by Michael Clapman, President, and Michael Aubrey, Secretary, Board of Trustees
Dear Fellow Temple Micah Congregants:
Following you will find the minutes of the Temple Micah 2014 Annual Meeting. I want to thank all of you who were able to attend. Your participation and comments were greatly appreciated by the board. We want to recognize and apologize for the oversight of not providing to you in advance of the meeting, our recommended slate of board members and officers, as required by the bylaws. We are committed to insure that it will not happen again. As a couple of you pointed out, we also recognize that there are other provisions of the bylaws that have not been adhered to strictly.
Over the past many years, the nature of Temple Micah and the pattern of governance has changed some, and in some cases, prudence and efficiency have dictated that procedures and policies be put in place that are in some variance to the bylaws. For example, the bylaws require a few standing committees whose responsibilities have for some time been handled by temple staff, and therefore, asking congregants to serve on those committees would have been superfluous.
That being said, we understand that it is inappropriate to vary from an organization’s bylaws. As many of you know, we have created the Governance Task Force. This group is made up of congregants, board members and staff. The purpose of the group is to study our current governance model and recommend changes that would enhance our ability to manage the temple’s business, recruit and develop volunteers and leaders and ensure that we are completely in compliance with our bylaws. This may result in changes to our current bylaws, and if so, you will be kept informed and the process for making those changes will be done in accordance with the requirements of our current bylaws.
The work of the Governance Task Force will be completely transparent and you will be kept apprised of its progress. If you have questions, concerns or suggestions, please feel free to let me or the rabbi know. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org (or through the temple, 303-388-4239).
Board of Trustees Meeting Agenda: Annual Meeting
June 8, 2014
D’var Torah (Rabbi)
Annual meetings are about numbers and by symmetry we are in the book of Numbers. In this week’s portion Moses sends the spies to survey the land. Some spies say it is dangerous and occupied by “giants”. Two spies, however, report that the land overflows with milk and honey.
The people are aroused by the danger and it is this sin (of the exaggerated danger) that results in the people wandering in the desert for 40 years.
Salting the mood of the people with fear and distrust is a sin.
We have an obligation to honestly assess ourselves. We also need to not see ourselves as grasshoppers to the giants of the larger community but simply appreciate our strengths and weaknesses.
Welcome and President’s Report – Mike C
It has not been a quiet year at Temple Micah. We have moved and the board has approved a 10 year extension to the Rabbi’s contract. The future path is established and solid moving forward.
However, to ensure our well-being we have established three task forces: 1. Governance, 2. Micah Tomorrow, and 3. A group looking at short-term revenue and expenses.
Budget Update and 2014 – 2015 Budget – David
Budget summary for 2013 to 2014.
Our income increased by 11% and expenses rose in concert. Our longterm savings rose about 2%. Our Money Market declined due to expenses associated with the move. So, year-over-year the picture is on track.
However, on the budget we had some shortfalls.
-Dues collections met targets for the first time in memory
-Donations were lower than planned
-Several planned fundraising efforts failed to materialize
-Micah Move Over effort may have cannibalized other efforts
Expenses: On target to meet budget
TA: Keeping a close eye on expenses and maximizing dues
Approach to 2014-2015 Budget:
-Incorporate positive trend in dues collections since the dues committee will continue to do their good work
-Temper expectations around “general donations” including lower HH attendance
-Using 2013-2014 as the core factor to predict next year’s budget
Outlook for 2014-2015 Budget:
Shortfall: $43K less $23K for income on investments for an overall shortfall of $23K
Comment #1: Is the cause of HH reduction due to the location of the services?
Response: Probably not since we redirected people to the new location. Also, the trend has been downward for some time. Over time there has been a trend for less community-wide attendance at HH and attendance limited more to our membership. Our membership has increased slightly to 207 units and this does not compensate for the decreased community attendance.
Comment #2: Can the RS be a place to recruit new members. This year there were not any non-member families at RS
Comment #3: What do we pay URJ for affiliation? Follow Up Question: Are we looking at URJ membership critically?
Response: A significant amount based on membership. 17K per year. The Revenue and Expense Task force will look at this.
Comment #4: How much received for Micah Move-Over?
Comment #5: Why not pay off entire shortfall rather than just half?
Response: We did not want to use more than 20K, which has historical precedent. We also want to set a level of fiscal discipline and the new Revenue and Expense Task Force is a response to this.
Additionally, this is not a onetime event. We have had a habit of running these shortfalls. Withdrawing the extra monies is not a longterm solution.
Budget Approval: Approved without dissent.
Revenue/Expenses Review Task Force – Brian
Purpose and Mission: Find $23K in 2015 and erase the budget deficit. There are no sacred cows- Every line item will be examined. The Task Force will then report back to the board, which will ultimately make the decision of where to act.
