Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Board of Trustees

Minutes of July 17, 2013 Meeting




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


Call to Order and Establishment of Quorum

The meeting was called to order by Robin at 6:30 p.m. She noted a quorum was present.


Reading and Check-In

Robin read a selection by Maya Angelou and requested those attending to read in unison “The Way We Are with Each Other” to set the tone for the meeting and the coming year. She noted that we are all volunteers and emphasized the need to work together, keep the lines of communication open, and have patience with one another. Ivy pointed out that we have a great staff at the UU, which will help us through the coming year when Neal is on sabbatical.


Approval of Minutes

On a motion by Caroline, seconded by Ivy, the minutes of the June 19, 2013 meeting were unanimously approved, with one change. (The word “application” was removed from paragraph 3 under “Financial Matters” to read “15 year loan” rather than “15 year loan application.”)[i]



Robin reported that Janet Swigler has requested $125 to purchase supplies for the August 25 Shindig, which will be Neal’s send off for his sabbatical. Linda reported that the Board contingency fund has $658.10. On a motion from Bob, seconded by Regina, the Board voted unanimously to fund the request from the Board contingency fund.


The reports from the Administrator, DRE, and Minister were received on the consent agenda. Marc Drews suggested combining the reports, but after discussion it was decided to keep them separate, as their duties don’t overlap much and it’s easier for Board members to read them as individual reports.


The DRE requested that $350 remaining in her professional expense account for 2012-2013—due to the cancellation of the conference she had registered to attend (RE Week at the Mountain)—be carried over into the current fiscal year to allow her to attend the Liberal Religious Education Directors Association’s (LREDA) Fall Conference in St. Paul, MN, October 18-21, 3013. Linda noted that the funds have simply been carried over and so were available. On a motion from Caroline, seconded by Jerry, the Board voted unanimously to provide the funds to the DRE for a conference in this fiscal year.




Treasurer’s Report

Bob handed out the Treasurer’s report and noted that the Mohr Family Fund has lost $2,840 since its inception. The fund (and any future endowment monies) will be handled by the Endowment Committee, which, though approved by the congregation at the June 9 annual meeting, has not yet been formed. He reviewed highlights of the monthly variance report for July, which leaves a positive variance of $11,162.21. Linda pointed out that the current Board Reserve Fund is depleted (after paying for the door locks). On a motion from Marc, seconded by Bob, the Board voted to move the $11,162.21 to the Board Reserve Fund.  The painting of the sanctuary windows will also be paid from this fund.


Door Locks Discussion

Andrea Dudick, UU Administrator, announced that new door locks have been installed in the main building (except for the doors to the patio) and the library. A software system operates the doors to the main building. There is one keypad, which is installed by the door into the RE wing (near the library). Four-digit codes are available to be assigned to board members, members who need access to the building for meetings and activities, and those who rent the building. Individual codes can be tracked by the software, so there will be a record of who enters the building and when. The library is not part of the system but also has a new key.


Once the door by the keypad is opened, the kitchen door and the main door can be opened from the inside. All doors except the main door (and the patio doors) will automatically lock upon exiting. The individual responsible for locking up the building after an event will still need to lock the main doors from inside, make sure the patio doors are locked, and make sure all the other doors that lock on closing are properly closed.


Several issues were raised:

  • People wanting to get back in through a door that locks automatically may prop it open or put tape over the door bolt. Those locking up will need to check.
  • Those using the handicapped spaces outside the kitchen and wishing to enter through the kitchen will need a key to get in. Therefore, some individuals will still need to obtain a key for the entire building.


Andrea has created an interim policy for obtaining entry to the buildings and created two forms—one for obtaining a library key and one for obtaining a code. The requests will be subject to review before being granted. It was recommended that a written policy be finalized by the Board. Buzzie will draft a policy, which will be discussed at the next Board meeting.


The vendor for installing the locks was changed, but the board had already approved the action and the cost didn’t change. Robin and Buzzie will sign the contract with Midlands Lock & Key


Personnel Matters

The Nursery Supervisor who has been hired is scheduled to begin on July 28. An ad for the RE Assistant (formerly Youth Coordinator) has been placed on Craig’s List, listing an hourly rate of $12-$16/hour. However, since the rate has been budgeted at $13.50/hour, it was decided to withdraw the ad and reword it to reflect the correct hourly rate. Neal will ask Lisa to change the ad.



New Business

Questions about the Minister’s benefits during his sabbatical were raised. It was pointed out that a sabbatical is not a vacation, but an opportunity for the minister to rest in order to return to the congregation refreshed and reinvigorated. Since a sabbatical is considered work, the Minister receives all his usual benefits (except his ministerial expense account, which will be halved for the year). On a motion from Robin, seconded by Sandy, the Board voted to approve the agreement with Neal detailing the sabbatical. Robin will sign the agreement.


Confidentiality and Conflict of Interest Statements were passed around and signed by the Board members.


When Mike Paget was Board President, each committee took responsibility for opening, setting up, and closing the building on Committee Nights, thus sharing the responsibility. It was decided to reinstitute the practice, so Robin will make the announcement at the August Committee Night.


Committee Appointments

New committee chairs required Board approval. On a motion from Caroline, seconded by Marc, the Board voted unanimously and approved the following chairs:

Building and Grounds (Interiors)               Greer Lawson

Personnel (Interim)                                          Glenn White

Religious Education                                          Barbie Seymour

Technology                                                           Jim DuPlessis

Worship                                                                  Kate Noel Wells


It was noted that the Leadership Development Committee needs to find a permanent chair for the Personnel Committee and find a chair for the Publicity Committee. It was also noted that neither Adult RE nor Technical Services is a standing committee.


Board liaisons were assigned for the following committees:

Building and Grounds                               Regina Moody

Caring                                                               Sandy Chubon (also the chair)

Endowment                                                  on hold, since this committee is still being formed

Finance                                                            Bob Whitaker

Leadership Development                       Sandy Chubon

Membership                                                  Buzzie Kelly

Personnel                                                       Phil Turner

Religious Education                                  Marc Drews

Adult RE                                                         Ann Johnson

Technology                                                   Caroline Eastman

Worship                                                          Robin Scherer and Ivy Coleman


Safe Congregation Policy

In its June 19, 2013, presentation to the Board, the Safe Congregation Task Force (created June 20, 2012) concentrated on Safety Policies and Procedures for Children and Youth Served. At that meeting, Regina had been asked to organize Board member comments relating to several other of the sections to be included in the comprehensive safety policy.  Her comments at this Board meeting included a reordering of the sections, listing Safety Policies for Children to appear first in the final document. She suggested that an introduction both to this section and to the entire Safe Congregation Policy be written.


She presented an edited draft version of the Policy Regarding Disruptive Behavior (adopted March 8, 2006). While it was agreed that Regina’s document was very clear and well-organized, it was felt that several areas still needed to be revisited, including the following:


  1. Giving the offending person an opportunity to give an explanation (orally or in writing). Include a timeline and to whom the explanation is to be given.
  2. Suspension should include timelines and an explanation of how suspension can be lifted.
  3. Expulsion needs to be explained: How is this done? Can someone who has been expelled apply to re-join? If so, how would that work? Who would judge the case?
  4. Referral to SMART needs to be clarified. Does this apply to adults as well as children and youth?



The meeting was adjourned at 9:35 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by Buzzie Kelly, Secretary



[i] The June meeting minutes were posted with the original, incorrect wording. The change was made and the meeting minutes were reposted as corrected.