Board of Trustees

Minutes of November 18, 2015 Meeting


Marc Drews (Co-President), Phil Turner (President Elect), Sandy Chubon (Secretary), Linda Brennison (Treasurer).  Members at Large: Richard Culler, Donald Griggs, Patrick Saucier, Janet Swigler, Tim VanDenBerg.  Regina Moody (Past President), Joe Long (Chair Finance Committee), Rev. Jennie Barrington (Interim Minister).                   Guests: Caroline Eastman, Carolyn West, Peck Drennan.

Members Absent: Patty Drews (Co-President)

Call to Order

Marc Drews called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.

Chalice Lighting

Richard Culler provided a reading and lit the chalice.  The Trustees reaffirmed our Covenant.

Electronic Voting

Between October 26 and 28 Trustees voted via email to approve the Personnel Committee’s recommendation to hire Stephany Vesey as our Director of Religious Education.

Approval of Minutes

Minutes of the October 21, 2015 meeting were approved with some clarification from Linda Brennison.

Building and Grounds Update

Carolyn West and Peck Drennan presented an overview of the work that needs to be done on our building and a rough estimate of the cost of each part.  Peck recommends staying within the footprint of the current building.  If we expand we will have to make additional expensive changes like off-street parking and other upgrades.  Peck presented his recommendations in the format of a contract between him and the UUCC.  He has contacts with suppliers of many items we will need (plumbing fixtures, building materials, etc.) which will enable him to offer us lower prices for those items.

Probably the first priority is remodeling the bathrooms: construct a new, larger men’s handicapped bathroom across the hall from the current women’s bathroom (presently a storage room).  Then combine the current men’s and women’s bathrooms to make a fully handicapped 3-stall women’s bathroom.  This will require cutting the slab floor to get the toilets connected to the sewer line.  Total cost estimate – $18,000.

Peck evaluated the space under the RE Building.  He described it as being “propped up in an unconventional, wacky way” but it is not in danger of collapsing.  He suggested two options for using that space: (1) it could be walled off and dried out for use as storage space for the RE program and an inside stairway could be constructed using space currently used by the RE program; cost of that approach would be about $80,000  OR  (2) the space could be expanded further and a classroom constructed down there but the cost would be considerably more than $80,000.

Peck recommended upgrading the RE wing cosmetically by refreshing the existing walls and ceilings, simplifying the hallway with new lighting and a coordinated display system, refinishing or replacing doors, and including other suggestions generated by discussion.

In the Social Hall, Peck recommends constructing a drop-in ceiling ($18,000) and doing some electrical upgrades above the new ceiling ($10,000).  We could relocate the current lighting or provide new.  New wall coverings would cost about $5,000.

In the Sanctuary he recommends enlarging the opening between the social hall and the sanctuary ($30,000), relocating the Chancel to the east wall, providing a new ceiling ($11,000), finding alternative uses for the stage ($3,000), replacing windows ($12,000).

The cost estimates are rough estimates.  They will be firmed up for each section as we move forward, if we choose to do so.  The total cost will probably be $100,000 to $150,000.  The architect’s fee will be about 6% of the cost of the project.

UUCC Website Update

Caroline Eastman presented the UUCC Website Migration Plan developed by the Technology Committee.  The plan includes rationale for the decisions they have made.

DOMAIN  –  Continue current domain with no immediate changes.  UUCC has an established domain which can be used with any website we establish.

TEMPLATE  –  Adopt the new UUA theme for congregations.  Our current website is hosted by Google.  The UUA is committed to long-term support of their template.  It has been tested extensively by real users.

HOST  –  Switch to Dreamhost for hosting.  Among other advantages they offer a basic hosting plan for nonprofits at no charge.

THEME CUSTOMIZATION  –  We will need to customize the theme for UUCC.  This involves designing the front page to reflect us and modifying the categories in the theme.  Jim DuPleiss and Cale Ureda have volunteered to do this customization.

CONTENT  –  It is up to the UUCC to provide the content.  We need a content management plan that clearly specifies who is responsible for what content.

TRAINING  – The Tech Committee will identify appropriate online resources that will help people manage content on the website.

MAINTENANCE  –  The Tech Committee will keep up with updates to Word Press and the UUA Template.  Ultimately, the responsibility for maintaining the site needs to belong to staff.

The Committee has developed a tentative schedule with the goal of launching the new website January 1, 2016.


Interim Minister’s Report

Rev. Jennie summarized her written report and answered questions about a very busy month.

Treasurer’s Report

Linda Brennison reported that we continue to have a serious revenue shortfall.  Currently the shortfall is $9,020.41 which is an improvement over last month’s when it was $10,793.73.  We have a total of 141 pledge units; 63 are current; 78 are in arrears; 37 have paid nothing in this fiscal year.  Some people have not been at services for some time.  Pippin Whitaker will contact them by phone.  Linda plans to do a pulpit editorial to encourage pledge donations.  Pledge statements will be sent to everyone at the end of November to encourage donations before the end of the tax year.  Attendance at services is down about 6%.

Reports of Committee Liaisons

Membership Committee   The New Member Dinner has been rescheduled for January 23 with the joining service on January 24.  The Turners’ holiday party is December 19.

Coffeehouse   Tim reported that they are about one week behind their projected schedule.  They will be meeting soon with Ginny Verne and members of the Finance Committee to talk about budgeting.  Tim has drafted a contract for performers.


Goals for Fiscal Year   Discussion was deferred to next month’s meeting.

UUCC-Hosted Events    Linda found information on Church Mutual’s website indicating that if an event is advertised as a church-sponsored event, the church can be held liable for injuries which occur at the event, even if it is not held on church property.  Trustees agreed that we need to take care to avoid advertising events as UUCC events when they are really events sponsored/hosted by individuals.  Tim suggested we need a policy.  He agreed to chair that group; Linda and Phil agreed to serve; Buzzie Kelly will be invited to serve on the committee.

Start Up Weekend    Marc and Patty requested that the Transition Team lead this effort, working closely with Rev. Jennie to organize the meetings, arranging for food, and communicate to us and to the congregation about our participation.


Contract with Peck Drennan    Trustees discussed Peck’s proposal.  Richard and Linda commented that he is offering us a tremendous value.  Questions were raised about the timing of taking this to the congregation.  We will need to avoid confusing our annual canvass with a capital fund drive.  It was moved that we contract with Peck Drennan as he specifies to move forward with fleshing out the master plan by March 1.  The motion passed.

Appointment to Transition Team   Barbie Seymour has resigned from the Transition Team.  Marc moved that we appoint Nancie Shillington Perez to fill the position on the Transition Team.  Linda seconded.  The motion passed.

Policy on Money Counters’ Safety   On a recent Sunday a visitor barged into Room 1 while the Counters were counting the offering.  The visitor became very angry when the Counters refused to cash a check for him.  Linda Brennison and Joe Long presented a draft of a policy on Counter Safety which would require that Room 1 be locked while the offering is counted, that two people would be present with the money until it is counted and ready to go to the bank, and that one counter would then promptly take the money to the bank deposit box.  Richard Culler seconded the proposal.  There was criticism that the document was more of a procedure than a policy.  Joe and Linda requested approval of the policy as an indication of board support.  The motion passed.  The policy will be added to the Financial Policies Manual and to the Congregational Safety Manual.

UUCC Website    Donald Griggs moved that we accept the Technology Committee’s report and goals and minor expenses as detailed in the UUCC Website Migration Plan.  Phil seconded the motion.  The motion passed.


The meeting was adjourned at 9:47 PM.

Minutes recorded by

Sandy Chubon, Secretary