Neber reported on the fair compensation issue. His analysis indicated that to provide UUA insurance guidelines for our existing employees would cost us about $10K additional per year. There was considerable discussion, exploring various scenarios. The bottom line is that we cannot afford to provide the coverage unconditionally for all employees.

  2. A motion was made (Neber /Sussman) that we take the position of aiming to be a fair share congregation, but don’t claim to be one at this time, and will provide fair share coverage as we are able;

  3. Agenda Items 5 and 18: Matt Barish made the point that there are certain essential needs that have to be taken care of, and that we have a conflict, or perhaps an uneasy balance, between outreach and congregational needs. This led to a discussion of how BOW evolved and how it works. Many people appear to be under the impression that we are giving BOW more than we do, on the order of 10% of pledges. The actual number is more on the order of 1.75 – 2.0%, or $5,000 to $6,000. It was pointed out during the discussion that a BOW policy review is due this year, based on the terms of the congregational vote that established the current policy.

  4. Agenda Item 14 – Canvass: Canvass Sunday is March 10. This will be another year in which the Board will support the Canvass directors- Ken Buley Newmar and Gerard Neber. David Sussman emphasized the usefulness of testimonials at the service(s).

  5. Agenda Item 1: For the record, the Board of Trustees approved the hiring of Austen Petersen as Interim DRE at the December 3 Spiritual Directions meeting.

  6. Agenda Item 2 - There was a motion (Neber/Finkel, Barish) to add the UUSC as a recipient (along with Huntington Food Pantry) for the Christmas plate.

  7. Agenda Item 3 - The Secretary will write a piece on building safety for publication in the Beacon.

  8. Matt Barish revisited the subject of an AED (defibrillator). We will add it to the wish list. Prices are modest, but training is required.

  9. Agenda Item 4 - Computer/IT Person: We have been having office computer problems. Harvey Balapole may have fixed the problems, but we don’t know if the fix is permanent or not. There was discussion about whether to bring in an outsider, bypassing members who have given considerable time to system maintenance. Several Board members reported positive experiences with troubleshooting contractors on their own computers and are willing to recommend contractors. Gerard Neber reported that we have $4,400 in the IT reserve. There was no motion, but general agreement that Barbara Weingarten could price such services for us. Gerard will check with Finance.

  10. Agenda Item 6 - Bylaws: There was no objection to the proposed changes. We need to observe the necessary notification dates to inform the Congregation.

  11. Agenda Item 7 - Transition Team (ministerial): Recommendations not yet submitted. Tabled.

  12. Minister’s Discretionary Fund and member support: It has been acknowledged that the Minister’s Discretionary Fund has been used to support congregants in need by advancing payment of the minimum required pledge. The question was raised by Matt Barish as to whether this activity could or should be a line item in a person’s donation to the discretionary fund. The question was then extended further as to whether (in the event of a member support line item) a donor could/should be able to specify a particular individual. For the time being the fund will remain purely discretionary and may be revisited when Gerard furnishes the Board with pledging and pledge payment numbers after the holidays.

  13. Agenda Item 8 – Covenant: Tabled

  14. Agenda Item #9: Staff Gifts: Staff gift allocations were discussed. Rev. Nancy indicated that she will not be part of the pool. The funds that will be available for distribution will be on the order of $1,700 to $2,000. Candidates for shares will be Barbara, Richard, Mary Anne, Carolyn and Danielle, with flat honoraria for the day care personnel. Various proportions were proposed, more or less tagged to hours worked, and it was moved seconded and voted (Barish/Sussman) that Gerard would make up a schedule of values, adjusting the rough proportioning developed, when he has the full financial picture.

  15. Agenda Item #10: Bonuses: Bonuses will be allocated after evaluations from the Personnel Committee are received. A pool of $3,000 is available for what appears to be a maximum of three candidates. The matter was tabled until such time as the evaluations are received.

  16. Secretary’s reminders. Susan Kenler called attention to ____. In addition, she raised the subject of recognition of Cynthia Chaffee, scheduled for January 6. There was discussion on what would be appropriate – flowers, plaque, certificate, fund in her name, etc. It was generally agreed that permanent gifts would cause problems because we would end up with plaques or whatever for every person who left the Fellowship. In the end it was decided that there would be flowers and a cake, verifying with Dick Kopp that Cynthia was not bringing an eco friendly cake of her own. Susan to do the verifying and David Sussman volunteering to do the purchasing.

  17. Agenda item 17 – HIHI: Allyson Dalton is proposing to expand the program by allowing the overnight guests to volunteer to pitch in with work around the Fellowship, at all times under supervision. This raised the immediate concern of insurance issues: do we need a rider for this, do we have any special coverage now (no), do we need to list Family Service League as an additional insured, do they list us as an additional insured (probably not). The general conclusion was that the proposed activity would not change our coverage (Substitute scribe’s afterthought – we need to check whether restriction of shelter activity to the social hall was part of our original HIHI agreement when the congregation endorsed the program, and if so, what is required to modify?). Discussion shifted into examination of volunteer issues at functions: HIHI cleanups, Centers cleanups, post Christmas service cleanups, martyrdom, and so on. A motion was made to pursue having the HIHI guests come in earlier (Finkel/Kenler) and carried.

  18. Agenda Item 30 – Current events – when should they displace scheduled service content, e.g. Sandy Hook shootings. Extensive discussion on hierarchy of decision making: decision would seem to be for the Minister and the SPC, but the Board is listed as co-spiritual director and should be consulted on these matters. Additionally, there are times when the minister may be away and SPC should not have to field this difficult topic alone. There was discussion about the logistics of preparing a new service on very short (e.g. 36 hours) notice, plus the point that sometimes very little of detail is known about an incident after only a day, despite endless repetition on the news. Matt Barish made the point that bad things will always come up and that people will always disagree about the appropriate level of response. He also mentioned the feelings of persons preparing the scheduled service and those expecting to hear same. He suggested that when time and information are short there should/could be a continuation of the service (with announcement and brief remarks during the service) for those who wish to remain and process the event in a communal spiritual setting, along the lines of a Quaker format. There was a general (informal) agreement that Royal would summarize these points in a written format for SPC’s use.

  19. Agenda Item 22 - Job descriptions – need to be completed for all positions.

  20. Secy’s reminders spiral (????) committee done; remind Endowment Committee to work on recommendations; Minimum pledge – working on it

  21. Disposition of MLK service plate: 1/3 to UUA, 2/3 to UUFH

  22. Unsung hero – Susan will do again, will be working with Kim Kayal and Cathi Zillman.

  23. Garden – Danielle is being pressured to the effect that RE committee MUST take over the garden, etc.

  24. Agenda Item 12, 13 - BH promised report on playground, indicated that Social Hall is proceeding.

  25. Closing by David.

Respectfully submitted,

Bill Houck


UUFH Dec. 17, 2012 Page




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