Board of Trustees

Minutes of July 15, 2015 Meeting


Marc Drews & Patty Drews (Co-Presidents), Phil Turner (President Elect), Sandy Chubon (Secretary), Linda Brennison (Treasurer), Members at Large: Richard Culler, Gareth Fenley, Donald Griggs, Janet Swigler, Tim VanDenBerg; Regina Moody (Past President), Joe Long (Chair Finance Committee).  Guests for part of meeting: Jeff Moulton (Buildings & Grounds Committee) & Nancie Shillington-Perez (DRE).

Call to Order

Patty Drews called the meeting to order at 6:32 PM.

Chalice Lighting

Tim VanDenBerg lit the chalice and provided a reading.  Trustees reaffirmed their Covenant.

Approval of Minutes

The minutes of the June 17 meeting were approved.

Treasurer’s Report

Linda Brennison reported that the bookkeeper has not finished closing out the books for the fiscal year.  This report is based on her year-end “working copies”.  We expect to have an overall positive variance for the fiscal year in excess of $30,000.  Linda recommended that we move $10,418.00 of our cash on hand to our savings account to begin accumulating an emergency fund.  This transfer would bring the savings account balance to $15,000.  It should be our goal to add to this account yearly if finances allow.  An emergency savings account would prevent the need for fundraisers for a new sewer or heat pump.  The remainder of the positive variance would be put into a restricted account for the Board of Trustees; it would be used only for Board-approved projects.  Linda moved that the Board place $10,418.00 of our cash in hand into our savings account and place the remainder of our positive variance into a Board-restricted fund.  Phil seconded.  The motion was approved.

Linda also reported that 99% of pledged funds were collected by year end.

Staff Reports

Reports from the Administrator and the DRE were accepted.


Committee Reports

Social Action   Janet Swigler reported that Mike Walker is planning to participate in a Service Day sponsored by the Multiple Sclerosis Society.  He would like to publicize the event in the Unigram.  The Board approved his request.

The Social Action Committee would like to collect a special offering for the burned churches.  It was suggested that the Committee identify a specific donee.  Are there churches that have funds set up?  Is the UUSC involved in this cause and if so, might we donate through them?  Perhaps this cause should be a Share the Plate donee for next year.  UUCC policy is that our fund raisers serve UUCC in whole or in part.

Transition Team   Kevin Meredith has had some communication with Rev Jennie.

Facility Assessment Task Force   Richard Culler reported that he began work on the narrative for the report but he ran out of time.  It should go to the Task Force for input before it comes to the Board.  He will email it to the Board before our next meeting.

Staff Compensation Committee   Janet Swigler circulated the final report of this committee.  It is attached as Appendix A.

Buildings & Grounds, Interiors Subcommittee   Regina reported that she, Lis Turner, and Jean Capalbo are getting furnishings (not necessarily couches) for Rev Jennie’s office.


UUCC Website   Devon Hicks has reported that most of the feedback he has received has been positive.  He will be monitoring traffic on the site to learn what pages people are using.  He plans to launch the new site late at night.

Status of UU Coffeehouse   Tim VanDenBerg reminded us that our objective is to establish the Coffeehouse as a non-profit subsidiary of the UUCC.  There are two major problems: civil liability and our tax exempt status.  The current mode of operation threatens our tax-exempt status.  We don’t have a good sense of their financial management.  Tim would like to have them operating as a new entity by the next calendar year.  He would like our bookkeeper to manage their books.  Tim is willing to do the formation work.  (See Appendix B).  Tim moved that no later than December 31, 2015 we will discontinue the program group UU Coffeehouse and reestablish the UU Coffeehouse as a nonprofit tax-exempt subsidiary of the UUCC.  Patty Drews seconded.  Tim explained that getting tax-exempt status takes time.  We will submit the application and proceed as though it will come; if the letter does not come, we readjust.  It costs $400-800 to incorporate and become non-profit (depending on income).  There are additional incorporation fees.  We will need a start-up budget.  The process is not of major interest to the folks currently running the Coffeehouse.  The motion passed.

Flooring for the RE Wing   Nancie Shillington-Perez presented on behalf of the CYRE Committee.  They are concerned because tiles are pulling up off the floor and breaking; the finish is worn off the tiles and they cannot be cleaned adequately creating a sanitation issue.  Staff are afraid there may be asbestos exposure where tiles are broken or missing.  Several years ago Kevin Eason replaced the flooring in the Nursery; the UUCC paid for materials only, Kevin’s labor was donated.  Extrapolating from the size of that room to the square footage in the rest of the wing, the CYRE Committee estimated the cost of materials for the wing at $4,000 (using donated labor).

The Buildings and Grounds Committee assigned Jeff Moulton to be the project manager of the flooring project.  He measured the RE wing to determine the square footage needed to complete the flooring.  It was suggested that we also replace the flooring in the staff offices and hallway and in Jeff’s little storage room, plus the hallway in front of the minister’s office.  Estimates were obtained from two contractors recommended by Regina Moody: Chrome Rhino and Palmetto Construction.  One contractor provided estimates for 2 different qualities of flooring with differing warranties.  There is no estimate for just the RE Wing.  The estimates for all the areas mentioned above range from $17,500 to $21,100 for materials and labor.

Trustees discussed what money we have for this project.  Buildings and Grounds Committee has $8,000 in their budget for this fiscal year.  CYRE has a donation of $1,000 ear marked for the floor; those funds may need to be matched.  We could use some board-restricted funds.  Questions were raised about how this flooring project fits in with the Facilities Assessment Report.  What sequence of projects does that report recommend?  Questions were raised about the state of the subflooring under the RE wing.  An inspection is needed to ensure that the floor under the tile is not damaged before installing new flooring.

