Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Board of Trustees

Minutes of May 21, 2014 Meeting


Trustees present:  Ivy Coleman (Co-President), Robin Scherer (Co-President), Regina Moody (President Elect), Buzzie Kelly (Secretary), Bob Whitaker (Treasurer); Members at Large: Sandy Chubon, Marc Drews, Caroline Eastman, Jerry Moore, Phil Turner; Ex-Officio Members: Linda Brennison and Mike Sullivan (Finance Committee Co-Chairs), Ann Johnson (Past President) and Neal Jones (Minister). Also attending (partial attendance): Mike Paget.


Call to Order and Establishment of Quorum

The meeting was called to order by Robin Scherer (Co-President) at 6:34 p.m. She noted a quorum was present.


Reading and Check-In

Linda Brennison (Finance Co-Chair) opened with a reading from Felix Adler; all present gave brief personal updates to check in.


Approval of Minutes

On a motion from Phil Turner, seconded by Ivy Coleman (Co-President), the minutes of the April meeting were approved unanimously.


Treasurer’s Report

Bob Whitaker (Treasurer) discussed the Treasurer’s Report and the Budget Variance Report, which had been emailed to Board members prior to the meeting. He pointed out that we are currently $16,000 short of revenues, which is primarily because a number of people have not paid their pledges. Although spending overall has been less than projected, Buildings and Grounds has overspent its budget. Share the Plate has been very good and rent is also higher than projected. Bob noted that unless revenues pick up, there may not be a positive variance at the end of the year, which would leave no Board reserve for 2014-15. At this point, we can only guess; we won’t know until June 30.


Finance Committee

On a motion from Ivy, seconded by Marc Drews, the Board voted unanimously to approve the appointments of Joe Long and Dot Brown to serve on the Finance Committee for the coming fiscal year.



The Personnel Committee is interviewing a promising candidate for the position of part-time bookkeeper. The individual is a member of the congregation.


Kelley Freeman, the new Director of Religious Education (DRE), has been working with Lisa Eason on a smooth transition to her position. Lisa’s last day will be May 25 and she is preparing a farewell article for the next edition of the Unigram.


Memorial Garden

Work has not begun on the Memorial Garden because the contract has not been signed yet. Betsy Kaemmerlen has been out of town, and when she returns, it is anticipated that the situation will be resolved and work can begin.


General Assembly (GA) Delegates

On a motion from Marc, seconded by Phil, the Board voted unanimously to appoint Pat Mohr and Anita Grossman as delegates to GA.


Coffee House

Mike Paget reported on the plans for the Coffee House in the coming year. Mike has been the manager of the Coffee House for the last 11 years but is moving to Kansas in June. He gave background information on the creation and running of the Coffee House for the past 20 years and described work that is being done to insure a smooth transition to a new manager. Since the financial manager for the Coffee House has access to confidential financial information about UUCC members, Mike feels that position should be filled by a UUCC member. He recommended Mike Allen, a UUCC member who currently volunteers at the Coffee House.


Coffee House finances are totally separate from the UUCC. The unwritten policy that has guided the Coffee House finances is that the UUCC will never be asked for any out-of-pocket money to put on shows and that any equipment purchased with Coffee House funds will belong to the UUCC. Conversely, there is never an expectation of money from the Coffee House flowing to the UUCC. However, if net profits from the Coffee House exceed $1,500, any overage will be donated to the UUCC.


Regina Moody (President Elect) recommended that the informal policy be formalized, as the Board moves to gather all UUCC Policies into a comprehensive document. Marc Drews and Mike Paget agreed to discuss the policy and put something in writing.


Draft Budget

Mike Sullivan and Linda Brennison (Finance Committee Co-Chairs) led a discussion of the 2014-2015 budget. Mike stated that the pledge drive target of $230,000 was based on the membership number of 215 that was reported to the UUA on February 1. Since then it has been discovered that 24 individuals who consider themselves members have not paid the minimum amount as required in the bylaws in order to be counted as a member.  It is vital that we report an accurate number of members to the UUA for the purposes of setting a realistic pledge drive goal and budgeting for the next fiscal year.  In hindsight, it appears we had a membership decrease due to the Minister being on sabbatical for half the year.


It was pointed out that about two-thirds of the budget is payroll and other fixed expenses, leaving only a portion of the budget that is malleable. Given the realities of the proposed budget, capital improvements were removed as part of the buildings and grounds budget and will need to come from fundraising. Other committees’ budgets will also be less than requested. Robin has informed Kate Noel Wells (Chair, Worship Committed) of the reduction in funding for speakers. By reducing the amount budgeted for distribution to the UUA as part of the GIFT Program, the 2014-2015 budget was completed with a surplus of $17.03.


Buzzie Kelly (Secretary) will work with Andrea Dudick (Administrator) to make sure notices of the June 15 Congregational Meeting will be included in the Unigram, order of service, and e-blast. She will also post a notice on the bulletin board in the social hall. Similar notifications for the June 8 Congregational Conversation about the proposed budget will be taken care of.

On a motion from Marc Drews, seconded by Robin, the board unanimously voted to accept the revised budget for 2014-2015 with a surplus of $17.03 and present it to the congregation at the June 15 annual meeting.


Bylaw Changes

Sandy Chubon distributed the description of the changes in the bylaws proposed by the Board. On a motion from Sandy, seconded by Caroline Eastman, the Board voted to accept the proposed bylaw changes and present them to the congregation at the June 15 annual meeting.


Action Items

Below are the action items to be followed up at the next Board meeting.

  1. Marc Drews will meet with Mike Paget to determine what policies relate to the Coffee House and put those policies in writing.
  2. [ongoing] Caroline will ask the Technology Services Committee to create an “open house” meeting in 2014 to train committee chairs who were unable to attend the Committee Night Training to learn how to access and update their committee’s web page.
  3. [ongoing] Caroline will continue to provide an update on the website at Board meetings.
  4. [ongoing] Caroline will investigate what visitor information can be gathered for the website and will explain it at the next Board meeting.



The meeting was adjourned at 9:27 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by Buzzie Kelly, Secretary