The board discussed the final wording of the Memorandum of Understanding with Temple Emanu-El, and approved it for congregational vote with two abstentions.
The board reviewed version 6 of the proposed Memorandum of Understanding with Temple Emanu-El. There was extensive discussion of the language of the document, and a number of changes were made. The document was returned to Emanu-El as version 7.
The board received updates on a number of initiatives, including the Passport to Paradise raffle, a dinner for major donors, and a new merchandise shop through CafePress. The annual vote on parsonage, the amount of clergy compensation that is designated as a housing allowance for tax reasons, was held. The board spent significant time in executive session discussing both the clergy contract process (both clergy are due for contract renewals this year) and a draft of a proposed Memorandum of Understanding regarding a potential merger with Temple Emanu-El.
At the October meeting the board received important updates about the financial status of the Congregation. We did not meet our first financial trigger of 350 members renewed by September 30, so the board divided up phone calls to those families yet to renew. The High Holy Day appeal is also coming in below budget. There was discussion of ways to reach that goal. The rest of the meeting was spent in executive session discussing possibilities for our congregational future.
The board held a special meeting to review the final proposed changes from the bylaws committee in preparation for the September 22 town hall.
At the June meeting the board received a report on the state of security on our campus. Funds from the Family Foundation were reallocated to allow for improvements to our facilities, including adding panic buttons and additional cameras to the property. Additional possibilities, including armed security, will be discussed by the Security Taskforce and presented to the Board next month.
At the April meeting the board received updates on a number of issues. First of all, our, income and expenses were as expected. The voluntary assessment has reached a total $29,352 (59% of our goal) from 116 families. There has also been progress made on seven of the Top Ten priorities identified by the Finance Committee and the board to improved our financial standing, including beginning preparations for our High Holy Day Appeal, coordinating better with committees on spending, and appointing volunteers and board members to work on various income possibilities.
The board opened the meeting by sharing memories of Donald Diamond, treasured community member and philanthropist, who passed away that day. The Executive Administrator reported that the current total raised by the voluntary assessment is $20,440, which is 41% our goal, from 78 families. There was discussion of the form and content of a follow-up letter to be sent to those families that have not yet responded to the appeal, emphasizing that this is an assessment to cover a deficit, not an additional fundraiser.
The governance committee chair, Harriet Kronman, reported on the congregational attorney’s review of the bylaws changes. It was decided that the bylaws amendments will be postponed until the fall to allow the board to fully resolve all issues before presenting them to the congregation.
The main topic of the meeting was the proposed 2019-2020 budget. The treasurer reported that all expenses have been reviewed and further reductions would require eliminating personnel. Our financial difficulties stem from the income side of our ledger, not the expense side. To that end, the budget includes a 15% increase in dues billing. The finance committee analyzed the likely actual increase in receivables based on current dues levels to be 9%. The board accepted the budget as presented with permission for minor modifications.
The board received an update on the response to the voluntary assessment. As of the meeting, 28 congregants had donated, for a total of $7600. The Special Events Committee announced the upcoming Celebration of Israel, which will include a concert and a raffle, on April 6.
The Nominations Committee submitted its slate of nominees, including Elaine Jones for President, Gary Kippur as First Vice President, Bev Sandock as Vice President, and Mark Ross to finish out the current term as Treasurer.
The first draft of the 2019-2020 budget was presented and discussed. The Finance Committee and staff have worked hard to carefully analyze and budget expenses. They will be continuing their work this month. After considering the feedback from the town hall, the board directed the President to appoint a team to develop a plan for a transition to a voluntary commitment model for dues, in consultation with the Finance Committee.
The board convened a special meeting to finish discussing the work of the bylaws committee. Suggested changes to Articles VII through XXI were reviewed. The most detailed discussion was about changes to make the process by which people are nominated to the board more structured.