We are unlikely to save our way out of the deficit. We will need new sources of revenue.
Members; Brenda Bruno, Greg DeRosa, Brian Silverman, David Teitelman
Comment #1: Will you be brainstorming new revenue sources?
Response: Yes, but not making specific recommendations for a single fundraiser. And the approach has to be sustainable so we do not exhaust our volunteers.
Comment #2: What if a member has a specific idea?
Response: Contact the committee.
Micah Governance Task Force – Helen
The May retreat spawned novel ideas on Micah Governance. We realized that we do not have an organized way of tapping the talent of our members.
-Are there ways to reorganize the board?
-How are leaders identified and supported?
-How do we recruit people and match them to work that they are good at?
-How can staff be best utilized?
Observation: People want to do the things they are good at but do not want to be overwhelmed with work.
Members: Helen Speigel, Sharon Thorson, Amy Anderson, Tony Frank, Rabbi Morris.
Comment #1: What is “governance”?
Response: It is the entire system from board to staff to volunteers.
Comment #2: Example?
Response: We have a Woman’s Homeless Initiative. A member wrote about the women’s experiences. That took advantage of the member’s expertise and interest without asking more than she could give.
Micah Tomorrow – Nancy
Few of the members have heard of the Task Force despite multiple blogs on the topic. The Rose Community Foundation that arose from the sale of the Rose Hospital works with Jewish organizations to invest in their future so that they can “live-on” in perpetuity. The program starts with training and a $6K grant doled out in portions.
Where we are now: We have looked our finances and history. To big influxes of funds: 1. Sale of the original building and 2. Building fundraising around the year 2000. We decided thoughtfully that we are not to be building owners; which is in the best interest of a community of our size.
So, we have these two pots of money that can be invested.
Rose will manage these funds. Our Designated Fund (available at any time) and our Endowment Fund (restricted monies for the long term). We can use UP TO 5% of the Endowment Fund each year to meet immediate needs.
The ongoing process will be to grow the Endowment Fund to fund Micah through the unpredictable future. We will be talking to everyone who loves Micah; not just those in their twilight years.
Comment #1: How was Rose vetted and chosen?
Response: This was deeply investigated and compared to Wells Fargo and Jewish Colorado. Note that Rose is managing hundreds of millions of dollars.
Comment #2: What is the purpose of the endowment?
Response: Keep Micah in existence and eventually endow the Rabbi’s position.
Comment #3: Do we get less interest by dividing the monies between two funds?
Response: No. Just different rules for each fund
Comment #4: Will we be protected from market vagaries?
Response: No. Both will be in growth-orientated funds.
Comment #5: There are life insurance funds that pay to institutions rather than individual beneficiaries
Response: Task Force will look at
Board and Officers Election – Mike C
Three retiring board members; Jason (5 years), Nancy (4 years), and Dena (4 years). Each of these retiring board members will continue to serve on Micah committees.
Proposed Slate for 2014-2015:
President: Michael Clapman
Vice President: Brian Silverman
Secretary: Michael Aubrey
Treasurer: David Teitelman
At Large: Alice Alban, Chuck Kessler, Helen Spiegel
As part of our rethinking of governance we are proposing to not change the board this year. We are instead proposing a “continuing resolution”.
Comment #1: How are we going to get everything done?
Response: We have already divvied the essential duties. Board members have signed on to step up during this interim. This may be less than a year depending upon when the Governance Task Force makes their recommendations.
Comment #2: Do the bylaws need to be changed? The bylaws must be changed by community vote.
Response: The bylaws allow for changes to occur at a special meeting. If the Task Force makes a recommendation to expand the board we will release a slate with 30 days notice and call a special meeting if needed. Presently, the structure of the board is within the confines of the bylaws.
Possibly, the model will be to strengthen the committee heads who report frequently to the board without actually serving on the board.
Comment #3: Great that you are willing to take this on and think creatively. In some ways this is a growing pain of getting larger.
Comment #4: How will this be communicated to the Micah community? How will we reach the newer members with these important changes?
Response: Use the Micah Move Over model. Emails and talk to people at events. But, honestly, this is part of the process of learning how to best communicate. For example, the dues committee contacts every member but could also plumb member interests and abilities.
Comment #1: What happened to our Mission Statement?
Response: We know what makes Micah special. The board and Rabbi use the essence of the Mission Statement to help in decision making
Comment #2: Where is Tikkun Olam in our Mission Statement and Task Forces?
Response: Our Governance Task force will help address this deficit by finding the volunteers to help repair the world.
Comment #3: Save the date for the Golf Tournament and it is for everyone.
Comment #4: Can we extend our Tikkun Olam to our everyday lives?