The Trustees decided to ask the Buildings and Grounds Committee to bring us a recommendation based on the information they have plus the recommendations from the Facilities Assessment Report.  Gareth will take that information to the Buildings and Grounds Committee.


Safety Audits and Training   The Richland County Sheriff’s Department is conducting safety audits for churches in the county.  A deputy will come and conduct a safety tour of the building; later in the day he will meet with interested members or friends to present recommendations to improve our safety procedures.  Sheriff Leon Lott will do a presentation on church safety next week and interested church leaders are welcome to attend.

Minimum Pledge Amount for FY 2015-2016   Our Minimum Basic Contribution to maintain UUCC membership for fiscal year 2014-2015 was $60 per member.  Joe Long moved that we increase the Minimum Basic Contribution to $65 per member for fiscal year 2015-2016.  Phil Turner seconded.  The motion passed.

Appointment of Members to Finance Committee     Bob Whitaker and Robin Scherer have agreed to serve on the Finance Committee.  Their appointments were approved by the Trustees.

Appointment of Liaisons to Standing Committees   We need liaisons to the Green Sanctuary and Adult Religious Education Committees.

Annual Meeting Date   Joe Long requested that we set the date for our Annual Meeting earlier in the year so it is before Memorial Day.  WE AGREED TO HAVE THE ANNUAL MEETING MAY 22, 2016.

Interim Minister Welcome    Rev Jennie Barrington plans to arrive in Columbia July 24.  Janet Swigler is making plans for a reception after the service on August 16 to welcome Rev Jennie.   Janet asked for as much as $200 from the Board Contingency Fund to purchase food, etc. for the occasion.  Her request was approved.

Resignation of the DRE    Marc announced that Nancie Shillington-Perez is resigning from the DRE position effective August 30.

Adjournment   The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 PM.

Action Items

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

  1. Richard Culler will provide a narrative to accompany the Report from the Facilities Assessment Task Force.
  2. Tim VanDenBerg will update us on the conversion of the UU Coffeehouse to a non-profit subsidiary of the UUCC.


Minutes recorded by

Sandy Chubon, Secretary


Appendix A

Compensation Committee Report to UUCC Board

July 15, 2015

After gathering job descriptions, compensation figures, and anecdotal records for all staff members at UUCC, the materials were sent to Denise Rimes, our SE District consultant, for review.  The Compensation Committee, board members, and interested members attended an on-line conference to discuss the results with Denise on June 20, 2015.  We recommend that all documents concerning the employees at UUCC (job descriptions, letters of agreement, annual evaluations, personnel policy manual) and future updates be stored both electronically and as hard copies in an appropriate, secure location.

To complete its charge, the committee has done the following:

  • Reviewed job descriptions.  We found no need to update or revise them.
  • We recommend that during each employee’s annual review it is confirmed that the job description and actual tasks performed match.
  • Reviewed staff compensation.  Using UUA guidelines and Salaries.com Denise congratulated us on having most salaries in the mid-range for a congregation our size.
  • We recommend that each staff member be informed of changes in their compensation (salary, hours, and paid vacation) in a written document.
  • Our recommendation for staff compensation for the next three budget years is to follow UUA guidelines and Salaries.com (or a comparable site) with the intention of keeping salaries at the high end of the mid-range.  Since UUA guidelines are revised annually and released after we have made our budget, maintaining this goal will enable us to stay at the mid-range or higher.
  • Priority for a salary increase should be given to the DRE since that salary is between minimum and mid-range.
  • We suggest an increase in the hourly wage for the nursery worker(s) since that is in the minimum to mid-range.
  • We recommend the custodian’s salary also be raised since he is tenured with four years of experience.
  • We recommend offering optional, partially subsidized health insurance coverage for eligible employees (minimum of 20 hours/week) within three years.  UUA guidelines are available.  Other options to consider are offering disability, prescription, dental, vision, and life insurance.  The options offered can be prioritized.
  • Another benefit to consider is to offer a non-matching 401-K and eventually change it to matching.
  • Addressed an additional concern.  Since our staff are also members an effort must be made by the congregation to respect their time off when they attend services or other events and are not working.  Some suggestions to educate the congregation include:
    • Asking Jennie Barrington, our interim minister, to address the issue in a sermon and/or Unigram article
    • Having the off-duty employee redirect a request to a board member who is present.
    • Including a sentence about this issue in the greetings read by a board member at the beginning of each service.

Submitted by Janet Swigler (chair), Linda Brennison, Glenn White, Dave Crockett, & Dot Brown.

Appendix B

Report on UU Coffeehouse

July 15, 2015


  1.  Civil liability
  2.  Tax status


  1.   Form non-profit tax-exempt subsidiary of UUCC
  2.   Populate new BOD with majority of UUCC members
  3.   Portion of ticket price tax-deductible UUCC donation


  1.   Mitigate UUCC liability
  2.   Protect UUCC tax-exempt status
  3.   Raise funds for UUCC
  4.   Promote UUCC values/principles in community
  5.   Provide opportunity to showcase local talent


  1.   Organizational meeting
  2.   Article of Incorporation
  3.   Tax-exempt application
  4.   By-laws
  5.   Budget
  6.   BOD Elections
  7.   Start-up fundraising

Submitted by Tim VanDenBerg