Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Columbia

Board of Trustees

Minutes of August 21, 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, Marc Drews, Caroline Eastman, and Phil Turner; Ex-Officio Members: Ann Johnson (Past President), Neal Jones (Minister), and Linda Brennison (Finance Committee Co-Chair). Also attending (partial attendance): Lisa Eason (DRE), Barbie Seymour (RE Committee Chair), and Keitha Whitaker (Chair, Safe Congregation Task Force)


Call to Order and Establishment of Quorum

The meeting was called to order by Ivy at 6:38 p.m. She noted a quorum was present.


Reading and Check-In

Ivy read a brief selection by Maya Angelou.


Approval of Minutes

On a motion by Regina, seconded by Caroline, the minutes of the July 17, 2013 meeting were unanimously approved with one change. It was also confirmed that the minutes should not be posted on the website until after they’ve been approved by the Board.



On a motion from Marc, seconded by Phil, the Board voted unanimously to move the discussion of the Safe Congregation Policy up on the agenda to allow Lisa, Barbie, and Keitha to leave when it was concluded.


Safe Congregation Policy

Copies of the “Safety Policies and Procedures for Children and Youth Served” were handed out. Keitha Whitaker, Chair of the Safe Congregation Task Force, explained this version contained revisions based on feedback from several previous meetings with the Board. Marc moved and Phil seconded a motion to approve the Safe Congregation Policy as revised.


The discussion started with a reading of the definitions and questions about the difference between Sexual Offender and Sexual Predator. Barbie explained that those were South Carolina legal classifications, based on the criminal convictions. She further explained that the minister is the only person designated by SC statute as a Mandated Reporter of suspected abuse. However, the Safe Congregation Policy requires all adults to report any suspected abuse or neglect to the DRE, Minister, or Board President.


There was extensive discussion about who has the authority to expel someone from the UUCC—the Board or SMART. The bylaws state that a member may be removed from the membership register for cause in accordance with the Board of Trustees’ Policy Regarding Disruptive Behavior. That policy is currently under revision and includes a proposed statement that, although SMART is authorized to suspend the offending person(s) under a Limited Access Agreement, only the Board of Trustees has the authority to expel a person.


The Board felt strongly that it should be the body to determine if someone is asked to leave the UUCC permanently. Barbie pointed out that SMART is a team of trained individuals with expertise in sexual abuse. She further explained that there could be liability issues for the Congregation if SMART recommended expulsion but the Board didn’t agree and the individual reoffended. However, it was decided that the Board will retain the ultimate authority to expel a member.


The Task Force representatives urged the Board to act by September 1, the start of RE, pointing out that the UUCC needs to have a policy in place by then.


Marc offered a friendly amendment to approve the “Safety Policies and Procedures for Children and Youth Served” with the revisions made at this meeting; Phil seconded the motion. The motion passed with one dissention. She stated that she still had qualms about the Limited Access Agreement. It was agreed that the Board would continue making revisions on the policy. Ivy stated that she wants to see the final version via email. Barbie will make a flow chart to be included with the revisions and send the revised version to the Board.


The Task Force members explained that the policy will be posted on the website; it will be part of the teacher training; and basic information will be included in the order of service. Other congregations that adopt similar policies often present a service about the policy, and it was agreed to recommend this to the Worship Committee.


The Board requested that the Task Force be retained to continue working on overall policy, including revisions to the Disruptive Behavior Policy. The representatives requested that two members from the Board and two members from the congregation be added to the Task Force.


Committee Reports

The Minister’s Report, DRE Report, and Administrator’s Report were approved. It was requested that when the reports are emailed to Board members that they have a consistent name so it’s easy to identify them as Board reports.


Treasurer’s Report

Bob handed out the Treasurer’s report and explained that there are negative balances on several restricted accounts, totaling $784.09. The highest negative was $591.03 lost on the Dale McGowan talk sponsored by RE. It was noted that the Board did not expect RE to make up any shortfall on that event. There were also some unsold books from the Racial Justice Conference (totaling $152.73). On a motion from Ivy, seconded by Bob, the Board voted unanimously to move $784.09 from the Board Reserve to zero out these accounts.


Janet Swigler has requested $240 to pay for reserving the band for the November 9 Contra dance. Evidently the cost was not included in the Membership Committee Budget for 2013-2014. Phil moved and Bob seconded a motion to fund the event. After some discussion, Phil withdrew his motion. It was felt the Board needed more information about why the cost of the event wasn’t included in the Membership Committee Budget. It was further felt that committees have a responsibility to request enough funds for their activities at the beginning of the fiscal year, and that if the UUCC is to stay on budget, additional funds can’t be provided if something is overlooked. After additional discussion, a motion was made by Robin and seconded by Caroline to NOT fund the request. The motion passed with two abstentions.


Ann asked why the Endowment Committee hasn’t yet been created. Ivy explained that it’s on the To Do list for the Co-Presidents but that it isn’t a priority and so hasn’t been moved on yet.


Ivy noted that the lunch and breakfast provided for the August 17 Board Retreat was paid for by her and Robin and asked for partial reimbursement. On a motion from Phil, seconded by Regina, the Board unanimously agreed to reimburse Robin and Ivy $70 from the Board Contingency Fund.


Other Business

Three people have agreed to serve on the Personnel Committee. Committee information (an agenda item) will be discussed at the next Board meeting.


Interviews have been held for both the Nursery Supervisor and RE Assistant positions.


Neal was asked to leave the room in order to discuss the gift being purchased for his sabbatical going-away party present. On a motion from Robin, seconded by Phil, the Board voted to move up to $100 from the Board Contingency Fund for the purchase of an iPad. There was one “no” vote.


A scheduling conflict has arisen for use of the building. Susan Hogue reserved the building for a birthday party on the same date as the Shandon Home Tour, an open house that would help publicize the UU, raise visibility, and show off the renovations. Mike Paget and Betsy Kaemmerlen requested that the UU participate in the Shandon Home Tour but failed to check the master schedule for use of the building. On a motion from Regina, seconded by Phil, the Board voted unanimously to have Neal check with Susan Hogue to see if she can either change the date of the party or will agree to share the building on the date of the Home Tour. If the date can’t be changed and Ms. Hoague won’t agree to share the building, the Home Tour will not be held this year.



The meeting was adjourned at 9:56 p.m.



Respectfully submitted by Buzzie Kelly, Secretary